Thomas Dolby
Thomas Dolby (Kim Hairston)
Digital music pioneer, songwriter ("She Blinded Me With Science"),  producer and teacher Thomas Dolby will launch and guide a four-year undergraduate degree program -- Music for New Media -- at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University.
The program is scheduled to launch in the fall, aimed at what Peabody describes as "strong music students interested in composing and producing music for emerging areas of non-linear entertainment such as computer games, virtual reality, augmented reality, and 3D spatialized sound for location-based experiences."

Dolby, currently JHU's Homewood Professor of the Arts, said in a statement that "this area of study is absolutely exploding with possibilities." 

"I'm excited to help Peabody shape Music for New Media into one of the premier programs of its kind, where students can develop the skills and creativity they'll need to capitalize on the tremendous opportunities out there in the workplace," Dolby said.

Composer and Peabody Institute faculty members Michael Hersch is the recipient of the 2017 President’s Frontier Award from Johns Hopkins University.

The new Bachelor of Music program will include "the fundamentals of music's function within visual media" and preparation for "industry-standard interactive audio programming environments."


Peabody students in the new degree program will get the benefit of Dolby's eventful life, which includes performing on recordings by numerous pop artists; writing film scores for the likes of George Lucas; and playing a major role in the development of ringtones.

Reviews of recent works by BSO/Marin Alsop; Symphony Number One; composers Jonathan Leshnoff David Smooke; and jazz trumpeter Nico Sarbanes.

Dolby, who joined the JHU faculty in 2014, wrote a memoir, "The Speed of Sound: Breaking the Barriers Between Music and Technology," published last fall. It's "filled with entertaining stories featuring cameos from some of the biggest names in music history, like David Bowie and Jerry Garcia," Sun reporter Wesley Case wrote in a profile of the author.