The College of Performing Arts is proud to announce promotions for the following faculty members, effective with the 2016-2017 academic year:

Department of Dance

Robin KishWomen holding a banner for the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science. – Awarded Tenure and Promoted to Associate Professor of Dance

Professor Kish has taught at California State University Fullerton, University of California Irvine, Riverside Community College, and Citrus Community College. Courses taught include Dance History, Dance Kinesiology, Introduction to Dance, Conditioning, Injury Prevention, Modern, Ballet, and Jazz. She holds a M.S. in Kinesiology from California State University Fullerton and a M.F.A. in Dance from the University of California Irvine.

Her scholarly work examines various dance medicine issues. In 2001, at the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science Conference her paper on “The Functional Effects of Pilates on College Dancers” was presented. “A Young Dancer Survey” was presented at the 2002 Medical Problems of Musicians and Dancers Conference. She was a guest panelist at the National Dance Educators Organization Conference discussing “Incorporating Dance Science in the MFA Dance Curriculum.” Her current research includes dance competitions, dance for the elderly, and preparation of undergraduates for life after graduation.  Professor Kish actively mentors students in various research interests.  In addition to her scholarly research, she has been active in the dance community in Southern California as a dancer and a choreographer.

Thanks to a grant from Chapman University and support from the Performing Arts Medicine Association, Professor Kish has been able to offer and coordinate the Healthy Approaches in the Training of Performing Artists Conference at Chapman, now in its sixth year.


Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music

Dr. Peter AthertonMan smiling.  Promoted to Full Professor of Music

Baritone-bass Peter Atherton holds the Robert and Norma Lineberger Endowed Chair of Music at Chapman University and is Director of Operatic Studies and Professor of Voice in the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music.

He holds a B.M. in Vocal Performance from The Juilliard School, a M.M. in Vocal Performance from the University of Southern California, and a D.M.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles. He has received numerous awards including Artist of the Year sponsored by The National Arts Club in New York City and a full scholarship to The International Academy for Soloists where he studied exclusively with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.

He is a member of the Artistic Board of Directors of Operafestival di Roma where he directed productions of Le nozze di Figaro, Die Fledermaus and Suor Angelica. He taught for the Frost School of Music Salzburg Summer Program in 2015. Professor Atherton has served on the faculty at the University of Southern California, the University of California at Los Angeles, Occidental College and Operafestival di Roma and has presented master classes throughout North America. His students have been admitted to prestigious graduate and apprentice programs across the country, with many performing professionally in Europe, the United States and Canada.

Dr. Amy GrazianoWoman smiling. – Promoted to Full Professor of Music 

Professor Graziano serves as Department Chair for the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music as well as Director of Historical Studies.

She received her Ph.D. in musicology and M.M. from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in both Music and Psychology from Vassar College.  In addition, she completed a two-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Music Cognition at the University of California, Irvine. At Chapman, Professor Graziano teaches introductory and advanced courses in music history, The Psychology of Music, and Film Music. With Dr. Julene Johnson, she studies the history of music psychology, with a particular interest in nineteenth-century studies of music in neurology literature. Professor Graziano has received several Chapman University awards for excellence in teaching and scholarship.

Dr. Sean HeimMan with arms crossed leaning on brick wall.  Promoted to Full Professor of Music 

Professor Heim serves as Director of Music Theory/Composition and is affiliated with the University Honors Program.

He received his first serious musical training in secondary school and soon after began studies in music composition with Harold Oliver at Rowan University (B.M. cum laude). He then worked with Louis W. Ballard at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, studied with Chinary Ung at Arizona State University where he earned his M.M., and holds a Ph.D. from The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, where he worked with Philip Bracanin.

The primary focus of Heim’s work as a composer has been to develop an imaginative personal language that strongly reflects the compositional techniques and aesthetic of his own western tradition as well as the distillation and infusion of theoretical principles and musical elements found in numerous cultures. His most recent work seeks to delve even deeper to express the base commonalities that lie beneath the surface emanations of culture. Heim’s music also reflects a deep interest in physics and the natural world, and it is out of these collective curiosities that he has created unique fusions that continually evolve by means of increased conceptual and technical abstraction.

Woman smiling.Dr. Louise Thomas – Promoted to Full Professor of Music

Professor Thomas serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Performing Arts and Director of Keyboard Collaborative Arts. She received her D.M. in Piano Performance from the University of Southern California where she studied with John Perry and Alan Smith.

A native of Ireland, Professor Thomas has concertized extensively throughout Europe, North America and Asia at such notable concert venues as the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in Moscow, the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing and Carnegie Hall in New York City.

After completing undergraduate musicology studies at Trinity College, Dublin where she had developed a passion for music of the 20th century, Professor Thomas was offered a German Government scholarship (DAAD) to study piano performance at the Hochschule in Hannover, Germany. While a student there, she won second prize at the Ibla-Ragusa competition in Sicily where she was also awarded the Bela Bartók Prize. Subsequently in 1998, she won the concerto competition at the University of Southern California and played under the baton of the late Sergiu Comissiona.