Colleagues surprised by unexpected resignation of music school professor


    Dr. Dennis Shrock, director of choral activities, has unexpectedly resigned from his position at TCU.

    Dr. Scott Sullivan, dean of the college of fine arts, called the resignation a “surprise” as well as a “disappointment.”

    Brad White, Frog Corps director, and Amy Stewart, Vocal Jazz Ensemble director, who consider themselves close friends and colleagues of Shrock, also said his departure was “unexpected.”

    “We don’t know why he resigned and we don’t know where he is,” Stewart said.

    Sullivan said Shrock was in his office Aug. 29. An employee found a letter of resignation slipped under the School of Music’s office door Sept. 2.

    Others found out via automatic email response of Shrock’s resignation. That response is still replying to Shrock’s emails and reads:

    “I am no longer on the faculty at TCU. For inquiries about choral activities, please contact Richard Gipson ([email protected]).”

    The director of the School of Music, Richard Gipson, issued a statement through Lisa Albert, TCU’s director of strategic communications.

    “Dr. Shrock made a choice to tender his resignation this week. He is a well-respected musician and we wish him all the best. The School of Music is working through his responsibilities with students to cover his classes and provide as seamless a transition as possible to minimize the impact on students.”

    Shrock’s graduate teaching assistant, Ryan Chatterton, responded to a reporter’s inquiry that “Dr. Shrock has resigned and that is all we know. More information will be made public as it becomes available.”

    Sarah DeHondt, a junior vocal music education major, was shocked when she heard the news Tuesday. She knew Shrock since the beginning of her TCU career, taking a number of his classes and partaking in private lessons.

    “I was stunned, disappointed, let-down, abandoned—I guess—there was so much promise for our department,” she said. “I’m worried about him. He’s never cancelled a class—this situation doesn’t sound like Shrock at all. He was so invested in the program. Conducting is his life. Here one minute, gone the next.”

    Dean Sullivan later mentioned that members of the School of Music have met and are hoping to have a replacement named within the next week.

    In the meantime, Stewart will conduct Shrock’s Concert Chorale, which has been scheduled to perform at Convocation this next week.

    Shrock maintains active employment at TCU, as of Wednesday, Sept. 3, according to Human Resources department records. Paperwork regarding his termination has not yet been filed.

    Shrock began his music education career as an assistant professor of music at Westminster Choir College in 1973, compiling over 40 years of collegiate music education. He came to TCU in 2010, replacing Ronald Shirey, who died of a heart attack in Nov. of 2009.

    The nationally acclaimed choral director seemed to be well into a prosperous year with the School of Music. He was scheduled to teach six courses this semester.