Ethan_Wickman_Headshot
Ethan WickmanExecutive Director

2016 Report

T he summer of 2015 brought a number of momentous changes to the personnel at the helm of the Barlow Endowment. In the months following my appointment as executive director, new leadership in the Brigham Young University College of Fine Arts and Communications and the School of Music precipitated additional changes to the Board of Directors. After serving as Dean of the College of Fine Arts for twelve years, as well as Chair of the Barlow Board of Directors for as many, Stephen Jones stepped down from both positions to return to service on the faculty of the School of Music. Concurrent with Stephen’s move away from administration, Barlow Vice Chair, Kory Katseanes, left the Board of Directors, and his position as Director of the School of Music, to return to the faculty as well. We wish both Stephen and Kory well in their careers as professors and active professionals in their respective fields of composition and conducting.

These losses, however, were not without the terrific gains we continue to enjoy in 2016: Ed Adams, former director of the BYU School of Communications, assumed the position of Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communications, while Kirt Saville, Professor of Music Education and Associate Director of Bands, was appointed Director of the School of Music. Ed and Kirt have concurrently assumed the roles of Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively, of the Barlow Board of Directors. These men bring a wealth of experience and perspective, and I am thrilled to be working with them. In addition to administrative changes at BYU, family representative Alice Barlow Jones completed her term on the Board. Her sister, Nancy Barlow Cox, is now the family representative. Alice has been instrumental in keeping the vision of her parents, Milton and Gloria Barlow, alive for our judges and guests each year. Nancy continues this tradition and brings great energy and vision to the Endowment.

Last year we also bid farewell to Stacy Garrop, an illustrious composer and member of our Board of Advisors, after six years of service. Stacy possessed an excellent eye and ear for the craft and creativity that Barlow aims to promote each year. Her dedication and friendship to the Endowment and its cause have made a permanent impression. We are elated to have welcomed composer Dorothy Chang, of Vancouver, BC, to the board of advisors for our 2016 summer meetings. We look forward to working with her during her term and anticipate the valuable difference she will make.

My greatest joy in serving as executive director is the opportunity I have to hear such fabulous music from around the world. If the current climate (political, social, and environmental) is tumultuous, the Barlow Endowment continues to seek out and uphold work of great beauty and significance. In that spirit, I conclude with these words of Sir Michael Tippett (as relayed to the BYU School of Music many years ago by erstwhile Barlow Advisor, Steven Stucky, who passed away last year):

Whether society has felt music valuable or needful, I’ve gone on writing because I must. I know that my true function within a society that embraces all of us is to continue an age old tradition, fundamental to our civilization, which goes back into prehistory, and will go forward into the unknown future. This tradition is to create images from the depths of imagination and then to give them form, whether visual, intellectual, or musical. For it is only through images that the inner-world communicates at all: images of the past; shapes of the future; images of vigor for a decadent period; images of calm for one of true violence; images of reconciliation for worlds torn by division; and in an age of mediocrity and shattered dreams, images of abounding, generous, exuberant beauty.