Jeffrey Loeffert wants to bring the performing arts to the forefront of Virginia Tech’s student and community offerings.

Loeffert, the former director of Oklahoma State University’s Greenwood School of Music, is Virginia Tech’s new director of the School of Performing Arts (SOPA). His appointment, effective July 1, occurs as SOPA transitions from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences to the newly restructured College of Architecture, Arts, and Design.

Loeffert said he is excited to embrace the interdisciplinary nature of the school, which places music, theater, and cinema under one umbrella.

“It makes it easier for interdisciplinary collaborations, which is going to be at the forefront of what I’m looking to do while providing leadership for the program,” Loeffert said. “My goal is to solidify the value of the arts at a comprehensive state university.”

He noted that SOPA’s transition presents an opportunity to “recalibrate and redefine our values as a program.”

SOPA students regularly participate learning opportunities outside the classroom, such as apprenticeships and internships at major music festivals and professional theater companies. An avid saxophonist, Loeffert has performed across the globe.

“For me, it’s more about the arts than about the medium,” Loeffert said. “The performing arts are at the core of everything that we do. You can’t get through the day without engaging in the arts in some capacity.”

Loeffert currently is working remotely and will officially move to the Blacksburg area later in July — a transition he said he is more than ready for.

“It’s a new adventure for me and the logical next step,” Loeffert said. “Blacksburg is located in one of the absolutely most-beautiful parts of the country. There’s something special about every place that I’ve lived, but I’m really excited to get to Virginia.”

Loeffert succeeds Jacqueline Bixler, an Alumni Distinguished Professor of Spanish at Virginia Tech who was appointed to the role in July 2020.

Loeffert, originally from Houston, holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Northwestern University. After earning his undergraduate degree, he studied at a music conservatory in France for two years before earning his master’s degree and doctorate from Michigan State University.  

He joined Oklahoma State University as an assistant professor in 2010 before officially starting his roles as a professor and director of the Greenwood School of Music in 2019.

“Through music, I’ve been able to see the world and see how communities interact,” Loeffert said. “That’s the part of it that I really value — the engagement — the way that we are able to engage our communities and engage one another is truly special. That’s one of the things that I’m most excited about with SOPA.”

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