The School of Music offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as myriad performance opportunities, that prepare students for careers as performers, teachers, and scholars.
Students choose from a wide range of areas of study and benefit from individualized instruction by dedicated faculty whose teaching and performance experience spans the world. Both majors and non-majors have the opportunity to participate in numerous ensembles, ranging from small chamber groups to the marching Blue Band.
The Penn State School of Music – pursue your passion, nurture your talent, and prepare to take on the world.
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Enriching the experience!
The School of Music scholarly community seeks to foster an environment of passionate curiosity informed by scholarly rigor. While our research areas are quite diverse, the primary themes tend toward musical expression and development, processes of music learning and teaching, deeper understanding of past musical practices, and global perspectives.
The Penn State School of Music has a tradition of research excellence across a wide range of disciplines including music theory, musicology, music education, composition/technology, and performance. Our faculty are highly regarded scholars and performers who share their research and creative expertise in professional journals, conferences, and performance venues throughout the world. The School of Music provides many opportunities for students to collaborate with the faculty as well as to receive guidance for independent research.
Beyond preparing students to develop and thrive as performers, teachers, and scholars, the School of Music offers more than 400 public events each year, and we also hear wonderful performances presented by the Center for the Performing Arts and the Center’s Classical Music Project. In addition, Penn State ensemble students regularly perform in the greatest concert venues on the east coast with our annual President’s Concert series. Expansive performance, research, and outreach opportunities are integral to the School of Music, and enrich the student experience.
School of Music ensembles, ranging from small chamber ensembles to large orchestras, bands, and choirs are open to all Penn State students, regardless of major. Participants receive one academic credit per semester. These credits fulfill General Arts credits in many colleges and majors. Graduate credit (500-level) may be granted in select ensembles at the discretion of the director/conductor.
The School of Music also includes a number of faculty ensembles that perform and record extensively, both in the United States and abroad. These ensembles are often invited to perform at professional association meetings and in educational settings.
The School of Music’s engagement activities include ongoing concert series presented in the community and throughout the mid-Atlantic region, annual conferences and workshops designed for music professionals, and summer experiences designed for professional musicians as well as for developing performers.
Our concert series include the President’s Concert, an annual event showcasing our best performers in the mid-Atlantic region’s most esteemed concert halls. Beginning in 2007 with a concert hosted by the the University president at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, Penn State students have performed at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, the Strathmore Centre in Bethesda, MD, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and at Carnegie Hall in New York. Closer to home, student performers are welcomed at the monthly “First Thursdays at the Village” series and also perform on weekly “Bach’s Lunch” concerts held each Thursday in Eisenhower Chapel on campus.
Coordinated by the music education faculty, the biannual Thompson Symposium provides a forum for masters-level music education students to share their completed and in-progress research with graduate students, faculty, and the general public. Musical Theatre voice faculty members Mary Saunders-Barton, Beverly Patton, Raymond Sage and voice faculty member Norman Spivey present their hugely popular workshop “Bel Canto/Can Belto” each August, and our keyboard faculty coordinate the annual Marian Garcia Piano Teacher’s Workshop and Competition.
Convening each July, the Penn State Honors Music Institute is a one-week immersion in the art of music designed for highly qualified high school musicians. For professional musicians, the Penn’s Woods Music Festival is a two-week resident orchestra and chamber music festival that presents numerous concerts each June. In addition, School of Music students and faculty regularly perform and present their scholarly work throughout the country and the world.
Michael SchutzB.M. in Music 2002
Michael Schutz, who combined a B.M in Music with a B.S. in Computer Science at Penn State, now is associate professor of music cognition/percussion at McMaster University, where he conducts the percussion ensemble and teaches courses on music perception and cognition. He was named a University Scholar in recognition of his innovative work bridging music performance and music perception.
ROARS Recording Studios
Head, Sound Design
Curtis Craig (Sound Designer, Composer, Projection Designer) Recent work: Pipeline (Cleveland Playhouse, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Detroit Public Theatre), Indecent (Denver Center Theatre Company), world premier – Dominique Morriseau’s Mud Row (People’s Light & Theatre Company), world premier – The Great Leap (Denver Center Theatre Company, Seattle Rep), The Bacchae (Classical Theatre of Harlem), How to Catch Creation (Baltimore Center Stage, Philadelphia Theatre Company). In 2017, his sound design and composition from the Denver Center production of All The Way was awarded the Silver Medal in Sound Design at the World Stage Design exposition in Taipei, Taiwan. He previously won the Gold Medal in Sound Design for Pentecost in 2009 in Seoul, South Korea. His work can be heard at www.curtiscraig.com.
SNATS Masterclass with Dr. Beverly PattonMusic I 110 (Choral)
Bach's Lunch - School of Music Voice Area Noontime Concert - MM StudentsPasquerilla/Eisenhower Chapel
Bach's Lunch - School of Music Voice Area Noontime Concert - MM Students
News from A&A
Penn’s Woods Music Festival is back with in-person concerts this August
The Penn’s Woods Music Festival (PWMF) resumes in-person concerts this summer with ticketed performances on August 4, 6, 7 and 11, and the free Music in the Gardens at the