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Danielle Maddox

Tulane appointed professor Leonard Raybon interim Chairman ofthe Music Department in June, replacing professor Michael Howard,who served in the position for three years.

Raybon formerly served as the choral director of Tulane’s MusicDepartment. His position may be temporary while the departmentmeets to make adjustments, but he will likely remain chairman forat least the duration of the year. No major changes are planned forthe program.

Howard said he was happy to return to teaching after athree-year break from the classroom. He said his true passion ismusical theater and for him, it’s all about working directly withthe students in the program.

“I love the rehearsal room, and I prefer to maintain a closerelationship with my students,” he said

Tulane students said they have benefitted greatly from theprograms offered by the Music Department.

“The Music program has been a good fit for me,” junior NickBenoit said. “I came here not knowing how to play Jazz music, andnow I am playing professional gigs.”

Raybon recovered from Burkett’s Lymphoma after taking leaveduring the fall 2010 semester. While Raybon said he wasapprehensive about taking the job at first, he said his cancer gavehim a new outlook on life and wiped away the intimidation that mayhave caused hesitation before.

“I am truly enjoying looking into the interworking of thedepartment,” Raybon said. “It has been an eye-opener.”

Raybon said it was hard for him to be away during his semesterleave. Burkett’s Lymphoma prevented him from coming to work, notonly because of its aggressive effects on his state, but alsobecause of the severe drop it caused in his white blood cell count,making him extremely susceptible to illness. His cancer wastreatable, and he enjoyed a full recovery. After returning for his11th year in the Tulane Music Department, Raybon is happy to beback and eager to accommodate his staff.