Dr. Baruch J. Whitehead is an associate professor of music education at Ithaca College and the founding director of the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers, which is dedicated to the preservation of the Negro Spiritual. He also founded the Orff-Schulwerk certification program, a music education that views music as a basic system like language, at Ithaca College and Marshall University and is the past Director of the annual Orff Certification Training Course at Boston University.
His other areas of expertise include diversity in music education; gospel music and its preservation within mainstream musical settings; African-American music; and the music of the Civil Rights Movement.
Dr. Whitehead has been a featured speaker/workshop presenter at many state, national and international conferences, including the International Arts and Humanities conference in Honolulu; MENC, NYSSMA, NJMEA and the American Orff-Schulwerk Association national conferences; the West Virginia Orff-Schulwerk Association, Twin Tier Orff Association and the Texas Orff-Schulwerk Association; the International Music Education Conference in Tenerife, Spain; the Society of Music in Porto Alegre, Brazil; the World Music Village in Helsinki, Finland.
The author of several academic papers, Dr. Whitehead is author of the chapter on music of the Civil Rights Movement in the book “Music and Conflict Transformation: Harmonies and Dissonances in Geopolitics,” (I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd., 2008).
As the founding director of the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers since 2010, Dr. Whitehead seeks to preserve the formal concert style Negro Spiritual, which he believe carries the power to promote social justice and racial healing. The chorus will perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on Mother’s Day, 2017. He has directs or has directed the “Unshackled” Gospel Choir in Syracuse, the SUNY Cortland Gospel Choir, the Voices Multicultural Chorus, among others; has served as a clinician, conductor, and adjudicator in West Virginia, Florida, Texas, Ohio and Central New York; and taught marching band and concert band for 15 years.
As a peace activist, Dr. Whitehead presented a peace concert with the famous Israeli composer and performer Yair Dalal with a group of young people from the Muslim and Jewish communities. His “Peace Cantata” premiered at the 2006 Martin Luther King Celebration at Ithaca College. His community service awards include the 2016 Henry Highland Garnet Lodge #40, Doriantia Chapter award; 2015 Southside Community Spirit Award; 2014 Martin Luther King Peacemaker Award; and the 2005 Ithaca College Excellence in Service Award.
Dr. Whitehead has taught at the World Music Village in Helsinki, Finland and continues to present workshops on diversity in music education for state, national and international conferences. In the photo gallery section of this web page you can see photos of Whitehead's annual pilgrimage to Africa to study West African drumming and dance and to see and experience his ancestral homeland. Students from Ithaca College have accompanied him on his trip and enrolled at the Dagara Music Center in Medie, West Africa. Students interested in studying there should contact Dr. Whitehead. The students and Dr. Whitehead travelled throughout Ghana meeting many interesting people, experiencing great performances, and sampling the local value system where people live in harmony with nature.
He holds a doctorate from Capella University, an M.F.A. from the University of Florida, and B.A. and B.M.E. degrees from the University of Cincinnati.