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Lees-McRae College’s Performing Arts Department Names the New Division Chair and Assistant Professor

Sept. 30, 2013. As the 2013-14 academic year gets underway, the Performing Arts Department at Lees-McRae College is excited to welcome David Craven to their team as an assistant professor, and congratulate Assistant Professor of Music Jim Taylor on his promotion to interim chair of the Division of Creative and Fine Arts.

imgres-1Craven, who has spent the last 28 years traveling as a professional actor, has spent time as a director, scene designer, costume designer, choreographer, production stage manager and actor in more than 15 states and is also a member of Actor’s Equality. Adding to his list of work, Craven has ben involved with Lees-McRae Summer Theatre for several years, including his role as The Cat in the Hat in the 2012 production of Seussical the Musical. 

Craven earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture Design from Georgia Tech and his MFA in Directing Theatre from Minnesota State University. Craven also owns and operates a caroling company in his hometown of Atlanta cleverly named Like the Dickens. 

During the summer of 2013, Professor Jim Taylor was named interim chair of the Division of Creative and Fine Arts. Having faithfully served Lees-McRae since 1984, Taylor has taught classes such as applied voice, directed the college choir and served as music director for main stage events such as convocation and commencement. Taylor has performed in numerous musicals with Lees-McRae Summer Theatre as well as concerts and programs in the area. 

Taylor is a graduate of Appalachian State University, having earned his bachelor’s degree in Theatre and his master’s degree in Vocal Performance. He has a lifelong interest in vocal pedagogy and is a long-standing member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing through which he often participates in local and regional events. In his spare time, Jim Serves as a Pastor in both Newdale and Grassy Creek. He recently completed a two-year program with the School for the Laity/ Commissioned Lay Pastors training schools through the Presbytery of Western North Carolina. 

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, Lees-McRae College is a private, four-year college offering diverse baccalaureate degrees, strong athletic programs and outstanding faculty. With approximately 900 students hailing from 35 states and more than 10 countries, Lees-McRae’s broad core curriculum is enhanced by field-specific career preparation and experiential learning with an emphasis in leadership and service. For more information, please visit. www.lmc.edu or call 828-898-5241.