Dennis Keller was hired as a full-time music faculty member in February 1985, and achieved the rank of Professor. He retired in May 2014, after 29 years of dedicated service. Upon retirement, he was granted Emeritus status.
Dennis created and coordinated many music courses which assisted the Department in offering a full palette of vocal and choral music instruction. He was a highly effective instructor of general education music classes, helping students learn about music and develop appreciation for this art form.
Dennis was one of the major contributors in the planning stages of the Gary Soren Smith Center for the Fine and Performing Arts. He served as Vocal Director for many SummerFest performances over the years.
Dennis created the Ohlone Chamber Singers, one of the premier adult choirs in the East Bay, and served as its director for over 25 years. He took the Singers on seven tours to Europe, performing in great cathedrals and churches. Dennis also led the choir on a performing trip to China, as well as later serving as coordinator of international faculty exchanges.
Dennis developed a reputation among students as being an inspirational teacher and caring advisor. He served as a trusted colleague and strategic guide for the music department, and was seen by his colleagues as a gifted leader and spokesman for the department.
Outside the music department, Dennis was a vital leader for the college. When the new shared governance body, the College Council, was formed in 2003 to representing faculty, staff, and administrative constituencies, Dennis stepped in as inaugural co-chair with the college President. During his two multi-year terms, he nurtured the new group into an effective representative body, which continues to this day. He also served as director of Ohlone’s Program Review process.
Dennis was a passionate advocate for the arts in general, music in particular, and for Ohlone College as an institution. His contributions to shared governance were significant. He is also remembered for his consistent professionalism and good humor.