WSU Jazz Festival, November 2010. (Photo
by Shelly Hanks, WSU Photo Services)
PULLMAN – Gregory W. Yasinitsky, Regents professor in the School of Music and coordinator of jazz studies in the College of Liberal Arts, will receive the 2011 Eminent Faculty Award during the annual Showcase celebration of excellence on March 25.
 
The award was created in 2000 to honor career-long excellence within WSU’s academic community. Nominees must have changed the thinking in their respective fields by making lasting contributions through teaching, research, creative scholarship and service. They also must have made notable contributions to the vitality and strength of the WSU community.
 
Yasinitsky, a WSU faculty member since 1982, is a world-renowned composer, performer, teacher and scholar of music. He is acclaimed for his melodic imagination, sophisticated harmonies, rhythmic invention, clarity of orchestration, and innovative treatment of form.
 
He was one of 30 composers selected internationally to participate in the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute at Columbia University in New York in 2010.
 
His work is unique in that he has written for musicians of all levels, from beginners to professional groups. More than 150 of his musical works have been widely published by top companies including Belwin Jazz, Hal Leonard, Kendor Music and Advance Music of Germany. His work is regularly cited, reviewed and recommended in top journals. His compositions have been performed around the world.
 
His compositions have had a significant impact on global jazz education. Yasinitsky has led the WSU jazz studies program to national prominence. It is typical for his students to receive professional recognition and awards and to be invited to perform at prestigious events. Under his direction, the WSU Jazz Big Band was the first place winner at the 2009 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.
 
Yasinitsky has been recognized often for his work. He received a 2011 American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Plus Award in Composition (one of 25 that he has received over the years). He received the 2010 fellowship from the Artist Trust of Washington, earned WSU’s 2007 Marian E. Smith Faculty Achievement Award and delivered WSU’s 2008 Distinguished Faculty Address.
 
He earned the 2005 Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professorship, the 2004-05 College of Liberal Arts Faculty Achievement Award, the 2002-03 Washington State Composer of the Year Award from the Washington State Music Teachers Association, the inaugural Washington State Composer-in-Residence Award from the Commission Project of New York, and the 1989 William F. Mullen Award for Excellence in Teaching from the College of Liberal Arts. Yasinitsky was named a WSU Regents professor in 2008.
 
Yasinitsky earned his bachelor of music and master of arts degrees from San Francisco State University of California and his doctor of musical arts in music composition from the Eastman School of Music.