Department of Music

Music Department

Upcoming Events

ZD spring poster

Zakuro-Daiko - Celebration of the Cicadas

Zakuro-Daiko - Celebration of the Cicadas
Friday, May 31st at 7 p.m, Emerson Auditorium
Get tickets here

The Union College Taiko Ensemble was started in 2007 under the leadership of resident ethnomusicologist Jennifer Milioto Matsue with the goal of bringing Japanese music and culture to life on campus. At the time, students agreed to call the group "Zakuro Daiko," which translates as "Garnet drums." They perform a type of Japanese ensemble drumming that is popular throughout the world. In recent years, we also have welcomed an increasing number of students with diverse talents in global music and dance. We celebrate their accomplishments through solo and fusion performances. Zakuro-Daiko would like to thank the community for its continued support of our efforts to expand awareness and understanding of world musics, dances, and cultures.

Suggested donation is $15 for general public, $10 for Union faculty, staff and alumni, and $5 for students. All donations directly support Zakuro-Daiko's efforts.

Union College Music Department Spring 2024 Concert Series

UCMD spring 24 poster

Choir, Chamber singers, and Orchestra - SP 24 Spring Concert: Bon Voyage
Friday, May 10 at 8pm, Memorial Chapel

Jazz Ensemble and Latin Percussion Workshop
Saturday, May 11 at 11am, Emerson Auditorium

Early Music Ensemble
Saturday, May 18 at 2pm, Emerson Auditorium

Zakuro Daiko, The Japanese Drumming and Global Fusion Band
Friday, May 31 at 7pm, Emerson Auditorium

Student Recital and Hollander Prize Competition
Tuesday, June 4 @ 5pm, Emerson Auditorium

For more events and info click here

Department of Music 24/25 Course Offerings

Music courses for 2024/2025 school year

Fall 2024 Courses

AMU 100 Elements of Music Theory
AMU 134 Music and Culture of Africa
AMU 140 Music Tech 1: Transforming Sound, Making Music (two sections)
AMU 160 From Chant to Mozart
AMU 212 Bach, Handel and their predecessors
AMU 300 Music Theory 3

Winter 2025 Courses

AMU 101 Music Theory: Materials and Design 1
AMU 110 Class Piano 1
AMU 161 From Beethoven to Bernstein
AMU TBA Global and Popular Musics
AMU 202 Musical Thinking: World and Pop
AMU 240 Music Tech 2: Recording, Mixing and Synthesizing Sound

Spring 2025 Courses

AMU 132 History of Jazz
AMU 201 Music Theory: Materials and Design 2
AMU 232 Jazz Workshop
AMU 2XX Data Sonification
AMU 2XX Music and Trauma: Comfort Women, Holocaust, Hiroshima, Music, and Cultural Understanding during WWII


AMU 012 Japanese Drumming
AMU 014 Union College Choir
AMU 015 Jazz
AMU 016 Chamber Choir
AMU 017 Orchestra
AMU 018 Early Music

Music at Founders Day

Founders Day included the premiere of a musical composition by Jackson Janney '24, “When David Heard,” performed by the Union College Choir.

Founders Day included the premiere of a musical composition by Jackson Janney '24 (center), “When David Heard,” performed by the Union College Choir.

Founders Day included the premiere of a musical composition by Jackson Janney '24, “When David Heard,” performed by the Union College Choir, conducted by Jin Byun, director of music performance. The haunting, somber piece portrays the scene of King David of Israel when he learns about the death of his beloved son, Absalom. The text is taken from the book of Lamentations from the Old Testament. A music major from outside Washington, D.C., Janney leaned into the intersection of literature and music, his main artistic direction, in composing the piece.

The event also featured musical performances by the Union College Orchestra, Union College Jazz Ensemble led by Tim Olsen, professor of music, and the Union College Music Department.

View a short video from the event.


Union College offers a wide variety of courses in music theory, music technology, composition, music history, world music, and jazz studies. The music faculty are incredibly Interdisciplinary, and offer courses that intersect with other departments and programs across campus. Students enjoy many opportunities to perform in our numerous ensembles and develop musicianship through private lessons. We offer a Major, ID, Minor and a Global and Popular Musics Minor.