Dr. Baruch J. Whitehead, an associate professor of music education at Ithaca College, is an elementary music specialist with the Orff-Schulwerk Process. He is the founder of the Ithaca College Orff certification program and lead teacher of the Orff certification program at Boston University. Dr. Whitehead studied at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria and founded the Orff-Schulwerk Certification Program at Marshall University.
Dr. Whitehead was a featured presenter at the International Arts and Humanities conference in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2003, 2004 and 2005 for his research paper in the area of music and learning and diversity in music education. His article entitled The Spirit of the Schulwerk was published in Reverberations. Dr. Whitehead has presented workshops at MENC, NYSSMA, NJMEA and the American Orff-Schulwerk Association national conferences, as well as a workshop entitled “Making the Connection” African-American and Native American Music, in Tenerife, Spain for the 2004 International Music education Conference. He has been a featured presenter for the West Virginia Orff-Schulwerk Association, Twin Tier Orff Association and the Texas Orff-Schulwerk Association along with serving as a clinician, conductor, and adjudicator through West Virginia, Florida, Texas, Ohio and Central New York. Dr. Whitehead traveled to Winchester, England to present a paper on the Music of the Civil Rights Movement in April of 2006.
He is the director of the multicultural chorus Voices in the Greater Ithaca Community and founder of the GIAC African Dance and Drumming ensemble. He is founder and director of the Syracuse-based Gospel Choir “Unshackled”. He is a gospel music specialist and advocate for the preservation of gospel music within mainstream musical settings. He participated in the 2011 Gospel Music Festival in Prague, Czech Republic. He is the founder of the Ithaca College High School Gospel Invitational Festival, held annually at Ithaca College. He is the founder and director of the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers, a group of community singers dedicated to the preservation of the "Negro Spirituals". The Group is named after long time Civil Rights activist, Dorothy Cotton, who worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Whitehead was the artistic director of the Ithaca premiere of George Gershwin's opera "Porgy and Bess"
He is the 2005 recipient of the Excellence in Service Award from Ithaca College. In his travels each summer with students from Ithaca College to the Dagara Music Center in Medie, West Africa he studies African Drumming and Dance where he has established a short-term study abroad program through the International Studies Department at Ithaca College.
Dr. Whitehead has taught marching band and concert band for over fifteen years. He was the athletic band director for Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia where he directed the Marching Thunder. He served as assistant principal oboist for the Huntington Symphony Orchestra.
He was chosen as an international author to write a chapter on the Music in the Civil Rights Movement for an upcoming book entitled Music and Conflict Resolution. He is a peace activist and presented a peace concert with famous Israeli musician, composer and performer Yair Dalal along with a special group of young people from the Muslim and Jewish community. His “Peace Cantata” was premiered at the 2006 Martin Luther King Celebration at Ithaca College.
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.