Music; student choir singing into microphones



Pursue your passion and elevate your repertoire by studying music within a broader liberal arts education


When you study music in the center of Washington, D.C., and develop your artistry, performance and scholarship with world-renowned faculty, practicing performers and esteemed composers, you are prepared to succeed after graduation. Whether majoring or minoring, Corcoran students work closely with celebrated musicians and have performance opportunities in the city, ranging from solo shows to ensembles. Our students gain a breadth of instruction in a curriculum that specializes in both theory and practice.


Our faculty of scholars and creative artists includes members of the National Symphony and Kennedy Center orchestras. Students perform with vocal and instrumental jazz groups, orchestra, choruses, bands, opera productions, chamber music groups and musical theater.





Male playing trombone

Our Bachelor of Arts in Music degree lays a strong foundation for advanced music study in graduate school and entry into a variety of music-related professions. We offer a variety of courses in music theory, history, composition, ethnomusicology and electronic and computer music so students leave the program with fundamental knowledge to engage with music meaningfully. Students can also take individual performance lessons and participate in ensembles.

Upon completion of the program, our students:

  • Show and use practical skills in vocal or instrumental sight reading; independent learning of pre-existent or new compositions; and stylistic, analytical or interpretive discussion.
  • Write and speak fluently and cogently on a wide range of musical topics in formal and impromptu settings.
  • Demonstrate intelligibility, craft, informed expression and a commitment to independent inquiry in creating or performing music.
  • Knowledgeably situate their own musical activities within a culturally, aesthetically and intellectually pluralistic community in the program and the larger musical world.

Music MAjor Courses


Our minor is designed for students in another major field who want to add to their experience and knowledge of music. Through introductory courses in music theory, music history and performance, the minor develops students’ scholarship through coursework that provides a historical context as well as experience in music performance. To declare a minor, please contact the program about the application process: [email protected].

Music Minor Courses

Male playing drums


female student singing into microphone

Our students often create music seven days a week individually and through ensembles, performing in venues on and off campus, around D.C. and beyond Washington. Thanks to ensembles, students get to know each other and enjoy encouraging and productive relationships with faculty members.

Ensemble study and performance is an essential part of our curriculum. Our majors and minors are encouraged to join ensembles to develop performance experience and expand their repertoire.

  • Chamber Ensembles
  • Jazz Ensembles
  • University Band
  • University Orchestra
  • University Singers and Chamber Choir

Opportunities for Non-Majors

GW students with a background in music are welcome and encouraged to audition to participate in our chamber, jazz, orchestra, band and choral ensembles. Membership in these ensembles is composed of the varied and talented GW community and is not limited to those registered as a music major or minor.

Find an Ensemble


Where You'll Go




student performing at piano

Musician Ben Thornewill, BA ‘07, launched his 13-song album, "First Improvisations", which he describes as  “part film score, part whimsy, part Frederic Chopin and part Erik Satie.” His creative process included playing whatever music popped into his head, letting his fingers meander into unexplored territory when he’d come up with a new melody or texture.

More About Ben's Work



As a spoken word poet, Andrew Hesbacher (B.A. 20) has performed across the city as a former member of the DC Youth Slam Team and competed nationally at the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational after founding GW's very own slam poetry team. Musically, Andrew has been a member of several ensembles during his time at GW, but he takes special pride in the work he has done as Vice President and lead trumpet in the GW Jazz Orchestra. Most recently, Andrew performed the lead role of George Washington in the musical Waking the Oracle in the fall of 2019. 

Andrew’s senior thesis, Nine Stories and A Basement: A Thurston Musical was part of the 2020 NEXT Exhibition and can be viewed here

Nicole Kremin (B.A., '19)


Nicole Kremin was born with microphone in hand. She always had a passion for music, and began taking vocal lessons at age 10, building up a repertoire across genres.

Upon arriving at GW, she immediately declared a minor in music and joined GW JiVE (Jazz Vocal Ensemble). Her love for music and the department was so strong, however, that a minor was not enough, and she soon declared a music major. 

Her senior thesis recital for NEXT 2019Renovations: Investigating the Boundaries of Repertoire Ownership, was a solo vocal performance primarily focused on Jazz and R&B.

Nicole playing piano


Full-time Faculty

 Part-time Faculty

John Albertson, guitar

Alexander Jacobsen, bass Malinee Peris, piano
Lori Barnet, cello David Jones, clarinet David Perkel, low brass
Philip Carluzzo, Theory, Composition & Musicianship Jeffrey Kempskie, University Singers Accompanist Amy Reiff, voice
Anthony Blake Clark, Director of University Singers James Levy, piano

Thomas Rohde, History & Culture

Joseph Connell, percussion Carole Libelo, oboe Millicent Scarlett, voice
Alison Crockett, voice Christopher Lornell, History and Culture

Michael Schmitz, Director of Bands

Eric Dircksen, bassoon Alejandro Lucini, percussion

Stephani Stang-Ferry, flute

Scott Fearing, French horn Fred Marcellus, trumpet

Michaela Trnkova, harp

Elizabeth Field, violin

Patrick Merrill, harpsichord

Uri Wassertzug, viola

Mary Findley, violin

Toby Mountain, History & Culture

Stephen Wellman, voice

Peter Fraize, saxophone

Patrick O’Donnell, piano

Thaddeus Wilson, trumpet

Eileen Guenther, organ

Molly Orlando, piano

A. Scott Wood, Director of Orchestral Activities

  Jon Ozment, piano  


Phillips Hall
801 22nd St., NW
Room B144
Washington, D.C. 20052

Program Administrator
Katelyn Hensel-Etim
[email protected]

Phone: 202-994-6245

Fax: 202-994-9038

Program Head
Robert Baker
[email protected]

Undergraduate Faculty Advisor
Eugene Montague
[email protected]

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