Converse University welcomes McMurray as Orchestra Director, Petrie School of Music

May 3, 2024

Following a highly competitive search, Converse University has selected Timothy J. McMurray, Ph.D., as Assistant Professor of Music Education and Orchestra Director within the Petrie School of Music. McMurray will begin his tenure at Converse in August.

Prior to joining Converse, McMurray served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Education at The University of Utah, where he taught undergraduate and graduate coursework in music education. In addition, he also served as the Orchestra Director at Olympus High School (Holladay, UT) since 2016.

Converse’s Associate Professor of Music Education Susana Lalama looks forward to McMurray’s contributions to Converse and Spartanburg. “I’m thrilled to welcome Dr. McMurray to the Petrie School of Music,” she shared. “His strong orchestral experience, both in the music education classroom and on the podium, will be an asset to our music community and the greater Spartanburg area.”

McMurray holds a Ph.D. in Music Education from The University of Utah, with a secondary area in instrumental performance; a Master of Music in String Performance and Pedagogy from The University of Utah; and a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Brigham Young University. Originally from Maryland, McMurray began his undergraduate studies at James Madison University prior to moving west.

“I am deeply honored to join the faculty of Converse University and am eager to contribute to the legacy of excellence within the Petrie School of Music,” McMurray said of his new role in South Carolina. “It was a joy to experience the collaborative, creative, and artistic culture at Converse during my time on campus. I am excited to serve in the music education area and as director of the Converse Symphony Orchestra. I look forward to the coming years and wonderful music ahead!”

An avid educator and performer, McMurray also maintains an active career as a violinist and chamber musician. He has a particular interest in contemporary music, regularly commissioning and premiering new works. As a chamber musician, he studied extensively with the critically acclaimed Cypress String Quartet, as well as Amadi Azikiwe, Pegsoon Whang, and Dr. Hasse Borup.

As a researcher, McMurray focuses on aspects of student learning, self-regulated behavior, and self-efficacy. He has presented his research at state, regional, and national conferences. His most recent projects have examined the relationships between musicians’ self-perceptions and their self-efficacy for error identification and error remediation. Outside of his time spent teaching and performing, McMurray enjoys spending time with his wife and their three children.

Converse University’s Petrie School of Music has been a beacon for passionate musicians and a standard-bearer for artistic excellence for more than a century.

A founding member of the National Association of Schools of Music, the Petrie School of Music hosts nearly 150 concerts yearly, including fully staged operas, a world-class chamber music series, symphony orchestra, wind ensemble, choirs, and dozens of student recitals.

With eight majors and minors and five graduate programs, Converse’s Petrie School of Music equips its students with a comprehensive understanding of the arts in order to be effective advocates for their passions and careers.


About Converse University

Converse University empowers students to become transformative leaders who see clearly, decide wisely, and act justly. Converse was founded in 1889 by citizens of Spartanburg, SC, who aimed to create an educational experience for women, and in fall 2020 it welcomed its first undergraduate co-educational incoming class. The University encompasses the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Business and Data Science, the School of the Arts, The Graduate School, and the Converse College for Women. Converse students experience deep scholarship, transformative mentorship, experiential learning, and wonderful support for and belief in each other. Through this unique formula, Converse is a creator of opportunity for its students through a personalized education that also includes the professional and technical skills graduates need to be successful in their careers. For more information, visit