Dr. George McDow has 50+ years’ experience as a music educator in Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, and Asia. For 19 of his 22 years in Oklahoma, he taught in the Norman Public Schools where his bands and orchestras received many awards including high school honor orchestra at the Oklahoma Music Educators Convention and a special citation for excellence from the Oklahoma State Legislature. Dr. McDow is a trumpet specialist who played in the U. S. Army Bands and is widely sought after as an instrumental and choral clinician and adjudicator having conducted, lectured, and performed in the United States and internationally. He also has administrative experience as Executive Director of Inspiration Point Fine Arts Colony, a summer opera camp located near Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and while living in Thailand, was a founding member of the Grace International School Board of Directors (now one of the largest international schools in Asia) serving as the de facto school superintendent with curricular and personnel duties before the school opened in 1999.
Dr. McDow has made a significant contribution to music education through his teaching, professional service, and research. His dissertation, “A History of Instrumental Music in the Public Schools of Oklahoma through 1945,” received national recognition from the Council for Research in Music Education (CRME). The National Association for Music Education (NAfME)presented him with an award of distinction for his work as the Oklahoma Music Educator Association (OkMEA) Historian, a position he held from 1985-92 and during which he established the OkMEA Hall of Fame. He is a Past National Chair for NAfME’s History Special Research Interest Group (HSRIG) and currently serves on the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education’s (JHRME) editorial board.
Dr. McDow’s involvement with ethnomusicology began in 1992 when he and his family traveled to Southern China where he taught music at a provincial conservatory. There he began to learn about the music of the native hill tribes and started amassing a collection of audio & video recordings. He continued to teach in SE Asia for the next 10 years, and through the next 30 plus years he has studied and become an expert on the music and culture of Asian peoples in general and hill tribes of Southeast Asia specifically. He is in demand to lecture on and teach courses in music and cross-cultural ministry and has been an Adjunct Professor of Ethnomusicology for the graduate programs at both Bethel University and Liberty University since 2004. He currently serves as President of the Global Consultation on Arts & Music in Missions (GCAMM), an organization he helped form, and is a Lausanne Arts Catalyst, a designation for those who use the arts in worldwide Christian endeavors.
Dr. McDow’s awards include China’s Friendship Medal, that country’s highest honor awarded to a foreigner, and being listed in International Who’s Who in Education. In 2015 he participated as an invited delegate to the United Nations’ World Poverty Technology Conference and the Information and Communications Technology for Development in Faith (ICT4DF) Leaders’ Summit in New York City. In 2023 he was inducted into the OkMEA Hall of Fame. He is a current member of NAfME, OkMEA, Phi Beta Mu (National Band Fraternity), and American School Band Directors Association (ASBDA). Dr. McDow and his wife, Sherry, married since 1972 and currently residing in Norman, Oklahoma, have 3 children and 5 grandchildren who live in the Oklahoma City area.