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Head of Music program excited to jump into new position “with both feet”
Dr. David Sawatzky isn’t new to Providence. An accomplished chorister and conductor who earned his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Illinois in 2012, he joined the faculty at the Otterburne, Manitoba campus as an adjunct professor in 2013.
“That position, combined with my former role as Artistic Director of Pembina Trails Voices, gave me a lot of performance opportunities and rehearsal time with a variety of choral ensembles,” he says. “But,” he adds, “as anyone who has worked in multiple, simultaneous positions will know, it was difficult to devote the time and energy that was really needed to be actively engaged in the life of the school.”
Providence will benefit from the full measure of his time and energy going forward.
Earlier this summer Dr. Sawatzky accepted a full-time position as Associate Professor of Music at Providence University College, where he will also serve as head of the Music program. It’s a challenge he can’t wait to jump into “with both feet” as he looks to develop the program both inside and outside the institution.
“My primary vision for the Music program is that it become an integral part of everyone’s spiritual life at Providence,” he explains, adding that there are “ample” opportunities for all students—including those not pursing Music degrees—to take private lessons, participate in various ensembles and learn how to compose music. “There will also be more involvement from our ensembles in weekly chapels.”
Dr. Sawatzky also hopes to increase the program’s visibility by connecting with a wider, off-campus audience. He will be looking for ways in which Providence students can collaborate with other musicians and ensembles, and he will make the program an “accessible resource” to surrounding communities, particularly in the area of church music.
“We have great faculty, both full-time and adjunct, who are highly motivated to really grow our program and present what we have to offer to the public,” he says.
Given the recent additions of composition and theatre professors to a faculty that already brings expertise in voice, piano, guitar, violin, drums and theory study, Providence students and off-campus friends can expect to thrive as participants in a Music program designed to engage anyone and everyone.
“I would love Providence to become a university where future students, whether in Music or another discipline, choose to attend because our thriving Music program adds value to their degree,” says Dr. Sawatzky. “I’m excited to work towards growing and developing something that will benefit not only the school, but the wider community as well.”
LEARN MORE about studying Music at Providence!


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