Familiar territory, in other words.

Crappell has spent the last four years at the University of Houston as director of the Moores School of Music and associate dean for operations of the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts. In that role, he created new curriculums, helped lead highly successful fundraising campaigns and forged multiple partnerships in both the university and Houston communities.

“Courtney’s strengths and experience are an almost perfect fit for the leadership needs and goals of our Conservatory,” said Jennifer Lundgren, Ph.D., provost and executive vice chancellor. “He understands the importance of maintaining and growing the Conservatory’s international stature and its place as our local arts community’s heart. His track record shows that he can make it happen.”

During his time in Houston, Crappell helped lead fundraising initiatives for the Moores School that significantly grew the school’s endowment and developed new sources of revenue, raising more than $10 million over the past four years for student scholarships, endowed chairs and program support.

He also has been a leader in developing interdisciplinary work in the field of arts and health, which matches well with existing research and programming at the Conservatory. In consultation with colleagues in the UH Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine and Houston Methodist Hospital’s Center for Performing Arts Medicine, he developed the proposal for the school’s new bachelor’s degree program in music therapy.

He launched several initiatives such as Moores Music in the City, a series of pop-up concert events throughout the metropolitan area; Moores Chamber Music Downtown, a series at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Houston; and the university’s first collaborative music theatre production, in partnership with the UH School of Theatre and Dance.

“The UMKC Conservatory is a premier artistic institution with an outstanding history and heritage,” Crappell said. “I am honored by the opportunity to work with a world-class faculty and student body to write the next chapter of its ongoing artistic development and educational excellence.”

As part of his work in the arts and health area, Crappell formed and participated in a joint research team from the McGovern College of the Arts and the Fertitta Family College of Medicine. That team’s work has been published in the journal Psychology of Music.

He was awarded a $75,000 grant from the National Foundation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the project “Come Together Houston: A Community Arts and Health Partnership,” a performance series produced in collaboration with Houston Methodist Hospital to raise vaccine awareness.

Crappell’s collaborations in other areas include establishing an Emerging Artist Program for Moores alumni in partnership with Opera in the Heights, and the Community Embedded Musician Fellowship for Moores graduate students in partnership with the Houston Symphony Orchestra.  

He received his DMA in piano performance from the University of Oklahoma. He will begin work at the Conservatory on Aug. 8.