K. Newell Dayley

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K. Newell Dayley

K. Newell Dayley is a prominent Latter-day Saint composer, hymn writer and musician. He was a Music professor, an administrator for both the College of Fine Arts and Communications and Brigham Young University as a whole. He currently works as the Dean of the School of Arts for Utah Valley University.

Early Life and Career

Dayley was born in 1939. He received his bachelor’s degree from BYU in 1964, after which he received his MM degree in 1966 from the University of Southern California. He then received a DA from the University of Northern Colorado in 1986.

Dayley has performed on the trumpet with the Utah Symphony and many other professional ensembles. He also has performed as a soloist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Amongst his works are Bring Forth My Zion, First You Have A Dream, the music to LDS hymn Lord, I Would Follow Thee, words and music to Faith in Every Footstep, and the music to children's songs, I Feel My Savior's Love, Every Star is Different, Hum Your Favorite Hymn, Home, and The World Is So Big. Dayley has also written musical sections for passages in the Book of Mormon.

His latest work, A Perfect Brightness of Hope, was premiered in April 2008 by the BYU Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Kory Katseanes, and was performed at New York’s famous Carnegie Hall later that spring.

Dayley joined the BYU faculty in 1967 and taught for 39 years. He was the first director of the award-winning jazz ensemble, Synthesis. He also taught trumpet, music theory, orchestration, film scoring, and music business classes. During his tenure, Dayley conducted BYU’s Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony, and Symphony Orchestra. He also directed other organizations and many musical theatre productions.

In 2001, Dayley's composition, Lion of the Lord, was featured in the year's Homecoming Spectacular. It was written in honor of the 50th anniversary of Brigham Young's birth, and it was performed by the Wind Symphony and Concert Choir and narrated by then-President Merrill J. Bateman.

At BYU, Dayley served as Director of the School of Music, Associate Dean of General Education and Honors, Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communications, and Associate Academic Vice President for Undergraduate Studies .

In 2000, Dayley was asked to direct the Honors Program, a position he filled for only a few months before his appointment as Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communications. The university's 7 a.m. weekly honor devotionals were sparsely attended, so he changed the time to 11:00. Though his time was short, he took many steps toward making the Honors Program stronger. He charged the Honors Student Advisory Council with developing ways to help students fill honors requirements. Dayley visited with deans of colleges across the campus, encouraging the integration of the Honors program into each department and major. He believed the Honors Program could enrich every aspect of the university and he strove to expand the program.

Dayley has received numerous awards and commendations for his work as a teacher and arts administrator, including the Legacy Award from the Faith Centered Music Association (FCMA).

He retired from his responsibilities at BYU in August 2007. After retirement from BYU, he decided to become part of the growing arts program at Utah Valley University. He currently works as the Dean of the School of Arts for UVU.

In 2008, Dayley was invited back to BYU to speak at the convocation for the College of Fine Arts and Communications. At the ceremony he was also awarded the Franklin S. Harris Award.

Personal and Family Life

Newell Dayley and Diane Wilcox have been happily married for over forty years. They are the parents of three girls and five boys, and the grandparents of eight girls and nine boys. In addition to their family, their interests include the arts, religious studies, world events, family history, reading, and hiking.

Throughout his life, Dayley has remained active in the LDS Church and has sought to foster faith through his music and his example. He has served in a wide variety of callings, including President of the BYU 2nd Stake.


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