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Krost Symposium 2016

October 5 2016 - October 6 2016

Krost Symposium 2016

The Neurocognition of Music and Art

The Giesber Keynote Address will be delivered by Dr. Daniel Levitin, neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author of This is Your Brain on Music, on the evening of Wednesday, October 5, 2016. The symposium will feature music and art events including a panel of experts on Thursday, October 6, 2016.

The Krost Symposium is an annual academic event that is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Krost Committee Chairman Michael Czuchry.

Schedule of Events

Schedule and content is subject to change.

Wednesday, October 5, 7:30 p.m. in Jackson Auditorium

Giesber Keynote Address

Dr. Daniel Levitin - Neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author of This is Your Brain on Music

Thursday, October 6 in Schuech Fine Arts Center

8:00 a.m. Breakfast food and drink

8:20 a.m. Music by Jazz Trio

8:40 a.m. Maestro David Mairs of the Mid-Texas Symphony: Reflections on Daniel Levitin talk, general perspectives on music 

9:30 a.m. Ed Vessel of the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics: Neuroaesthetics: The Brain and Aesthetic Experiences

10:30 a.m. Panel Discussion: How Music Can Be Used in Therapy (Ed Vessel, Maestro David Mairs, TLU alumnus Nathan Fry, and TLU President of Service Through Music Andrea Moreno) 

11:00 a.m. Closing solo music pieces by Eric Daub, Eliza Jeffords, and Nathan Fry

Friday, October 7, 7:30 p.m. in Jackson Auditorium

TLU Band Concert with selections relating to the symposium theme.


Dr. Daniel Levitin

Neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author of This is Your Brain on Music

Dr. Daniel Levitin earned his B.A. in Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Science at Stanford University, and went on to earn his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Oregon, researching complex auditory patterns and pattern processing in expert and non-expert populations.

He completed post-doctoral training at Stanford University Medical School (in Neuroimaging) and at UC Berkeley (in Cognitive Psychology). He has consulted on audio sound source separation for the U.S. Navy, and on audio quality for several rock bands and record labels (including the Grateful Dead and Steely Dan), and served as one of the “Golden Ears” expert listeners in the original Dolby AC3 compression tests. He worked for two years at the Silicon Valley think tank Interval Research Corporation.

He taught at Stanford University in the Department of Computer Science, the Program in Human-Computer Interaction, and the Departments of Psychology, Anthropology, Computer Music, and History of Science. Currently, he is a James McGill Professor of Psychology, Behavioural Neuroscience, and Music at McGill University (Montreal, Quebec), and Dean of Arts and Humanities at the Minerva Schools at KGI.

He is the author of the #1 best-seller This Is Your Brain On Music (Dutton/Penguin, 2006), which was published in nineteen languages and spent more than one year on the New York Times Bestseller list. His second book, The World in Six Songs (Dutton/Penguin, 2008) hit the bestseller lists in its first week of release. His newest book is the #1 best-seller The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload (Dutton/Penguin 2014).

For more information about Dr. Levitin, visit

Dave Mairs

Mairs began his professional career playing solo horn for the elite U.S. Army Band in Washington, D.C. Following his military service, he became associate principal horn of the Pittsburgh Symphony, solo horn of the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet, and a member of the New Pittsburgh Quintet brass ensemble. Mairs’ interest in conducting led him to the Flint Symphony where he served as assistant conductor and music administrator. He moved to the San Antonio Symphony in 1988 where he served as resident conductor until 1999, directing classical concerts, audience-pleasing pops, and educational and family concerts. He also hosted the weekly “Symphony Spotlight” on KPAC radio.

Mairs has conducted leading orchestras around the country including the Houston, Dallas, Colorado Springs, Dayton, Saginaw Bay, Phoenix, Charlotte, West Shore, Kansas City, and Ft. Worth symphonies. He is an annual guest conductor with the Flint Symphony.

Dave Mairs has been a leading Texas music educator for over 35 years, and was named Denton ISD’s 2010 Teacher of the Year, and frequently directs the Austin Symphony educational and family concerts. He has served as conductor of orchestras at UTSA, music and administrative director of the North East School of the Arts, and music director of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio. Mairs has led sessions of the League of American Orchestras Conductors’ Workshop, designed to teach up-and-coming conductors their craft.

He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Divinity degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Livestream Maestro Dave Mairs' lecture on Oct. 6 at 8:40 a.m. and stay tuned for Dr. Ed Vessel's presentation at 9:30 a.m.

Dr. Ed Vessel

Dr. Ed Vessel is a research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt, Germany. He holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from The University of Southern California, Los Angeles and a bachelor's in cognitive science from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Throughout the past several years, he has also worked as a research scientist at the Center for Brain Imaging at New York University and as co-director of the NYU ArtLab. His main areas of research include neuronal basis of aesthetic experience, visual preferences, neurobiology of information search, and brain imaging methods.

About Krost Symposium

The annual Krost Symposium is Texas Lutheran University's most prestigious academic event of the year, serving as a platform to discuss important issues that not only impact our campus and local community, but the nation and even the world. Past topics have included mass incarceration, environmental justice, and innovation and ideas. All Krost Symposium events are free and open to the public.

Krost Symposium 2015 - Grey Matters: Discerning the Impacts of Head Injury

Krost Symposium 2014 - Environmental Justice: Texan Responses to Global Crises

2016 Krost Symposium Committee

Mike Czuchry, Dave Legore, Eliza Jeffords, Kyle Olson, Eric Daub, and Beth Bronk

October 5, 2016 12:00 AM Central Krost Symposium 2016

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