Professor of Music
Teaches in the following areas:Music History, Introduction to Ethnomusicology, Introduction to Classic Jazz
The University of Texas at Austin, Major in Music Education
MM, The University of Texas at Austin, Major in Music Education
PhD, The Catholic University of America, 1973. Major in Historical Musicology. Dissertation: The Lenten Offertories of the Aquitanian Manuscripts.
Dr. Pitman is an active member of the Westminster College community. People are most likely to find him teaching, performing live music, sharing ideas with other faculty and staff members and students, studying and preparing for future projects and courses, or transcribing ancient music manuscripts.
Teaching in a fine liberal arts college such as Westminster College continues to be a source of satisfaction and pleasure for Dr. Pitman, since his personal goals and philosophy of education mesh so well with Westminster’s. He finds it exciting to work for a college which sustains a long tradition of excellence by holding to traditional religious values and to solid educational goals and ideals, yet continues to grow and improve as it searches for new and better ways to prepare students for the challenges of the twenty-first century.
He subscribes to the mission of Westminster College as stated under “Philosophy and Purposes” in the Undergraduate Bulletin. Indeed, as a long standing member of the faculty he helped to formulate those very paragraphs which define Westminster’s collective mission. He enthusiastically supports and lives the mission statement in all of his endeavors at Westminster.
Dr. Pitman believes that his role in teaching is to help prepare students for life, not only for jobs. He is interested in the whole student and in that student’s achieving personal and academic maturity. He believes that, in addition to being knowledgeable in their own fields, students should be knowledgeable in a broad range of subjects and in how they fit together. A good liberal arts college is better suited than a state university to provide students with this broad knowledge based education. Westminster College, in particular, has a proven and on-going track record of success in preparing its graduates for life.
One of Dr. Pitman’s goals is that students should gain an appreciation and love of the arts, including music, for the enrichment of their lives, even if they do not pursue careers in the arts. Having a basic understanding of music and other arts, they can continue to learn more and to enjoy the arts throughout their lives, adding beauty, richness, excitement, and depth to more mundane everyday experiences. Of course those that choose a profession in the arts should become highly proficient and knowledgeable in their chosen field. They should become self-reliant and confident in their own abilities, and they should be able to work cooperatively in group settings.
Another of Dr. Pitman’s goals is that students should be prepared after graduation to continue learning on their own, throughout their lives. They should learn how to learn, and they should develop an appreciation of the value of lifetime learning.
As a teacher at Westminster, it is Dr. Pitman’s charge to give the best that he has to offer to his students, his colleagues, and to his college. He has done this and he continues to do this. Further, as a teacher in the arts, a teacher who also is an established performer in music, it is his talent and therefore his charge to perform music frequently and as artistically as possible. Not only does he teach music to students through words, sounds and graphics, he also teaches by example, by creating music regularly through his own performance, in New Wilmington, Youngstown, and beyond.
In the same manner that creating a painting is scholarship to a visual artist, or going on a dig is scholarship to an anthropologist, performance is one of the highest forms of scholarship to a musician. To perform well, one must combine academic knowledge of composers’ lives and works, historical backgrounds, historical performance practices, and technical requirements with mechanical expertise on one’s instrument, with interpretive skills, and with emotional content and feeling. Dr. Pitman has chosen to combine performance scholarship with teaching in building a career in a profession that he loves and enjoys.
Dr. Pitman perceives a high degree of excitement among students, faculty and administration at Westminster College, an excitement which facilitates the re-definition and accomplishment of Westminster’s educational goals, its innovative curriculum (the Westminster Plan), and its definitive move into the world of multi-media classrooms, cyber-space, and the information super highway.
Dr. Pitman’s goal of maintaining teaching excellence while changing over to the new techniques and challenges of the electronic age has been made easier by the expectations of Westminster’s students, colleagues and administration. This inclusion of high tech methods and equipment in the teaching of our liberal studies curriculum helps promote successful futures for our students.
Dr. Pitman’s formal educational background culminated in the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Historical Musicology from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. His doctoral dissertation was an in-depth study of Gregorian Chant as practiced and notated in the eleventh and twelfth centuries in the medieval province of Aquitaine. His continuing post-doctoral work has taken him to the Monastery of Solesmes in southwestern France, the Biblioteque Nationale in Paris, the British Museum in London, and Old Sarum in southwest England, to name a few.
His performance instrument is French horn, and he has performed professionally with Leon Fleisher, Ezra Rachlin, Victor Allesandro, Henry Mancini, André Previn, David Effron, Isaiah Jackson, and Randall Fleischer all well-known conductors. A charter member of the well known Annapolis Brass Quintet, he has also performed extensively in professional orchestras (the San Antonio, Austin, Annapolis, Charlotte, and Youngstown Symphony Orchestras), opera orchestras (San Antonio and Charlotte), and in solo recitals in several states and in Europe. He continues to set an example for Westminster’s music students by performing professionally in the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra, in recitals, and in various other performances.
Dr. Pitman has taught music at Westminster College, at Muskingum College in Ohio, at Winthrop College in South Carolina, and at Fredericksburg High School in Texas. Dr. Pitman has led a number of student study tours to Europe. For example, in his January 1993 travel seminar to central Europe, the study of art, music, architecture, history, geography, etc., were combined, making all of them more meaningful in context with each other. His January 1997 travel seminar to England and France similarly bridged history, music, geography, art, and religion. Within the music department, he has taught history of western music, history of jazz, music education, various ensembles, private instrumental lessons, and supervised student teachers. Dr. Pitman served as the Chair of the Department of Music from 1998 through 2004.
Dr. Grover A. Pitman is listed in Marquis’ Who’s Who in Entertainment, Who’s Who in the East, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in the World. He is a past president of the New Wilmington Rotary Club, the Pennsylvania College Band Directors Association, the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 5, and a member of the Music Educators National Conference.
Dr. Pitman joined the faculty of Westminster College in 1978