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Threlkeld serves as KAJE president


Williamsburg, Ky. – In the middle of instructing college students at University of the Cumberlands (UC) and preparing and performing for various holiday events this season, professor of music Dr. David Threlkeld is also serving as President of the Kentucky Association of Jazz Educators (KAJE). Threlkeld was elected in February when members of the KAJE met during the Kentucky Music Education Conference in Louisville, and expresses his excitement about the appointment.

“I am honored to have been given this opportunity by my peers,” said Threlkeld of the two-year assignation.

As president of the KAJE Threlkeld will set the agenda for the organization and serve as the liaison between it and the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA). One of the current initiatives of the KAJE is to provide opportunities for students in all of Kentucky’s districts to have the chance to audition for an all-district jazz ensemble. Threlkeld is in the process of organizing an audition opportunity for District 10, and is encouraging leaders in other districts to consider offering this opportunity to students.

Once Threlkeld is seeing his goal to organize district jazz ensembles come to fruition, he hopes to begin working toward seeing more high school band instructors becoming active in KAJE.

“As far as KAJE goes, most involved have been university teachers that are jazz guys,” says Threlkeld. “My next project membership-wise is to get as many college but also more high school teachers involved.”

Threlkeld is already seeing his first project ripen. His own District 10 has implemented an audition opportunity for a district jazz ensemble. The ensemble will perform at UC’s Jazz festival on Friday, March 8th, and will have the invaluable opportunity to rehearse the day before on UC’s campus with jazz clinicians who will also perform at the Festival, along with UC’s own jazz ensemble.

Threlkeld is in his 23rd year of teaching at UC and has won several awards over the years. He has received the KMEA District 10 College Teacher of the Year several times and has been named to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, and has been featured as a guest soloist with both concert bands and jazz ensembles around the region.

“I truly love my job at Cumberlands,” said Threlkeld. “I enjoy working with my students, fellow faculty members and support staff at the university. It is a very supportive environment in many ways and I feel very privileged to work here.”

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; twelve graduate degrees, including two doctorate, two specialist and eight master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information visit

Article provided by Tiera Ball, University of the Cumberlands Multimedia & Athletic Services Student Assistant