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Faculty Awards

Distinguished Composer Award

Dr. Matthew Herman teaches Music Theory and Composition at Western Kentucky University and also regularly teaches music courses on the KIIS Salzburg program. Recently he received an Honorable Mention award in the Music Teacher’s National Association Distinguished Composer Competition for his piece “Appalachian Trilogy.”

“Appalachian Trilogy” is a trio in three movements for violin, clarinet, and piano. Dr. Herman shares, “I wrote it in June and July of 2020, and the premiere was filmed in early August of 2020. I was the featured composer for Kentucky, and my piece was then entered in a competition with composers representing other states. The Music Teachers’ National Association awards one “Distinguished Composer” for the year, as well as 2-3 honorable mentions. This year, I was one of three honorable mentions. To have my music reach the top 4 on a national level is a huge honor, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I am grateful to Dr. Zachary Lopes, Dr. John Cipolla, and Mr. Jeff Smith for playing such an important role in interpreting and recording my music.”

After calling Kentucky home for more than 10 years, Dr. Herman shares that he “is excited for this golden opportunity to pay my respects to Appalachia” through the composition of “Appalachian Trilogy”. To view the performance of his composition and to learn more about his creative process, click the videos below.

Dr. Herman is planning to teach two special topics courses on the 2021 KIIS Summer Salzburg program: Form & Analysis as well as From Soirée to Symphony: How Entertainment Became Art. To learn more about the KIIS Salzburg Music program, click here. To join Dr. Herman in Salzburg, click any “Apply Now” or “Apply” button on the KIIS website.


Dr. Matthew Herman

KIIS Salzburg
Music Theory & Composition
Western Kentucky University

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