Murray State University’s first-ever Outstanding Alumni of the Fine Arts Award will be presented to Art DeWeese on Thursday, Oct. 13, at A Taste of the Arts Dinner and Auction.

The award will be presented by the college of humanities and fine arts at MSU, and will be given out annually at the Taste of the Arts event to honor an outstanding alumnus or alumna in the fine arts.

A Taste of the Arts Dinner and Auction features student and faculty performances, delectable dining, and unique live and silent auctions. Proceeds from the event support student scholarships at Murray State University in art, music and theatre.

DeWeese has two degrees from Murray State, earning the B.M.E. in music in 1979, and the M.M.E. in music education in 1986. He is the choral director at Paducah Tilghman High School, where he works with seven choral groups and teaches AP music theory and class piano.

Through his work, DeWeese comes into contact every day with students who are preparing to attend college — students he can encourage. He chose Murray State for his college study because of its outstanding music program and his admiration for MSU’s former long-time director of choral activities, Robert Baar.

Notice of the Outstanding Alumni of the Fine Arts Award came as a surprise to DeWeese. “I was completely taken aback,” he said. “It is such an honor and especially to be the first one — when I think of all the graduates who are so much more deserving, I feel very humbled.”

“Art DeWeese is known for the outstanding choral programs he has created, most recently at Paducah Tilghman High School,” noted Dr. Pam Wurgler, chair of MSU’s department of music. “He is a model of excellence, both in teaching and in musical artistry. Art is a well-known and highly respected leader in musical circles in the state and region. We are proud to claim him as an MSU music graduate.”

For more information on the award or the Taste of the Arts event, call Tina Bernot in the MSU office of development at (270) 809-3250 or email

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