Faculty & Staff Spotlight: John Richmond, UNT College of Music

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Spotlight John Richmond



John W. Richmond performs a vital role as Professor and Dean of the UNT College of Music and is currently in his 6th academic year. During his time here, he has facilitated the overall quality, development, and led the College in its strategic planning, supported new imaginative curricula, recruited new faculty and staff, and has brought increased recognition, renovation, and expansion to the College. Read on and be instrumental in learning more about what's on Dr. Richmond's Spotify playlist. Discover his other cultural connections, like a notable espionage series that would make a great movie franchise in the tradition of James Bond and Jason Bourne.


What is your favorite aspect about your job? 
That’s a tie, I suppose, between the fabulous music made here every day and the glorious people who make it (faculty, staff, and students).

What led you to your particular field of study/expertise?
I’ve been involved in music is so many ways for my entire life. I don’t remember a time in my life when music wasn’t a major part of it.

During your tenure, you reversed six years of steady enrollment declines and increased College of Music enrollment by 9%. What goals did you set out to achieve to increase enrollment in the College of Music?
When I arrived here, UNT was in the throes of a campus-wide push to grow enrollment above 40,000 students. In addition, there were certain facets of our music program that were chronically undersubscribed. Finally, there was an ambition in the College to create new programs that would attract a new cohort of music students. My arrival provided an opportunity to reimagine our programs, recruiting resources, and processes to improve our yield both in overall headcount and in the depth, qualifications, and diversity of our incoming students musically and academically.

What artists would we find on your Spotify playlist (or whichever music platform you use) currently?
Wow, there is quite a range of artists there, from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Tallis Scholars and Seraphic Fire to Snarky Puppy, Esperanza Spalding, and Jacob Collier. Of course, no play list would be complete without the North Texas Wind Symphony and the One O’Clock Lab Band. Yes, they’re available on Spotify. Be sure to add them to your lists, too!

What is your proudest work moment? 
My appointment as Dean of the UNT College of Music.

What is your proudest non-work moment? 
Everything family (wedding anniversaries, family birthdays, the achievements of our son and his family, etc.)

What is a fact about you that may surprise your colleagues?
The music programs and publications of The Salvation Army played an important role in my musical development in my childhood and early adulthood. I owe that organization a great deal and respect it so much.

I’m a huge fan of the spy novels of Daniel Silva. I read his latest one every July and then drum my fingers for 51 weeks while awaiting his next installment. I just wish he would turn his “Gabriel Allon” series into a movie franchise in the tradition of Fleming’s “James Bond” and Ludlum’s “Jason Bourne.”

Movie:? My wife, Jill, and I have tried to catch a movie in the theater every week since we first started dating. We like most movies, but have a particularly “guilty pleasure” in disaster movies (think “San Andreas” or “2012” or “Dante’s Peak”… you get the idea). We have missed going to the movies during the pandemic but are looking forward to restarting our tradition soon, perhaps this summer.

Place to visit:? Internationally, it’s Florence, Italy. It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful city, more stunning art, more exquisite food, or a more lovely setting. If you’ve not been, it’s time! Domestically, I suppose it would have to be New York City. The treasured music culture of the city, so severely curtained during the pandemic, has roared back to life and that roar sounds just beautiful!