Music at Union is a rich and compelling amalgam of many things, including faculty who are practicing musicians and composers in addition to dedicated teachers and scholars; diverse course offerings and ensembles; a creative and close-knit learning environment; and opportunities for collaboration and personal exploration.
Our integrated curriculum explores music theory, composition, music history, jazz and world music, with theory courses taught by composers. You will be encouraged to use your newly acquired theoretical knowledge in compositions of your own almost from the start. In addition to a full major and an interdepartmental major, students may pursue a minor, including one in World Musics and Cultures. Most courses are open to the general student body, regardless of their major, and students may also enroll in private vocal and instrumentation instruction.
Field trips to Tanglewood, Broadway, concert halls and other venues enhance classroom analysis and discussions. Students are also exposed to diverse perspectives through a variety of lectures, performances, recitals and workshops by visiting musicians. There is a variety of faculty-led music groups eager for your participation, including jazz, choral and orchestral groups, a taiko ensemble, an early music ensemble, the Camerata Singers and several a cappella groups.
Music facilities at Union, an All-Steinway School, are based in the Taylor Music Center, which opened in January 2007. The centerpiece of the building is the Fred L. Emerson Foundation Auditorium, an intimate performance space. Historic Memorial Chapel is used for orchestra rehearsals, and large choral and orchestral performances. The chapel is the site of Union's renowned year-long Chamber Music Concert Series, free to students.
In addition, the new Peter Irving Wold Center is a hub for those interested in the intersection of music and engineering. The building's Laboratory for Electrical Engineering and Music Research, or Phasor Lab, is a collaborative research space featuring a professional-grade recording studio for both scientific measurements and musical activities.
Students of music also will find enriching learning opportunities beyond campus. The Union winter break mini-term on the Indonesia island of Bali features, among other things, daily group instruction with master performers in gamelan (Balinese orchestra of gongs and xylophones).
In short, all students with a passion for music can find their niche at Union. Graduates of our program have gone on to study at some of the nation’s leading music schools and secured jobs in the field as performers, conductors, composers, lyricists and educators.