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Gene Vollen

About Gene E. Vollen, Professor Emeritus

Gene E. Vollen served as Chairman of the Department of Music from 1978 -1995.

A native of Michigan, Dr. Vollen attended Michigan State University, where he earned degrees in music education and theory/composition. His doctoral studies were completed in 1970 at North Texas State University, this time focusing on musicology with a minor in composition. Listed among his academic honors is a Fulbright Fellowship to the Sorbonne in 1965-66.

Prior to his appointment at PSU in 1970, Dr. Vollen taught in the music departments of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, and Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. During his years at PSU, he taught in a variety of areas, including low brass, music history, and music theory. He served as Director of Graduate Studies in Music prior to beginning his tenure as chair. Among his many accomplishments to the program, he developed a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree, under which one option was an emphasis in piano technology. This interesting course of study provided training for piano technicians within a four-year curriculum infused with substantial doses of music and liberal arts courses.

Dr. Vollen’s musicological interests centered on French vocal literature of the 17th and 18th centuries. His primary contribution to the field was a book, The French Cantata: A Survey and Thematic Catalog, published in 1982 by the UMI Research Press.

Since his retirement in 1995, Dr. Vollen has remained active in the musical life of the university and community. He returned as interim chair for the 1998-99 academic year in order to shepherd the department through a transitional period between permanent chairs. More recently, he has returned on occasion to serve as guest lecturer in music theory or history classes. A player of low brass instruments throughout his career, upon retirement he turned his attention to the string family. He embarked upon a study of the viola, and he has since become a regular member of the viola section in the Southeast Kansas Symphony and in various other ensembles throughout the community.


Ph.D., University of North Texas, Texas, U.S.A.

B.M., M.M., Michigan State University, Michigan, U.S.A.

Gene Vollen
Dr. Gene Vollen
Emeritus Professor/Chair, Low Brass, Music History, Music Theory, Director of Graduate Studies