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Dean of the College of Liberal Arts Finalists

Dr. Diane Helfers Petrella

Note: Download Dr. Diane Helfers Petrella's CV.

Dr. Diane Helfers Petrella

Dr. Diane Helfers Petrella, Interim Dean and Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Campus Visit: February 7-9.

Diane Helfers Petrella is Interim Dean and Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. Dr. Helfers Petrella has served the Conservatory in a variety of leadership roles, including Executive Associate Dean, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Chair of the Keyboard Studies Division. As a faculty member, she taught applied piano and piano pedagogy courses and coordinated the group piano program. From 2001–2006 she held a similar teaching appointment at Oakland University in Rochester Hills, MI. She has also taught at Texas Wesleyan University, the University of North Texas and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and was on the piano faculty of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp for ten years, serving as chairperson of Blue Lake’s piano department, 2000–2002.

Dr. Helfers Petrella and percussionist Nick Petrella formed the Petrella Ensemble in 2002, which has since taught and performed throughout the United States and in Mexico, Poland, Austria and the Czech Republic. Dr. Helfers Petrella has presented at the national conferences of the College Music Society, Music Teachers National Association, and the National Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Forum, and served as President of the Missouri Music Teachers Association, 2010–2012. She has appeared as a soloist with several regional orchestras and is active as a soloist, collaborative pianist, speaker and adjudicator throughout the United States, including her recent appointment to the College of Examiners of the Royal Conservatory, Toronto, Canada. Dr. Helfers Petrella has served as a member of the Program Committee for the 2014 National Conference of the College Music Society and as Chair of the Collegiate Chapter Award Committee for the Music Teachers National Association. The UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance awarded her the Kauffman Award for Outstanding Service in spring, 2015.

Dr. Helfers Petrella holds a DMA in Piano Performance from the University of North Texas, an Artist Diploma from Texas Christian University, an MM in Piano Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BM in Piano Performance and Music Education, magna cum laude, from Eastern Illinois University.


To apply, applicants must submit a letter of interest, a CV, and a list of five professional references. No references will be contacted without prior notification to the candidate.

CLA Nomination Form

Application queries should be sent to:
Dr. Beth Brunk-Chavez
Search Committee Chair

To apply, please visit:

Applications will be reviewed beginning November 27th, 2017, and will be accepted until the position is filled. Individuals from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

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