January 29, 2021
Dear Spartan family,
I am extremely sad to share with you that Dr. Dennis AsKew, professor of tuba, euphonium, and music education and director of the School of Music in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, passed away unexpectedly yesterday afternoon. bruce mcclung, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, has informed the College’s faculty and staff of this incredible loss.
A faculty member at UNCG since 1992, Dennis led the School of Music, previously the Department of Music Performance in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, for more than seven years.
Dennis was an active and accomplished performer, giving numerous performances throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and in China. He had served as president of the International Tuba Euphonium Association and was an Associate Regent for Pi Kappa Lambda, the music honor society.
His service to UNCG was invaluable and his administrative contributions were extensive. They included directing the School of Music’s re-accreditation; chairing the Chancellor’s Installation Committee and serving on the Graduate Studies Committee, Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics (ACIA), and UNCG Strategic Schedule Committee; leading a delegation of music faculty in attending the Century Music School Summit on 21st Century Music School Design; establishing relationships with conservatories in China; representing the School of Music at national conferences; overseeing COVID-19 preparations for the School of Music; planning for the School of Music Centennial in 2021-22; and serving on boards for the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra and Eastern Music Festival.
In his message to CVPA faculty and staff, Dean mcclung wrote, “…Dr. AsKew put his heart and soul into being a Spartan, conducting the Pep Band at athletic events and arranging pick-up ensembles for countless University functions.”
Dennis did the same when he chaired my installation committee. He was an absolute pleasure to work with and a true professional even as all of our plans were upended by Hurricane Matthew. He kept calm and carried on. Another fond memory I have of Dennis is when the School of Music took “Collage” on the road to Raleigh for the first time. Not only was the event a huge success, but it brought a smile to my face when Dennis took the stage and played a rendition of the Beatles’ “Blackbird” on tuba.
Our thoughts are with Dennis’s wife, his son, his daughters, and his mother; and all of his friends and colleagues, especially in CVPA. We are grateful that he chose to share his talents here at UNCG.
We will share further details about memorial services and opportunities to share memories of him as soon as we have them.
Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.