School of Music: At A Glance
The KU Bands are a diversified group of performing ensembles. The Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and University Band provide an opportunity to perform the widest possible range of concert wind and band literature from the traditional to the experimental. Nationally recognized and award-winning directors continually provide new challenges for all levels of performers. The band program is also home to the Sudler Award-winning Marching Jayhawks and the bands for both the men's and women's basketball teams.
For more information, visit KU Bands
Brass & Percussion
The KU School of Music Brass & Percussion Division is part of the School of Music, which is home to a nationally and internationally known faculty of music educators, performers, directors, recording artists, musicologists and theorists. Most division activities take place in Murphy Hall, an impressive facility that contains Swarthout Recital Hall, Gorton Music Library, the Robert Baustian Theatre, the McCurdy Jazz Studio and refurbished practice rooms. The larger ensembles perform in the Lied Center, a 2,020-seat performing arts hall with state-of-the-art production capabilities.
For more information, visit Brass & Percussion
If you want to sing, there is a place for you in the KU Choirs. Organizations such as the Chamber Choir, University Singers, Concert Choir, Oread Consort, Women's Chorale, Men's Glee Club, and others provide extraordinary and widely varied opportunities for the choral singer. In addition to the standard choral programs, these groups perform with the KU Symphony Orchestra in the Holiday Vespers program.
For more information, visit Choral
The KU Jazz Studies program offers performance opportunities for both the instrumentalist and the singer. Three large jazz ensembles, eight combos, and two vocal jazz groups form the core of these opportunities. Down Beat award-winning Jazz Ensemble I, Jazz Singers, and Fusion Combo set the standard for jazz performance in Kansas and throughout the country.
For more information, visit Jazz
Music Education & Music Therapy
Music education and music therapy at KU are recognized as among the finest programs in the world.
We offer degrees and programs in music education including the bachelor's, the master's, and the doctoral. Our degrees and programs in music therapy include bachelor's, graduate equivalency, master's, and doctoral.
National Association of Schools of Music and North Central Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges accredit our programs. The music education programs are also accredited by the Kansas State Department of Education and the music therapy programs are accredited through the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA).
Fore more information, visit Music Education & Music Therapy
Music Theory & Music Composition
The Division of Music Theory and Composition within KU's School of Music features internationally and nationally accomplished composers and scholars, and offers degrees in music theory and music composition at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.
For more information, visit Music Theory & Music Composition
The Division of Musicology offers the BM degree in music history, the BA degree with a concentration in music history, the MM in musicology, and the PhD in music (musicology).
The faculty members in the Division cultivate a wide number of research interests. Paul Laird has published books on the Spanish villancico, Leonard Bernstein, the Broadway musical, and the revival of the baroque cello. He also directs the Instrumental Collegium Musicum. Roberta Freund Schwartz's research specialties include the Spanish Renaissance, patronage, blues and rock. Colin Roust's interests include French music of the twentieth century, especially Georges Auric, film music, and music history pedagogy. Martin Nedbal's research specialty is opera in Vienna in the late Classic Era, especially those by Mozart. Ketty Wong, an ethnomusicologist, focuses on Latin American popular music and ballroom dancing in China.
For more information, visit Musicology
The Kansas University Symphony Orchestra (KUSO) studies and performs standard orchestral repertoire and 20th century masterworks and combines with the choral ensembles for the annual productions of the Holiday Vespers. It also performs as part of the KU Opera productions. A distinguished and internationally renowned faculty create a rich and varied program for this organization.
For more information, visit Orchestra
Organ & Church Music
The history of organ and church music study at the University of Kansas is long and distinguished. From modest beginnings in 1867, it has grown into one of the largest programs in the country. With degree programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels, exceptional facilities and instruments, and distinguished faculty, the University of Kansas offers an extraordinary educational opportunity for anyone wishing to study and pursue careers in organ performance, teaching, or church music.
For more information, visit Organ & Church Music
The history of the KU Piano Division is also a musical history of the state of Kansas itself. The first KU Dean of Fine Arts, William MacDonald, was a pianist who established the Department of Music in 1884 as well as founder and first president of the Kansas Music Teachers Association. In 1923 Donald Swarthout, a pianist and conductor, was appointed Dean of Fine Arts until 1950 and served as President of the Music Teachers National Association and Director of the KU Concert & Chamber Series, which became the foundation of the arts programming for the Lied Center. The appointment of the renowned composer and pianist Carl A. Preyer in 1903 marked the beginning of a distinguished roster of musicians who have served as faculty members of the KU Division of Piano.
For more information, visit Piano
The String Division is comprised of nationally and internationally recognized artists. Students study with faculty who are in demand as featured soloists with orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the United States and the world, and who are equally active as university faculty and master class teachers.
For more information, visit Strings
Voice & Opera
The University of Kansas Opera program is led by a dynamic faculty who maintain active careers as singers, coaches, and directors. Productions range in scope from chamber-sized to full-scale opera with styles covering traditional to experimental, comedy to tragedy; and the varied performance venues include the Baustian Theatre and Swarthout Recital Hall. KU Opera and the KUSO join the University Theatre to create full-scale operas in the Crafton-Preyer Theatre. The distinctive opera productions offer a fresh style, a variety of directorial approaches, and exceptional quality.
For more information, visit Voice & Opera
The Division of Woodwinds in the School of Music is comprised of five full-time faculty, all of whom are artist-level performers and teachers of their instruments. Enrollment in private lessons with members of the woodwind faculty is open to all university students regardless of their major. Woodwind graduates have distinguished themselves within the music profession by achieving positions of leadership in colleges, universities, chamber ensembles, bands and orchestras throughout the country.
For more information, visit the Woodwinds
The School of Music offers an extraordinarily wide array of performance opportunities for the students at the University of Kansas. While most ensembles are composed primarily of majors, membership in everything is open by audition to any KU student.
Hundreds of public performances are presented each year by the School, ranging from solo recital and chamber music events to large ensemble and opera productions. If you want to perform, there is a place for you in the School of Music.
In addition to the many larger ensembles, the School of Music offers numerous other performance opportunities for its students. The Chamber Music program involves all students ranging from the traditional string quartet, piano trio, brass and woodwind quintets to the more unusual and experimental groupings of instruments. The Collegium Musicum offers both singers and instrumentalists the opportunity to study and perform Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music. The New Music Ensemble performs 20th century classics as well as the newest compositions. The Trombone Choir, Horn Ensemble, Trumpet Ensemble, Sax Quartet, Tuba-Euphonium Consort, Percussion Ensemble, and other groups explore a wide range of literature written for these specialized groups.
Performing organizations at KU often receive invitations to perform at conventions, festivals, and special events throughout the nation and overseas. On numerous occasions these groups have performed at state, national, or international meetings of the International Association of Jazz Educators, College Band Directors National Association, National Conference to National Association for Music Education, Music Teachers National Association, American Bandmasters Association, Kansas Music Educators Association, Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, National Bandmasters Association, the Montreaux and North Sea Jazz Festivals in Europe, Mid-America Dance Network, and many others. Additionally, our vocal and orchestral students continue to perform each summer in Eutin, Germany, as part of a summer music exchange.