Gass, a professor in the Jacobs School of Music, is one of four faculty members so honored this year. Those who are named provost professors will carry the title for the remainder of their careers at Indiana University.
Each provost professor will also be given a $2,500 award for each of the first three years and a $5,000 grant to be used on a project of their choice to demonstrate the ways in which teaching and research are mutually reinforcing.
"Gass has earned universal respect and recognition for his teaching and research, having received numerous academic and teaching awards," said Gwyn Richards, dean of the Jacobs School of Music. "His groundbreaking teaching on the Beatles places him at the forefront of Rock and Roll pedagogy."
A 1974 graduate of Greencastle High School, Gass went on to earn his Bachelors of Music from New England Conservatory of Music, followed by his Masters of Music and Doctorate of Music from Indiana University. His father Clint Gass still resides in Greencastle.
In 1982, Gass began his rock history and Beatles courses -- a time when the courses were the first of their kind to be offered through a school of music. His multimedia courses are an outgrowth of his in-depth research surrounding specific musicians, periods of music, cultural phenomena, affected by economic, political, and social issues of the times.
His work has examined most notably the music of the Beatles, the music of Bob Dylan, rock in the Sixties, roots of rock and roll, the Beatles in England, rock history and most recently rock legend Todd Rundgren -- that resulted in an extensive two-week course titled "The Ballad of Todd Rundgren: Artistic Journeys of a Lifetime." Funding for his work has been supported by local and international grants and fellowships.
He is the author of "A History of Rock Music: The Rock & Roll Era" (1994).
Gass has worked closely with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland to create educator guides for special exhibits. He is the recipient of grants in composition from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer and the Indiana Arts Commission.