Interview with Paul Borg, School of Music faculty emeritus

Interview with Paul Borg, School of Music faculty emeritus


Paul Borg


Download Interview Transcript, PDF File (173 KB)

Download Interview Transcript, DOCX File (44 KB)


Media is loading


Oral history interview with Illinois State University School of Music professor emeritus Dr. Paul Borg. The interview was conducted on July 20, 2023 by Paige Malloy, then an oral history intern at Milner library.

Borg shares details about his upbringing in Des Moines, Iowa, his academic journey from the University of Iowa to Indiana University, and his experiences getting his master’s degree in piano performance while serving in the Air Force. He discusses his transition to musicology, focusing on his doctoral research on manuscripts from colonial Guatemala.

Borg reflects on his positive first impressions of the music faculty at ISU circa 1980-1981, especially famed Panamanian composer Roque Cordero, and the collaborative nature of his work as an accompanist. He recalls one of his favorite classroom exercises relating to polyphony, which involved singing “Ut queant laxis,” the Gregorian chant from which modern-day scale vocalizations are derived.

Borg also recounts his involvement in shared governance at ISU, including serving on the University Advisory Committee and being elected as the School of Music representative to the Academic Senate. He played a significant role in revising university’s constitution and mission statement. Borg highlights the challenges in creating policies that address issues such as discrimination and disruptive behavior. He acknowledged the impact of changing technology on student learning, emphasizing the importance of balancing technology with engaging classroom activities.

Borg discusses receiving recognition for his teaching excellence, including earning the ISU College of Fine Arts Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award. He was also honored with the ISU Outstanding Service Award in 2012 for his contributions to shared governance and commitment to improving the university.

The interview concludes with Borg's reflections on his retirement from Illinois State University in 2014 and his temporary return to Indiana University, where he became an adjunct professor and interim coordinator of the Latin American Music Center. When asked about his most significant accomplishment, Borg mentions teaching and governance but refrains from claiming a finished legacy.

Publication Date



  • Background and early life: 00:00-04:55
  • Beginnings at ISU: 04:55-06:27
  • Teaching career and experiences: 06:27-13:46
  • Involvement in shared governance: 13:46-27:36
  • Recognition and awards: 27:36-30:15
  • Retirement, legacy and future: 30:15-33:18

Interview with Paul Borg, School of Music faculty emeritus