Lin Foulk
Associate Professor of Music (Horn)
Western Michigan University • College of Fine Arts • School of Music

Promotion Portfolio Narrative
October 11, 2016

Dear reviewers,

Thank you for reviewing my promotion portfolio. In this narrative I will summarize and highlight my professional activity to assist in deliberations regarding my application for promotion to the rank of full Professor. Please note that text that is underlined in this document indicates a hyperlink (and additional information) is available at

In the area of Professional Competence, I regularly teach the following courses: MUS 2000, 3000 and 6000 (Applied Horn), MUS 2650: Aural Skills IV (“Improvisation for Classical Musicians”), MUS 2170: Western Horn Choir (offered each fall semester), and MUS 2180 (chamber ensembles). I teach both undergraduate and graduate students as well as courses that are part of the core curriculum in the School of Music (MUS 2000 and MUS 2650).

I created the course called “Improvisation for Classical Musicians” from research conducted during a sabbatical leave in 2013-14. This is a popular, new offering that fills a need within the School. The course has been offered for four semesters (through fall 2016) and is capped at 18 students. It fills to capacity (with a waiting list) each semester.

Improvisation is creating or composing music in the moment, without a notated score. It is a skill highly valued among many non-jazz teachers and performers and the major music-accrediting agencies (e.g., National Association of Schools of Music), but it is rarely formally taught to classical musicians in traditional music degree programs. I created this unique course offering after research and classroom visitations to the few universities where such a course is offered, which include the University of Iowa, University of Michigan, and State University of New York–Fredonia.

Please see the
Sabbatical Final Report for a comprehensive summary of the classroom observations, workshops, individual meetings, books, concerts, and recordings that were influential in creating this course. I have also included a Summary Report, which was submitted to the School of Music Director after teaching the inaugural class. Student feedback, such as, “I felt like I was able to transcend to a new level of listening this semester,” “This class helped me learn how to fully express myself,” and “By far this is the best class I’ve taken in the School of Music! Please offer it again!” suggest that the students feel this is a valuable course for their musical development. Please see recent course evaluations for additional feedback from students regarding this class. Our unique offering on classical music improvisation distinguish the School, College, and the University from other programs.

In addition to this new course offering, I continue to provide innovation in teaching applied horn lessons and the Western Horn Choir. My assigned load of applied horn students includes 12-16 music majors, freshman through graduate level. During the 2015-16 academic year I introduced using Googledrive with horn students (as well as students in MUS 2650) to share recordings of studio performances and lessons, provide written feedback, submit assignments, share articles, and other files. I set up a shared file for the entire studio as well as private, individual files for each member. Having a digital shared space that is private and has unlimited storage capacity has increased the efficacy and efficiency of my teaching and enhanced the lesson experience for WMU horn students. Additionally, I regularly update the horn studio website:

The Western Horn Choir is a student ensemble comprised of French horn music majors at WMU. This like-instrument group performs original compositions as well as transcriptions that stretch the technical and musical limitations for horn students. Performing in the Western Horn Choir gives students the opportunity to hear themselves and others outside of the usual chamber and large ensemble setting, thus improving accuracy, sound, blend, and general ensemble playing. The group rehearses weekly under my leadership and performs two concerts annually, both on campus and in the greater Kalamazoo community. The Western Horn Choir was invited to perform at the International Horn Symposia in Memphis, TN in 2013 and Denver, CO in 2008 and the ensemble commissioned and performed a new piece by Benjamin Taylor in fall 2015.

Bringing clinicians and guest artists to campus gives WMU students the opportunity to work closely with famous, established professionals in the field. Since my hiring in 2003, I have invited and hosted over 40 guest artists at WMU who are members of professional ensembles such as the Cleveland Orchestra, U.S. Marine Band “President’s Own,” Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and Detroit Symphony; institutions such as University of Wisconsin–Madison, Indiana University, University of Illinois, and Arizona State University; and countries such as Russia, Sweden, and Luxembourg.

WMU horn graduates are winning auditions and playing in professional orchestras and bands (President’s Own Marine Band, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony), winning top prizes in major competitions (International Horn Competition), winning auditions to participate in important summer music programs (Pacific, Round Top, and Brevard Music Festivals), winning scholarships and assistantships to pursue graduate study at well-regarded institutions (Cincinnati Conservatory of Music; Scuola Universitaria di Musica in Lugano, Switzerland; Universities of Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin–Madison; Michigan State University, to name a few), teaching in university programs (University of North Dakota), and earning top WMU campus awards (WMU Senior Award, School of Music Graduate Award for Excellence in Leadership/Service, winning the WMU School of Music Concerto Competition). Please see a more complete list of WMU horn student successes in my curriculum vita.

Recruitment efforts outside WMU have led to consistently maintaining sufficient enrollment of qualified students in the horn studio. Since my hiring in 2003, I have presented almost 40 solo masterclasses and an additional 40 chamber music masterclasses with the Western Brass and Wind Quintets, totaling around 80 masterclass presentations. I received the following message from a member of the audience in a solo masterclass that I presented to horn students at UW–Madison in 2014:

“…you are a marvelous teacher—creative, passionate, focused, caring. What more could a student ask for.” (James Rhem, Executive Editor of The National Teaching and Learning FORUM, excerpt from email sent to me after the class)

Recruitment efforts within WMU have led to capacity enrollment for MUS 2650 (“Improvisation for Classical Musicians”) for the four semesters in which the course has been offered.

The final culminating project for Master of Music degree students at WMU is the graduate recital and oral exam with a committee of three music faculty members. Since I was hired in 2003, I have served as chairperson for thirteen MM thesis committees and as a member of nine additional MM thesis committees. I have served on Honors College Thesis committees for five students.

I have invited several students to co-present new research with me at international conferences, including the International Horn Symposium in Los Angeles, CA in 2015 and the International Alliance for Women in Music Congress at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ in 2012.

I consider myself a teacher who performs (instead of a performer who teaches) and teaching is my passion. I stay in close contact with most students once they graduate, serving as an active mentor. I receive letters such as the one below after the conclusion of every academic year and they are reason I am in this business (please see
Supporting Materials for more examples of this kind of unsolicited feedback from students):

“Thank you so much for an amazing nine semesters! I have learned so much and I have grown so much, not only as a musician but as a person too. You have been and are an AMAZING teacher and I cannot thank you enough. You have influenced my life in such a positive way. Thank you for always challenging me and pushing me in lessons and always being so encouraging and supportive! I will keep in touch with you with what comes my way and I hope you do too! Good luck with everything!” (Karin Yamaguchi, BM ’10, excerpt from personal card)

Professional Recognition
For the past 12 years, I have taught and performed at the prestigious Kendall Betts Horn Camp (KBHC) in New Hampshire each summer. This camp includes professors from institutions such as the Eastman School of Music, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, University of Texas – Austin, and University of Illinois and professional performers who are (or have been) members of ensembles such as the Cleveland Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, and Canadian Brass. This has been a strong recruitment and recognition asset for WMU. Each year around three-five KBHC participants audition for WMU undergraduate and graduate music programs; they tend to be our strongest horn applicants.

Since 2006, I have been regularly invited to perform as one of only five players in the horn section with
Monarch Brass. The organization’s website describes Monarch Brass as a “musical ‘dream team’”…that represents “the very best women brass soloists, orchestra, and premiere military band players throughout North America and Europe.”  As part of this ensemble, I have worked with horn players who are members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, and Northwestern University; esteemed conductors from institutions such as the U.S. Marine Band, Flagstaff Symphony, and Northwestern University; at high-profile venues (I have recently participated in concerts at the International Trumpet Guild’s 40th Annual Conference in Columbus, OH; International Women’s Brass Conference in Toronto, Canada; and with the Monarch Brass Quintet at Saint Louis Cathedral Concerts Annual Gala in St. Louis, MO). I will perform with Monarch Brass in December 2016 at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago.

In 2008 I researched and created a 50-minute lecture recital called, “Women in Orchestras in the Twenty-First Century.” I was invited to present this lecture eight times at several important venues, such as the International Women’s Brass Conference in Toronto, Canada; University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point (for all music students, as part of a two-day residency); University of Iowa (as an Ida Beam Distinguished Guest Lecturer); Georgia State College & University; and
Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX.

As a result of a sabbatical leave in 2013-14, in which I researched and explored classical music improvisation, I have been incorporating improvisation into my professional presentations and performances. These include the Kendall Betts Horn Camp in New Hampshire, International Horn Symposium in California, University of Illinois and University of Wisconsin–Madison horn students, and a “Music for People” workshop at SUNY–Fredonia. I performed a fully improvised, 50-minute recital with the Momentary Quartet at the International Society for Improvised Music conference at the New School in New York City, NY. In October 2016, I will perform and lead an improvisation workshop with the Momentary Quartet in Princeton, New Jersey. A
featured interview of my professional creative work was published last year in The Horn Call, journal of the International Horn Society (IHS). The IHS is the top organization for horn performers, “dedicated to performance, teaching, composition, research and the preservation and promotion of the horn as a musical instrument…The IHS has over 3,500 members from 55 countries around the globe…” (from the IHS website).

In recent professional solo performances, I am also passionate about presenting pieces composed for horn with electronics. I premiered Recombinant Serenade for horn and computer, by WMU composition professor Christopher Biggs at the International Horn Symposium in Memphis, TN in 2013. In 2014, I premiered Christopher Biggs’ Incommensurable for clarinet, horn, and interactive electronics and video at Wayne State University and for the Region 5 Society for Composer, Inc. conference. I have been involved with WMU’s Summer institute for Performance, Listening, Interpretation, and Creation of Electroacoustic music (SPLICE) since its inception in 2015. This past summer I performed Chet Udell’s Gjallahorn for eMersion-enabled natural horn and live electronics at SPLICE as well as SEMINAR (WMU’s high school music camp). In January 2016, I performed a full recital of music for horn and electronics in Dalton Center Recital Hall. As a result of connections made at SPLICE, I am currently commissioning a new piece for horn and electronics by Sam Wells (SPLICE faculty member), which we plan to premiere at SPLICE 2017.

I perform around 40 concerts each year with the Western Brass Quintet (WBQ) and Western Wind Quintet (WWQ), both ensembles-in-residence at WMU. This is a high level of activity for faculty ensembles, compared with those at other academic institutions. Faculty members in these ensembles receive one credit-hour of load credit per ensemble and the charge for each ensemble from the Director is to perform on campus once each semester and at three public schools. As you can see from my curriculum vita, these ensembles engage in professional activity that is far beyond this basic charge. I volunteer much of my professional energy to these ensembles because I believe they are a highly-valuable asset that distinguishes the WMU School of Music from other schools and this enhances recognition and recruitment. Since 2005, international invitations have taken the WWQ and WBQ to Chengdu, CHINA; WWQ to Tegucigalpa and Comayanga, HONDURAS and Bogota, COLOMBIA; WBQ to Bangkok, THAILAND and several cities in RUSSIA. In the past six years, WWQ performed a full recital for the Fontana Chamber Arts in Kalamazoo, Rocky River Chamber Music Society in Cleveland, OH; Chamber Music North in Sutton’s Bay, MI (including a pre-concert interview at Interlochen Center for the Arts); and the South Haven Performance Series in South Haven, MI.

Recently WBQ performed as featured artists at UW–Madison’s Celebrate Brass! Festival; as featured soloists with Encore Winds in Traverse City, South Dakota State University Symphonic Band, and Byron Center High School Band; full recitals at the Garfield Conservatory in Chicago, Manitou Music Festival, Chamber Music North Series in Suttons Bay; and WBQ has performed regularly as a featured artist for the Bach Festival Christmas Concert in Kalamazoo. Since my hiring, WBQ has performed over 70 community concerts, full recitals at over 40 universities, and clinics/performances at almost 80 high schools.

WBQ has recently recorded two new discs on recognized labels:
For Then and Now was released on Summit Records in 2015 and Shadowcatcher (with the WMU University Symphonic Band) was released on Klavier Records in 2013. Both received acclaimed reviews in national and international publications (please see my Curriculum Vita and Supporting Materials for excerpts from some of the reviews). The 2016-17 academic year marks the 50th Anniversary of WBQ and as part of the year-long celebration, WBQ hosted the Stockholm Chamber Brass in their first U. S. tour, will premiere six new pieces composed especially for WBQ, and will record a new album in June 2017.

From 2005-13, I performed with TubaCOR, an ensemble created by former WMU tuba professor Deanna Swoboda and myself. Highlights of our performances include full recitals at the Women in Music Festival at the Eastman School of Music (2012), Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra’s “On the Town” series (2012), New Year’s Fest in Kalamazoo (2011), as Ida Beam Distinguished Lecturers at the University of Iowa (2010), and Southwestern University (2011).

Since 2010, I performed with the Boston Brass All-Star Big Band at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN; with two different horn ensembles at the International Horn Symposium in Los Angeles, CA; and I premiered Wayne Lu’s Brass Trio at International Trumpet Guild Conference in Grand Rapids, MI. Since my hiring I have been invited to present at 17 different conferences as a soloist. I have received invitations to serve as a featured artist in residence at several universities, such as Arizona State University, University of Iowa, and University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point. I have been featured as a soloist twice with the WMU University Symphonic Band and twice with the WMU University Symphony Orchestra. This November I have been invited to be the featured artist at
UW–Whitewater’s Fall Horn Festival, an annual event that regularly hosts over 100 horn players from Wisconsin and Illinois.

I regularly perform with regional orchestras, such as the Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo Symphonies and, since my hiring, I have performed in over 170 professional orchestra concerts. Since this time I have also performed over 50 full recitals and solos off-campus as well as over 45 concerts with ensembles (not including concerts with WBQ or WWQ) throughout Michigan and beyond. On-campus I have performed as a soloist in approximately 45 concerts. I have performed on-campus with School of Music ensembles (WBQ, WWQ, Western Winds, and others) in approximately 120 concerts. Please see my curriculum vita for more specifics regarding this professional work.

Since 2010, I have been invited to adjudicate the Devos Musical Showcase competition at Hope College, the Michigan Youth Arts Festival solo competition at Central Michigan University, as well as a couple Arts Council of Kalamazoo grants.

These published excerpts are an example of external appreciation and support of my professional recognition work:

“Lin Foulk plays beautifully throughout the disc.” (excerpt from Lydia Van Dreel’s review of For Then and Now, compact disc by Western Brass Quintet, in The Horn Call Feb. 2016: 88-89)

“Foulk proved a talented horn player, starting with a mellow tone…Foulk provided clean attacks and pleasing dynamics in the second movement, and her arpeggio runs were impressive. Hers was the successful performance needed to lead the entire ensemble in a highly interesting and complex work.” (excerpt from C. J. Gianakaris’s review called “Fontana Concert a Treat for Mozart Lovers,” in Kalamazoo Gazette 13 July 2011, A5)

Professional Service
I served as an elected board member for the International Women’s Brass Conference (IWBC) from 2007-13. Founded by St. Louis Symphony trumpeter Susan Slaughter in 1990, IWBC exists to provide opportunities that will educate, support, develop, and inspire all women brass players who wish to pursue professional careers in music.  Members of the board include some of the best professional music teachers and performers from around the world.

In June 2012, I co-hosted the IWBC Conference at WMU. This is the organization’s major public event and is held approximately every three years. It features high-profile brass artists, exhibitors, the IWBC competition, and new pieces composed by female composers. The conference at WMU was the sixth major conference for the organization. I personally wrote the conference proposal, managed the $100,000 budget, created and maintained the conference website, facilitated conference subcommittees, reviewed over 50 proposal submissions, created the conference schedules, created the
conference booklet (included in Supporting Materials), collaborated with local musicians and venues, coordinated meals and housing (both on campus and off). Over 300 participants registered for the conference.

In 2016, I was nominated to facilitate and host the
Dissertation & Thesis Library for the International Horn Society. This collection includes over 200 titles on horn-related or brass topics. In the short amount of time that the collection has been on campus, it has already been a valuable resource for WMU students. From 2004-13, I was the Michigan Area Representative for the International Horn Society, in which I created and maintained a website and created a newsletter of horn events throughout Michigan.

At the University level, I have served on Research Policies Council (two years as secretary) and University Assessment Steering Committee, I reviewed both Support for Faculty Scholars and Faculty Research and Creative Activities awards for three years, and I was elected as the School of Music’s representative for both the Faculty Senate and AAUP. I was selected to serve as a formal faculty advisor to Research Development Awardee Martha Councell-Vargas and we met several times during the 2011-12 academic year. I have been a member of the College of Fine Arts Curriculum committee since 2014 and I also currently serve on the College of Fine Arts Master of Arts in Arts Management degree committee. I was elected to serve the School as Brass/Percussion Area Chair and Advisory Council member for two terms (2009-15) and I was elected to serve on the School’s tenure committee from 2011-13. Since my hiring I have served on nine search committees for position vacancies within the School of Music.

In 2011, I organized the School of Music Chamber Music Festival (I co-hosted the event in 2013) and in 2009 I organized the School of Music Women Composer Festival (presenting three concerts).

I have been an active recruiter for WMU, including giving regular masterclasses at the Kendall Betts Horn Camp in New Hampshire, hosting
Horn Day each year (in which around 30 middle and high school students travel to WMU to participate), regularly adjudicating at Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA) State and District Solo/Ensemble festivals, and performing concerts/clinics at universities and public schools. Please see a complete list of recruitment, adjudicator, and clinician presentations/activities in my curriculum vita.

I have handled much of the logistics of the Western Brass Quintet over the past six years, which includes creating the ensemble’s website, organizing the music library, organizing many public school and university tours, creating the ensemble’s press kit; and I was sole editor for the albums Games for Brass and A Brass Celebration of Christmas. I regularly write and facilitate numerous grants on behalf of the ensemble, including Faculty Research and Creative Activities Award (Games for Brass compact disc), Support for Faculty Scholars Fund (purchase music), Faculty Research Travel Fund (numerous performances), Publication of Papers and Exhibition of Creative Works (PPPE) Fund (video-record Christmas Brass concert for publicity), College of Fine Arts Student Investment Project (SIP) Fund (Stockholm Chamber Brass residency, in celebration of the 50
th anniversary of WBQ).

I hope you feel the quality, creativity, and amount of my professional activity has brought prestige and honor to Western Michigan University, the College of Fine Arts, and the School of Music and that I have earned a place among those distinguished individuals at the top rank of full Professor at WMU. Additionally, I hope this portfolio reveals to you my commitment to this great university. Thank you for considering my application for promotion to full Professor.


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