Oakland University has a New Director of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance

Growing up in a small town in North Carolina, Dr. Amy Tully, D.M.A., discovered her passion for the performing arts — a passion she hopes to share with Oakland University students, faculty and staff as the new director of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance within the College of Arts and Sciences.

Tully leans against an outside wall with a garden behind her

OU’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance welcomes Dr. Amy Tully as new director

“At Oakland University, I feel like I’m among people who care about their students and about the quality of the performing arts,” said Tully, who previously served as associate dean of humanities and the fine arts at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C. “Those things really attracted me to this position.”

Prior to coming to Oakland, Tully was principal flutist with the Long Bay Symphony in Myrtle Beach, S.C. for 10 years. As a freelance artist, she has performed with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra, and the Thalian Hall Opera Theatre Orchestra.

As a chamber musician, Tully performs and tours with the Tully-Hull Flute and Guitar Duo with guitarist Daniel Hull. Internationally, she has been the principal flutist on orchestral wind symphony tours to Germany, Austria, Italy, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic.

“I love the exploration of sound,” she said. “I really like it all and have an appreciation for all sounds and I’m amazed by the modern composers who are able to explore those sounds and make it accessible to audiences who think they don’t like modern music.”

An active performer and clinician, Tully was a winner of the Convention Performers Competition sponsored by the National Flute Association, where she performed at the 2007 annual conference in Albuquerque, N.M. Other conference invitations include performing at the 2008 Florida Flute Association annual conference; the 2008 and 2017 South Carolina Flute Society annual conferences; the 2011 National Flute Association conference in Charlotte, N.C.; and the 2009 and 2015 South Carolina Music Educators’ Conference.

In 2018, she was invited to perform on the composer’s concert at the Mid-Atlantic College Music Society annual conference in Conway, S.C.

“I hope my experiences will show students that they can make a career as a performing artist,” Tully said. “I’ve been a musician. I’ve been a private teacher. I’ve been a part-time and full-time instructor. I’m proof that you can make a living. It’s not always going to be easy, but nothing worth doing ever is. It’s going to take time, but if you have that passion, you will make it work.”

Tully holds a B.A. in Flute Performance (with Honors) from the University of North Carolina – Wilmington, an M.M. in Musicology from Northwestern University, and an Artist Diploma and D.M.A. in Flute Performance from the University of South Carolina in Columbia. She also holds membership in the College Music Society and the National Flute Association.

“I’m one of those classical musicians that also has a degree in music history,” she said. “I like all kinds of music. I also like words, so theatre is very interesting to me. I was even a dancer until I went to college, so I’ve kind of experienced all three of these performing arts — music, theatre and dance — even though my expertise has been in music and music history.”

As director of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance, Tully said one of her goals will be to develop “a more healthy and robust” scholarship fund program for talented students.

“While we know we’re on the same level faculty-wise, degree program-wise, pedagogy-wise as other great schools in Michigan, sometimes what separates us from a student being able to come here is scholarship money, so I would love to see some development through working with philanthropy, as well as the community, to show why we’re a good investment,” she said.

In addition, Tully said she would like to enhance the SMTD’s recruitment efforts.

“My approach to recruiting and getting students here is that if we can get them on campus we can show them what we can offer that’s different from the other universities,” she said. “What students will see from us is the high-quality instruction we offer, as well as our connections with dance companies, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and the theatre industry. Students want to have those experiences and our faculty has the experience to give it to them.”

In her spare time, Tully enjoys cooking, and spending time with her husband and their two dogs.

“We love being outside, especially going to the lake in the summer,” she said. “I’m looking forward to exploring all that Michigan — and Oakland University — have to offer.”

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