Dean Emeritus, College of Fine Arts and Communication
Professor Emeritus of Music


John Hylton came to the University of Missouri - St. Louis in 1980 as an Assistant Professor of Music and was subsequently promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure (1986) and Professor (1995).  Prior to his career in higher education, Hylton served for five years (1972-1977) as choral director at William Penn High School, York, Pennsylvania, where he developed an award-winning choral music education program. He received the masters and doctoral degrees in music education from The Pennsylvania State University, and the Bachelor of Science degree from Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

From 1995-2000, Hylton was the Chair of the Department of Music and Director of Fine Arts Outreach. During this period, the Department gained faculty, enrollment, scholarship funds, and added the Arianna String Quartet as artists-in-residence in 2000.  He also served the campus as Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (Interim) from 2000-2002.

He was appointed the Founding Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication in 2002, serving in that capacity until 2010. Under his leadership, the College developed and implemented a strategic plan, grew in enrollment, added degree programs, and collaborated with a variety of internationally prominent St. Louis arts institutions, including the Saint Louis Symphony, Saint Louis Art Museum, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.  Five endowed professorships link the College to the greater St. Louis community, region, and nation.  The College’s Touhill Performing Arts Center, which opened in 2003, is a world-class performance facility.

He has taught a wide range of undergraduate and graduate classes. Choral ensembles under his direction have toured extensively, including eight concert tours to England and Europe. He is an experienced choral clinician, guest conductor, baritone soloist, speaker, and adjudicator.

John Hylton is the author of articles, papers, a book chapter, and reviews that have been published in the Music Educators Journal, the Journal of Research in Music Education, the Journal of Music Teacher Education, The Choral Journal, the Journal of Music Therapy, the College Music Symposium, the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, and Music Education Research International (Online). He is the author of a textbook published by Prentice-Hall/Pearson Publishing, entitled Comprehensive Choral Music Education.  Hylton has been the editor of the Missouri-ACDA Reporter, newsletter of the Missouri Choral Directors Association; editor of the Missouri Journal of Research in Music Education; and he has served on the editorial board of Update: Applications of Music Education Research, published by the Music Educators National Conference.

Highlights of professional awards that Hylton has received include: Penn State University Young Artists Competition winner (1978), including a performance as baritone soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Orchestra; Luther T. Spayde Award (1993), the Missouri Choral Directors Association’s highest honor;  Merit Award from the St. Louis Suburban Music Educators Association (1998); Alumni Achievement Award from The Penn State University College of Arts and Architecture (1999); “Chancellors Award for Excellence in Service” from the University of Missouri-St. Louis (2001), “Music Administrator of the Year” Award from the Missouri Music Educators Association (2009), and the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership (UMSL College of Education, 2010). 

John Hylton lives in St. Charles, MO, with his wife Doris, who is also a choral musician and arts educator. They have five children and four grandchildren. John is an avid reader, walker, and Civil War buff.  

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