- Ph.D., Rutgers University, 2017
- M.A., New York University, 2011
- M.M., University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2008
- B.M., Mars Hill College, 2005
Dr. Slaughter has a background in both classical and jazz music, and has had the privilege of performing with many of the greats in the jazz world, including Joe Lovano, Lenny Pickett, Alan Ferber, Wayne Bergeron, Joe LaBarbera, Bruce Paulson, Dave Loeb, Rich Shemaria, Bob Sheppard, George Garzone, Bobby Shew, Brian Lynch, and Gerald Wilson. He also performed extensively in musicals and lounge shows in Las Vegas, including Phantom of the Opera, The Producers, The Rat Pack is Back!, and as a member of the Wayne Newton Orchestra, and has performed in several famous venues in New York, including the Lincoln Center and Blue Note jazz club.
Dr. Slaughter studied composition with several Pulitzer Prize winners, and his compositions have been performed throughout the United States, Canada, Italy, and South Korea. Prior to teaching at Mars Hill University, he taught at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, as well as spending a year as an elementary music teacher at P.S. 158 in New York City. Dr. Slaughter’s research specialties include contemporary big band music, contemporary classical music, media studies, and modern philosophy.
Dr. Slaughter believes that music is one route to discovering our best selves and a basic truth of our existence. The Greeks called this type of truth ἀλήθεια, or “unconcealedness,” something that we know intuitively, but is covered by various negative forces in our everyday lives. That truth is that we are all brothers and sisters on this planet, and although as individuals we are flawed, there are no limits to what we can accomplish together.