“Dr. Handel has demonstrated the ability to work effectively with faculty, staff and students in the Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts as well as others throughout the University,” said Northwestern State President Dr. Randall J. Webb. “He plays a valuable role in collaborating with people and schools in the Natchitoches region and throughout Louisiana and East Texas. His skills in scholarly endeavors, leadership, marketing and generating goodwill provide the impetus for Northwestern State to maintain and strengthen its celebrated programs in Fine and Graphic Arts, Music and Theatre.”
Handel has been at Northwestern State for five years as an assistant professor of music education and an associate professor of music education.
He was named associate director of the School of Creative and Performing Arts in January 2013 and acting director in July.
The School of Creative and Performing Arts includes the Department of Fine + Graphic Arts, the Department of Music and the Department of Theatre and Dance.
“It is an honor and pleasure to serve as the director of the School of Creative and Performing Arts. I look forward to the challenges of the position, to strengthening our recruiting ties throughout Louisiana and Texas and collaborating with corporate partners to strengthen our programs,” said Handel. “We have excellent professors and pedagogues, and I feel fortunate to serve as the liaison as they continue to inspire our students every single day. Patrons and supporters will continue to be treated to high-quality performances in music, art, and theatre and dance and I look forward to assisting the School of Creative and Performing Arts as it continues to play a vital role in the spirit and personality of Northwestern State.”
Handel has taught courses in music, music education and fine arts and advises more than 80 music education majors each semester. He also served as rehearsal accompanist/organist for the Northwestern State’s Chamber Choir and Concert Choir. Handel received the 2011 Excellence in Teaching Award for the College of Arts, Letters, Graduate Studies and Research. He has been a public school teacher at all levels in South Dakota and Arizona.
Handel and Director of Bands Jeff Mathews co-authored “The Best Sounding Band in the Land: A History of the Northwestern State University Band.” He has also contributed to The Grove Dictionary of American Music and the Music Educator’s Journal. Handel has been a regular presenter at state, regional and national professional conferences. He is organist at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Natchitoches.
A graduate of Augustana College, Handel earned a master’s degree and doctorate at Arizona State University.