Supported by a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Dwight Alexander Peirce Jr. has accrued more than four decades of expertise in music education. At the inception of his career in 1977, he excelled as an assistant professor at Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas, for four years before joining the faculty at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, in 1982. First serving as a lecturer in accompaniment for 33 years, he has since flourished as a musical instructor beginning in 2015. During his tenure at Lamar University, he was also an adjudicator for the Louisiana Music Teachers Association Toborinsonal Swanzy Competition in 2011.
Alongside his academic ventures, Mr. Peirce has been a piano accompanist for the Brilliance Concert Series, as well as an organist for Temple Emmanuel since 2001. Likewise, he has been an organist for the Wesley United Methodist Church in Beaumont since 1983. Earlier in his career, he also served as a pianist for the Beaumont Symphony Orchestra between 1982 and 1990. Notably, Mr. Peirce has performed at numerous venues across the globe, such as the Church of San Moise in Venice, Italy, and the Pontifical Basilica of St. Michael in Madrid, Spain, along with time spent in Spain with the United Methodist Church Choir Tour. In 1980, he judged the International Allison National Guild Piano Auditions in San Angelo, Texas, and again in 2013 in Orange, Texas.
Formerly affiliated with the Texas Music Educators Association, Mr. Peirce was dean of the Beaumont chapter of the American Guild of Organists between 1999 and 2008 and was a 50-year member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia from 1969 to 2019. While his career has been filled with highlights, he is especially proud of performing his final solo recital in his hometown of Pennington Gap, Virginia, in 1981. During his performance, several of his childhood friends, his high school piano teacher Cora Lewis Creech, and his parents attended the event, noting that it was a grand culmination of his career.
To attest to his legacy, Mr. Peirce was honored with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award for eminent leadership in music education in 2020. Likewise, he was featured in The Wall Street Journal among other Lifetime Achievement recipients in 2020. Desiring to be remembered as an individual who shared his talents freely with others so that they, too, can pass down their abilities down the line of history, Mr. Peirce enjoys listening to opera, watching movies, reading, collecting records and photography in his spare time.