Walter Rudyard Dennis

1963 -

Rudyard (Rudy) Dennis is Professor of Music at Southwestern Adventist University, where he directs the instrumental studies and music technology programs and teaches conducting and music education classes. At SWAU since 2007, he previously taught at Union College for four years, where he directed wind instrumental studies, served as Associate Director of its honors program, conducted the Wind Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, and taught conducting, music technology, and music education classes.

A sought-after clinician, Dennis conducts band clinics throughout the country. A 1986 graduate of Pacific Union College, he first taught at Modesto Academy and subsequently at Mother Lode Junior Academy, Lodi Academy, and Auburn Academy in Washington state.

He has played extensively in California and the Northwest as a clarinetist, performing as a guest artist in the 1997 Bach Festival and Community Fine Arts Series in Sonora, California, and with the Columbia College Master Chorale. A 1995 commercially produced album featuring him performing on clarinet, flute, and recorder, titled Hymns and Classics, sold out.    

In 2001 Dennis completed an M.Mus. in clarinet performance at the University of Washington, where he studied with noted clarinet historian William McColl and served as principal clarinetist in the UW Symphony Orchestra. During that time he was a finalist in two UW Concerto Competitions.

Dennis completed a D.M.A. in Instrumental Conducting at UW in 2003. While finishing his doctorate in music at UW, he won the prestigious Beech Memorial Conducting Scholarship.

As a teacher, Dennis has directed both instrumental and choral programs. He has taught privately at all levels and served as an adjunct performance instructor at PUC and at Columbia College in Columbia, California. He has been twice nominated for Who's Who Among American Teachers. His wife, Diem, a graduate of Union College, is archive librarian at the SWAU library.


Sources: Interview, 1 October 2007and other ongoing conversations and email exchanges, beginning in 2002 and continuing to the present; California Birth Index,; personal knowledge.