Equally strong in the academic and performance study of music,
our program is one of the finest to be found in a liberal arts
setting. We offer an excellent alternative to a conservatory and a
more individualized program of study than can be found at larger
The department offers music majors, minors, and non-majors a wide range of curriculum choices in four areas: performance, history, theory and composition. All Dickinson students may study directly with our faculty in small classes, one-on-one lessons, and a variety of performing ensembles.
Our majors choose from among emphases in performance, history, theory, and composition, and regularly go on to pursue graduate or professional work in music (see current music majors and alumni).
Our concert season provides excellent performances and lectures by eminent musicians and scholars. As our calendar of the arts makes clear, Dickinson is a vibrant place for musical enjoyment and study.
Our distinctive features
- Approximately 300 students are deeply engaged in studying music at Dickinson every year. All music courses, performance studies and ensembles are open to all Dickinson students regardless of major.
- Our full-time faculty all engage in performance and classroom teaching in addition to their own creative work. Our contributing faculty are active performers and scholars as well. (See faculty on our website).
- The senior project of every music major is a private tutorial with a music faculty member.
- Student composers have works performed by professional guest artists.
- Student conductors work with full ensembles that include professional musicians.
- Students in musicology conduct faculty-student research and hold internships with resident artists, etc.
- Our students have pursued internships with the Kimmel Center, Lincoln Center, Washington National Opera, and others.
Our students in performance studies (both majors and non-majors) participate in guest artist master classes with renowned guest artists such as David Kim and Jonathan Carney, concertmasters of Philadelphia Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony respectively; singers D’Anna Fortunato and Phyllis Bryn-Julson, and pianists Barry Snyder and Rita Sloan, from such institutions as The Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory, and the University of Maryland, and by members of such prominent ensembles as the Chiara and Corigliano Quartets. Our students also participate in summer music festivals such as the Brevard and Bowdoin festivals, and perform both nationally and internationally.
- All of our students in performance studies work with professional pianists.
- Our recent graduates have pursued graduate study in music history, music theory, and music performance at Eastman, Peabody and Boston Conservatories, Berklee School of Music, Princeton, NYU, Harvard, Rutgers, UCLA, The Royal Academy of Music in London, Indiana University, and the Universities of Illinois, Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin, and have received prestigious Fulbright Research Grants.
- Our music alumni have gone on to distinguished careers in music-related fields with major orchestras, recording companies, and music research facilities. See our alumni page for details.
- The Dickinson College music department sponsors an annual Student Concerto Competition. Student winners earn the honor of performing a solo work with the Dickinson College Orchestra.
- Our concert season of over 40 performances annually includes concerts by world-renowned guest artists.
- Our Musical Artists-in-Residence program is nationally recognized.
- The Music House and the Dickinson College Student Music Society is an active organization which sponsors many activities throughout the year, including music field trips to metropolitan areas such as New York City and Washington DC, an annual Children’s concert, and music outreach programs to local schools.
- Our students perform side-by-side with renowned artists-in-residence such as the Florestan Recital Project, Alarm Will Sound and David Kim, concertmaster of Philadelphia Orchestra.
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