Matt Pace | Webster University

Matt Pace, Ph.D.

Music theory, musicianship

Matt Pace, Ph.D.Dr. Matt Pace is a composer, performer, and educator engaged in a wide array of musical activities around St. Louis and beyond. As the lead composer and keyboardist/guitarist of the Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra, an independant arts organization he co-established in 2007 to help audiences connect to silent film through modern scores, Matt has been composing for and live-accompanying silents for over a decade, with several contemporary films thrown in as well. In addition, he has composed and recorded for various art installations, performance pieces, and museum exhibits including the St. Louis History Museum’s STL 250 and Louisiana Purchase exhibits. Pace is also a music director specializing in bringing live music to normally non-musical stage productions, whether writing or arranging tunes, coaching actor/musicians, or even taking bit roles to play live on stage. He has music directed three main stage productions in the park and various smaller works for Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, and in the future hopes to get more involved in theatre. At the same time, Matt keeps up his engagement with the rock and folk music he grew up on, playing guitar, keyboards, and bass in several bands and doing arrangements and studio work (both musical and technical) for local recordings. 

Matt has taught musicianship, music theory, and counterpoint as an adjunct at Webster and other local colleges and universities since he received his Ph.D. from Washington University in 2012, where his areas of academic research included the unique analytical demands of the late works of Morton Feldman, action-based ideas about figured bass theory, and more abstract work on perceived musical agency and metaphor. Matt has always valued teaching and strives to bring his wide array of experience, unique perspective, and engaging style to every classroom or lesson. In choosing repertoire to study, Matt tries whenever possible to dig beyond the accepted canon of white European men, with the hope that the music his students learn about reflects the diversity and the plurality of viewpoints brought by the students themselves. Matt believes a big part of a music education is the widening and deepening of music appreciation, and his ultimate aim is to teach students to nurture a lifelong learning approach of their own to take beyond the campus and into their lives.