January 15, 1997

The beat goes on for retired WSU music professor Joseph Labuta

Joseph Labuta of Bloomfield Hills is not letting a little thing like retirement slow him down. He continues as director of music education and teaches two classes during the transition year at Wayne State University.

He also is a consultant to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra education department, which trains docents in a high school youth program under sponsorship of the Ford Motor Co.

He develops scripts, audiotapes and presentations for the docents to use in orientation sessions with other high school students. The students attend regular DSO concerts with free tickets provided by the program.

"Since concert audiences are graying," says Labuta, "this is a fantastic effort to educate students and build audiences for the arts. It is very inspirational to work with the dedicated volunteers who visit the schools."

But that's not all. With Deborah Smith, former WSU music faculty member now at Southern Illinois University, Labuta co-authored Music Education: Historical Contexts and Perspectives, a book released this fall by Prentice Hall. The book gives music educators a summary of school music, past and present, and encourages critical thinking and foresight.

A revised edition of Labuta's first book, Teaching Musicianship in the High School Band, will be released in February 1997 by Meredith Music Publications. Since the publication of the book in 1972, Labuta led sessions on teaching musicianship by performing at conferences and in-service workshops for music teachers.

His conducting textbook, Basic Conducting Techniques, is in its third edition with Prentice Hall. Colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada use the text.

Labuta, who wrote many articles on music education that were published in professional journals, served six years on the editorial board of the Journal of Research in Music Education. He was president and research chairman of the Michigan Music Educators Association.

Labuta taught graduate and undergraduate conducting and music education classes here for 29 years before retiring in May 1996. Many former students are practicing music teachers throughout the state.

He has an extensive background as a band and orchestra conductor in colleges and high school. The University of Illinois appointed him a Fellow in Music in 1961. He received his doctorate there in 1965.

For more information call the WSU School of Law at (313) 577-3933


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