Accomplished choreographer selected as next dean for SOMD

The University of Oregon has selected Sabrina Madison-Cannon as the next dean of the School of Music and Dance.

Currently associate dean of academic and faculty affairs in the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, she will bring an extensive background in dance and advanced choreographic design to the role.

Sabrina Madison-Cannon “Sabrina will add a wonderful and extensive blend of academic and administrative experience to the University of Oregon,” said Jayanth Banavar, UO provost and senior vice president. “She has a spirit of risk-taking that will encourage the kind of academic experimentation and innovation that are core values of the students and faculty in the SOMD.”

Madison-Cannon will arrive on campus this summer.

“The opportunity to join the incredible faculty, staff and students in UO’s school of music and dance was something I could not pass up,” Madison-Cannon said. “We share a strong belief in the value of the traditional canon and in creating a welcoming environment where new works are created and performed.”

Madison-Cannon spent her international performing career as a soloist with the Philadelphia Dance Company, known as Philadanco. After earning her master’s in fine arts from the University of Iowa in 1998, Madison-Cannon has gone on to positions at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

In 2016, she was promoted to professor of dance, focusing on composition and advanced choreographic design, while also serving in her associate dean role.

An associate dean since 2012, Madison-Cannon has focused on faculty issues, curricular development, assessment and credentialing. Additionally, she has had oversight of academic advising and student affairs in the conservatory. 

Madison-Cannon has served on the boards and friends organizations of many of Kansas City’s arts organizations and brings with her a passion for partnerships and community engagement.

In addition to her teaching and administrative work, Madison-Cannon has been a featured presenter and performer at numerous scholarly events around the globe, including the Beijing Modern Music Festival, the Midwest Clinic–International Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago, the International Choreographer’s Showcase in Barcelona and Madrid and several International Association of Blacks in Dance conferences.

This remarkably talented faculty is committed to the continued growth of creative and scholarly excellence and I am honored to be a part of it,” she said of her move to the UO. “It is an incredibly exciting time for the school and I look forward to serving this great institution.”

Madison-Cannon will assume the role from Brad Foley, who announced his intention to retire from the deanship last June.

“As Brad returns to the faculty to teach classical saxophone and chamber music, he will also lead and direct our ChamberMusic@Beall series, entering its 50th year this season,” Banavar said. “I am very grateful to Brad for his dedication and leadership.”