Dr. Allen Correll, director of bands at East Central University, has received the $1,000 Provost's Ph.D. Dissertation Prize in the field of humanities and fine arts from the University of Oklahoma.
He received the award for his dissertation, "Percy Grainger's Wind Band Setting of The Immovable Do: Its History and Analysis."
Dr. Allen Correll (right) director of bands at East Central University, is congratulated by Dr. TH Lee Williams, dean of the University of Oklahoma Graduate College and Regents' Professor, for winning the Provost's Ph.D. Dissertation Prize at OU. Correll's dissertation, "Percy Grainger's Wind Band Setting of The Immovable Do: Its History and Analysis," won the $1,000 prize in the field of humanities and fine arts.
OU faculty members nominated doctoral candidates for the dissertation prize who received degrees during 2009. Correll completed a doctor of musical arts degree in 2009. The dissertation prize and the Graduate Teaching Assistant Award were presented to Correll and three other recipients at a Graduate College reception at OU in May.
"It is a big honor," Correll said. "However, winning the award was not something I considered when writing the dissertation, and the recognition came as a big surprise."
Correll often includes Percy Grainger's music in concerts performed by the ECU Symphonic Band and the ECU Wind Ensemble.
Through unpublished letters and documents, he was able to document a close snapshot of Grainger's life. Much of the history detailed in his dissertation focused on the events of Feb. 19-21, 1940, in Ada when Grainger, a pianist and composer, and composer Karl King were conductors and clinicians for the 1940 East Central University Music Festival.
Grainger actually conducted the first performance of his "The Immovable Do" for wind band at ECU's music festival.
Correll first became interested in Grainger and his music as a freshman music major in college.
"Our concert band was preparing "Lincolnshire Posy," also by Grainger, for an upcoming performance and Grainger's music revealed the most captivating sounds I had ever heard in band," he said. "My curiosity in Grainger continued after graduation, particularly when I came to know the story of Grainger conducting and performing in Ada, Okla.
"Later, after joining the music faculty at ECU," he said, "I had the opportunity to more closely research the story and discovered an intriguing, often humorous, yet historically significant account of Karl King and Percy Grainger and their different views on the future of wind band music."
Correll received a grant to travel to Melbourne, Australia, in December 2007 to do research for his dissertation. Grainger grew up in Melbourne and his library is on the campus on the University of Melbourne.
Correll later gave a talk on Grainger in Ada to several professors from Australia and Canada.
"They were very interested in knowing more about Grainger as an educator during the 30s-50s in America," he said. "There isn't much research on him during the later years of his life."
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