Deane L. Root, PhD

Deane Root

Title: Emeritus Professor
Company: University of Pittsburgh
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Deane L. Root, PhD, Emeritus Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in music education.

As a child in school, Dr. Root was enthralled by the idea that people were creating windows and doorways for people to enter other worlds outside of our own experiences. Upon choosing to become an educator, he felt compelled to lead the pack in teaching the cultural history of music, a subject that he felt was underdeveloped, yet incredibly powerful. Dr. Root received a Bachelor of Arts in music from the New College of Florida in 1968 and went on to matriculate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he earned a Master of Music in 1971 and Doctor of Philosophy in 1977.  Notably, he devoted more than 35 years to the University of Pittsburgh, in which he served in myriad teaching and administration roles. Likewise, he also had offered his expertise to Lake City Community College, now known as Florida Gateway College, the Florida State University School of Music, the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science, the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music, and MacMillan Publishers, Ltd.

Prior to his retirement, Dr. Root served the University of Pittsburgh Dietrich School of the Arts & Sciences as a professor from 1998 to 2020 and as director of graduate admissions for the Department of Music in 2017 and 2018. Earlier, he was an adjunct assistant professor of music from 1982 to 1992 and an adjunct associate professor of music from 1992 to 1998, as well as department chair from 2002 to 2007 and again from 2015 to 2018. For the Center for American Music at the University Library Systems Archives and Special Collections, Dr. Root had been a Fletcher Hodges Jr. curator from 1999 to 2019 and director from 1998 to 2019. In addition, he had also served the university in positions with the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Advancement, Heinz Memorial Chapel, Stephen Foster Memorial, and Foster Hall Collection and Office of the Secretary for the Board of Trustees between 1982 and 1996.

Finding great success throughout the course of his career, the Society for American Music bestowed upon Dr. Root a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 and a Distinguished Service Citation in 2000. In between those two accolades, he received the Ruth Solie Award from the American Musicological Society in 2012. In 1993, he was granted a Certificate of Appreciation for Vision and Leadership in Promoting American Music and Music in America from the Sonneck Society for American Music, as well as a Plaque of Appreciation for Commitment to Our Youth from the American Association of Blacks in Energy’s Focus Mentorship Program. Awarded for Outstanding Academic Book by the American Library Association for the 1991-1992 year, Dr. Root was also awarded for Book of the Year by the Music Library Association in 1981. Additionally, he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow of 1968, having also received numerous grants for his work and research.

Dr. Root attributes his career success to exceptional mentors and partners who understood and shared the same vision as him. Presently, he holds membership with the Music Library Association, Society for American Music, and American Musicological Society. He sits on the board for the Calliope-Pittsburgh Folksong Society and is also involved with Friends of the Library, the Greater Pittsburgh Museum Council, and the Journal and Scholarly Organization as co-founder. Previously, he served as president of Gateway to Music and was affiliated with the American Antiquarian Society and Pi Kappa Lambda. Looking ahead in his retirement, Dr. Root plans to continue editing, speaking to groups, and mentoring faculty and scholars. He also hopes to take on more volunteer work in his community and focus on his current endeavor in publishing and encyclopedia. In his spare time, Dr. Root enjoys playing music and mind puzzles, such as Sudoku and crosswords.

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