BACHELOR OF ARTS | MINOR
Pursue your passion and elevate your repertoire by studying music within a broader liberal arts education
Our Bachelor of Arts in Music degree lays a strong foundation for students interested in music-related professions or in advanced music study in graduate school. We offer a variety of courses in performance, ensembles, music theory, history, composition, ethnomusicology and electronic and computer music so students leave the program with fundamental knowledge to engage with music meaningfully. Whether majoring or minoring, Corcoran students can also take individual performance lessons and have performance opportunities ranging from solo shows to ensembles.
When you study music in the center of Washington, D.C., you develop your artistry, performance and scholarship with world-renowned faculty, practicing performers and composers, including 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.
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BACHELOR OF ARTS
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:
- Demonstrate lucidity, craft, informed expression and a commitment to independent inquiry in musical creation and research.
- Apply appropriate vocal or instrumental skills in 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.
- Employ a wide range of digital technologies in support of their work as musical inventors and scholars.
- Describe their own musical activities as positive contributions to a socially, aesthetically, and intellectually pluralist community both in the Music program and in the larger world.
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].
Performance study is an important part of our curriculum and we offer courses in voice, keyboard and all jazz and orchestral instruments. Music majors, minors and Corcoran Scholars are eligible for private lessons. Eligibility and placement for students new to private performance study are determined at an appointment with a faculty advisor.
All other performance study courses include individual lessons and require a supplementary fee. New majors and minors interested in private study should contact Professor Baker ([email protected]) to begin the registration process.
There are three levels of performance study available to undergraduates:
1000 level: All students will take at least one semester and no more than three semesters of performance study on one instrument at this level.
2000 level: Private instruction that shows advancement beyond the 1000-level of study. Students are also required to participate in a Program of Music select ensemble.
4085 level: For the most advanced students, public performance is required.
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.
WHERE YOU'LL GO
Our music graduates have pursued advanced education in performance, composition, conducting, jazz, musicology and arts administration. GW musicians have built successful careers as freelance performers, teachers, scholar-professors, managers and development specialists in the arts. Music majors are also working in medicine, dentistry, law and information technology.
In 2021, Music B.A. students like Sheng Gao displayed their hard work through their music at Corcoran’s year-end show, NEXT. Sheng’s senior piano recital covers major keyboard works from the Western classical music world. The varied program includes compositions by Bach, Mozart, Liszt, Chopin and Prokofiev.
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 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 2019, Renovations: Investigating the Boundaries of Repertoire Ownership, was a solo vocal performance primarily focused on Jazz and R&B.
In the fall of 2020, Associate Professor Loren Kajikawa taught a course called “Music and Politics,” aptly placed during the election season. Students wrote papers and recorded podcasts following the conduction of research on topics of their choice that combined music with its impact on politics, including Taylor Swift’s impact on the presidential election, Kanye West’s new political presence during campaign and election season, and much more. Read the article about this course, and listen to some student podcasts.
All GW students are invited to take dance, music and theatre classes and audition for music ensembles, plays and performances.
Check out dates and more information about auditions.
|David Jones, clarinet||David Perkel, low brass|
|Lori Barnet, cello||James Levy, piano||Thomas Rohde, History & Culture|
|Anthony Blake Clark, Director of University Singers||Christopher Lornell, History and Culture|
|Alison Crockett, voice||Stephani Stang-Ferry, flute|
|Alejandro Lucini, percussion||
Patrick Merrill, harpsichord
|Elizabeth Field, violin|
|Mary Findley, violin||
Patrick O’Donnell, piano
Thaddeus Wilson, trumpet
|Peter Fraize, saxophone||
Molly Orlando, piano
|Eileen Guenther, organ|
|Alexander Jacobsen, bass||Malinee Peris, piano|
801 22nd St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20052
Phone (Main): 202-994-6245
(PA Office): 202-994-0100
Undergraduate Faculty Advisor