ABILENE — Dr. Robert Tucker is the new dean of the Hardin-Simmons University College of Fine Arts. Tucker comes to HSU from Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas, with a long list of honors and accomplishments.

Tucker served as dean of music, fine arts, and extended education at Howard Payne and was director of bands at HPU. Tucker previously served as director of bands for the award-winning Stanton ISD band program while simultaneously continuing his career as a horn player in the Midland-Odessa Symphony. Tucker has also served as an assistant professor of horn and music education at McNeese State University, Lake Charles, Louisiana, and performed with the Lake Charles Symphony.

Tucker leaves behind many friends and colleagues in Brownwood who honored him after the Brownwood Lyric Theatre's final presentation of The Wizard of Oz, which he conducted. The award was presented for his support of the theatre and for being the musical conductor for the last nine years.

Currently a deacon and church pianist, Tucker has spent many years in music ministry serving at First Baptist Brady, First Baptist Brownwood, and Union Presbyterian in Brownwood.

“Hardin-Simmons University is indeed fortunate to have Dr. Rob Tucker as our new Dean of the College of Fine Arts. Dr. Tucker brings a wealth of experience in teaching, administration, and scholarship which will enable him to provide effective leadership for the College of Fine Arts" says Dr. Thomas Brisco, HSU provost and chief academic officer.

His wide range of interests and experience has resulted in published articles, speaking engagements, published compositions, commissions, and opportunities for overseas travel and teaching. His recent book, Like a Crown: Adventures in Autism, is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble and discusses the joys and challenges of raising an autistic child.

Tucker has served in many areas of leadership in his profession and is the president-elect of the Texas Association of Music Schools and served as chair of the Ethics Committee of TAMS from 2010-12.

Tucker earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in fine arts from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, in 2001; earned a Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music in 1985, Cincinnati, Ohio; and is currently working on a Master of Business Administration degree with anticipated completion in December 2013.

Tucker has worked as a professional musician for symphonies and orchestras across the country including the Richmond Symphony, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, El Paso Symphony, San Angelo Symphony, Rapides Symphony Orchestra, Lafayette Symphony, Fort Worth Symphonic Band, and the Howard Payne Symphonic Band. He is also the founder and director of the Brownwood Community Band.

An original member of the Texas Baptist All-State Choir, many years later Tucker directed the band for the organization. With over 200 compositions and arrangements to his name, he continues to compose, play jazz and rock piano, conduct, lead musical theatre productions, play French horn, and have speaking engagements on a wide variety of topics including autism, book collecting, church music, and history.

He has five published works for band and has written eight choral works, 15 chamber pieces, seven solo works, 25 marching shows, 40 songs, numerous arrangements, and five commissioned compositions. He has conducted 35 regional bands, the Oakland Ballet, over 100 band and orchestra clinics, and 11 Messiah performances.

Tucker says he is looking forward to maintaining the outstanding heritage of excellence at HSU, while helping the College of Fine Arts achieve artistic and academic recognition both locally and nationally.

Tucker's wife, Clairissa, a graduate of McMurry University, has taught in public schools for over 25 years, and they have three sons with the youngest currently pursuing a music composition degree.