Walter Harris

Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Music

Office Location
133 Communication/Music Complex
Mailing Address
Loyola University New Orleans College of Music and Fine Arts 6363 St. Charles Avenue Campus Box 8 New Orleans, LA 70118
Direct Phone
(504) 865-2146
Fax Number
(504) 865-2779
E-mail Address


Ph.D., Michigan State University; M.Mus., Michigan State University; M.D.P., Harvard University; B.S., Knoxville College

Short Bio

Dr. Harris joined Loyola University New Orleans in 2003. He is Distinguished University Professor, Professor of Music, and former Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University. His career in higher education spans more than 40 years, and he has held professorships and senior administrative positions across a broad spectrum of institutions including private and public universities that range from a small liberal arts college to  exceptionally large research universities such as Arizona State University and the University of North Carolina.

Dr. Harris is a noted musician, performer and teacher. His teachers included Arturo Rivituso and Ralph Votapek in piano, Paul Benningfield in voice, and Robert Shaw, Charles Hirt, Joseph Flummerfeldt and Nathan Carter in choral conducting. His solo, oratorio and operatic performances as a bass have garnered excellent reviews. Additionally, during his long career as an active choral conductor, he performed throughout the country with his highly talented college, civic and liturgical choirs and internationally with a number of fine choral ensembles. Further, he has served as choral clinician or guest conductor of superb choral groups on many occasions. Over the years, many of his private voice students have enjoyed significant professional solo and stage performing careers and performances with major symphony orchestras, both nationally and internationally. He has been a prolific collaborative pianist, having accompanied hundreds of student and professional singers and instrumentalists in solo recitals and chamber music performances. Dr. Harris has had a particular interest in the music of African-Americans and its relationship to the music of Africa. He conducted field research in countries of West Africa, including Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, and Senegal. During his academic career, aside from significant teaching and performing in various performance areas, Dr. Harris has taught African-American music, beginning and intermediate theory and harmony, analytical techniques, and a variety of music history and literature courses.

Dr. Harris has served on a number of national, regional and local arts, education and civic committees, boards, commissions and accrediting bodies. Included from an historical national perspective are such premiere organizations as the Phoenix Boys Choir, the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, the American Choral Directors Association, the American Bar Association, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Among local organizations, he has served on the boards of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra, and National Public Radio affiliate WWNO-FM.

Courses Taught

  • Voice
  • Piano
  • Introduction to Western Art Music
  • Introduction to Music Literature
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