by Christina Clark
The music department welcomed a new department chair, starting the fall semester, but it is a name many are familiar with — Jorge Muñiz. Muñiz has been with IU South Bend for 11 years, starting in 2006, and quickly found a passion for the university.
Muñiz‘s open demeanor has led him to work towards more communication within the music department, including informing the department when any student or faculty member have an event that should be of interest.
“My job as chair, I’m a heart between students and faculty,” says Muñiz. He describes his position as being a way to connect the faculty and students to keep them involved in an important community of musicians.
Before coming to IU South Bend, Muñiz was stationed at a private, New York City - based conservatory.
The department in New York housed over 1000 music students, a departure from the smaller department within IU South Bend.
“I love that this is a public institution [and] that we have high standards, and I want to push for higher standards. We have amazing faculty here, I want to make sure we can get heard more outside. It’s amazing to have faculty of this caliber in a department of this size,” he says.
Aside from his practice of keeping his office door open to stay available to students and faculty alike, Muñiz enjoys having fun with and outside of his work.
“In recent compositions of mine I have reflected on some non-classical musics in my own compositions. These are musics I have a special love for: the music of Jimi Hendrix, John Mellencamp, and bluegrass,”Muñiz says.
He also enjoys a good science fiction movie, including the Star Wars franchise.
Muñiz recently traveled to Spain to premiere one of his compositions at a festival.
“I try to go [to Spain] as often as I can, yet [it is] never often enough,” says Muñiz.
Muñiz explains that when he cannot travel to Spain, he enjoys making Spanish dishes for friends that visit him at home.