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Plugge Named Director For School Of Music

June 19, 2012
SHSU Media Contact: Kim Mathie

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Scott PluggeScott Plugge, professor of saxophone, has been named director of Sam Houston State University’s School of Music, effective Sept. 1. Plugge has been serving as interim director since July 2011 while a national search took place.

“Scott Plugge is an experienced administrator with a proven track record,” said Mary Robbins, interim dean of the College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication. “He has excellent leadership skills. He can build consensus among faculty and staff, promote a vision for the School of Music, develop a reasonable and workable budget and, not least of all, Scott can herd cats. COFAMC is fortunate to have such a gifted musician and leader as chair of the School of Music.”

As the new director of the School of Music, Plugge hopes to build upon the well-established excellence of the school and to advance that excellence well into the future.

“We can do this by continuing to be a leader in music education while also supporting and fostering the performance aspects of what we do,” Plugge said. “We also provide students with the opportunity to learn the historical context and theoretical foundations of the music that they’re playing.”

This, in addition to faculty working directly with students on their instruments, makes for a solid music education, according to Plugge.

“As a saxophone professor, I also teach my performance sax students to be diverse,” Plugge said. “I encourage them to be flexible musically in terms of different musical styles and genres, to learn doubles (clarinet and flute) and to capitalize on their other strengths so they can make a living and pursue their music.”

A native of Richardson, Plugge became enamored with the saxophone at just four years old, crediting guest appearances of Boots Randolph on the Lawrence Welk show for fueling the fire.

“My parents would watch the Lawrence Welk show often,” Plugge said, “and when I heard Boots Randolph’s name, I would drop everything, including my plastic saxophone, and run to the TV.”

Plugge traded in his plastic saxophone for the real deal as a sixth grader when he participated in his junior high and then his high school’s music program. He also started private lessons in seventh grade.

“I always knew I’d play,” said Plugge about the saxophone. “I didn’t know where it would take me but as soon as I started in junior high/high school, I excelled at it.”

While his interest began with Boots Randolph—a pop/jazz saxophonist—Plugge pursued and found success with classical sax, so he decided to keep with it.

As an undergraduate at Baylor University in Waco, Plugge continued to pursue his interest in saxophone, starting off as a saxophone performance major and small business minor.

“My dream was to open up a small music store and then play at night,” said Plugge.

That is, until he saw the success of his music professors.

“When I looked at my professors, I saw that they made a reliable living, were in a respected position, and performed all over the world,” said Plugge. “Once I realized that’s what I wanted, I focused on reaching that goal.”

Plugge received his master’s degree and doctorate from Northwestern University but spent a few years performing between degrees.

“I knew that I needed that experience, especially as a professor because being an active performer is a necessity for teaching,” said Plugge. “As a professor, I teach the whole student, which goes beyond teaching just sax; it includes life skills as well as sharing my real life experiences performing.”

His performing experiences had him traversing the globe, from China and Eastern Europe to across the United States and Puerto Rico, and were not limited to classical sax or traditional orchestra work, something he hopes to continue into the future.

“I’m interested in doing more work in musical theatre and working more on flute and clarinet,” said Plugge. “It’s less demanding than being a classical artist but allows me to diversify and work on my jazz/pop skills.”

Plugge said he worries a bit about balancing the demands of a director, professor and performer, but he believes he has the right skills for the job.

“I’ve always been suited to administration work. I’m a real planner,” said Plugge. “I feel these personal skills will help me stay one step ahead.”

While these new responsibilities might mean he can’t be as spontaneous as he’d like, Plugge said he’s ready for it.

“I do understand my responsibility is first and foremost to direct the School of Music,” said Plugge. “It’s an honor and a privilege to have this position and I’m motivated to do the best job I can.”




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