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Overview of the Program

Hood offers three tracks in the music major:

Performance—for students who wish to pursue a performance-oriented curriculum (piano, organ, harpsichord, violin, viola, cello, string bass, flute, oboe, English horn, clarinet, saxophone, all brass instruments, voice, composition, conducting and guitar).

Music history and literature—for students interested in researching and writing about the historical and cultural aspects of music.

Piano pedagogy—designed for the student who is strong in piano and plans to teach it in a private setting.

All of these concentrations lead to a bachelor of arts in music, which serves as an excellent foundation for graduate study in performance or musicology and provides excellent preparation for teaching in the private studio or in a private school.

All students participate in one or more ensemble (string, wind, choral, early music, gospel and jazz), take applied music, music theory and history cours- es, and attend and perform recitals and concerts. Students may also minor in either performance or music history.

There are a number of applied music scholarships available and the department awards two or more prizes in music each year: The Marie Markow Excellence in Music Prize and the Patricia Bucheimer Piano Prize.

Why Major in Music at Hood?

Because of Hood's close proximity to both Baltimore and Washington, D.C., faculty are drawn from a large pool of talent and students are able to take advantage of many wonderful cultural opportunities. Classes are small, instructors are friendly and accessible, and the keyboard instru- ments are outstanding. Nearly all of the teaching studios have grand pianos, practice rooms have Yamaha studio pianos and several residence halls have quality digital pianos. The magnificent pipe organ in Coffman Chapel is one of the best in the region, and there is a smaller practice pipe/electronic organ in the music building.

During the year, a number of distinguished guest artists perform and give masterclasses, and students have a number of opportunities to perform in recitals and concerts. In recent seasons guest performers have included the Calder Quartet; sarodist Iditya Verma; internationally acclaimed Baroque ensemble Red Priest; Chinese Pipa player Gao Hong; pianists Leon Fleisher and Martin Jones; soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson; tenor Stanley Cornett; and a number of faculty recitals and chamber music concerts.

Music Ensembles at Hood College

Students participate in a number of superb music ensembles. The choirs and string, wind, early music, gospel and jazz ensembles perform regu- larly throughout the year in concerts and for special occasions, both on and off campus. The chamber singers have toured Europe and the choir performed with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra.

One of the highlights of the academic year is our long-standing tradi- tion of performing Handel's Messiah during the Christmas season, with professional orchestra and soloists. For 60 years these performances were given in conjunction with the U.S. Naval Academy; in 2008 other schools in the area, including Mount St. Mary's University, Goucher College and Montgomery College, performed the famous oratorio with the Hood choir. Hood students have participated in a professional recording of this work and a number of the performances have been videotaped for national television.

The department of music regularly mounts major festival concerts, such as an all-Gershwin concert at the Weinberg Center for the Arts; Beethoven Gala with full symphony orchestra; and a concert version of Mozart's The Magic Flute for professional orchestra, soloists and the Hood Choir. In 2005 the department mounted an elaborate, fully staged production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, which was performed to five sold-out audiences. The department of music celebrated Felix Mendelssohn's 200th birthday with an all-Mendelssohn concert in the spring of 2009; and commemorated the Chopin bicentennial with a lec- ture by the eminent musicologist Dr. Alan Walker, an all-Chopin concert and a trip to Poland led by Professor Noel Lester.

What Our Students Say About the Program

"Being a music major at Hood has enabled me to pursue my composi- tion studies in a phenomenal community of musicians. The camaraderie I have found with my fellow music majors is not something I would have expected to find anywhere else, and the professors are top-notch; not only do they engage students in a classroom setting, but they also prepare them for meeting the challenges of both academic life and life as a performer. Having a liberal arts degree in music has allowed me to pursue other academic interests, as well; I feel that I am more well-rounded in my education than I would have been at a larger school. Taking all of this into consideration, it is no surprise to me that I was accepted to the prestigious UNC School of the Arts for my graduate studies; I give the music depart- ment at Hood a great deal of credit for my success!"
—Music major (performance/composition), Class of 2010

"Although working toward a double major was at times strenuous, my teachers always shared my burdens. Academically, they persevered to ensure that within the classroom I had the tools to accomplish what I intended. The support of so many of my wonderful teachers, who gave much of their personal time to my cause, not only helped me to complete Hood College with a double major but showed me who I want to be for others in the future."
—Music (vocal performance) and art/archaeology major, Class of 2010

"The relative smallness of the music department, the friendliness of the professors and the support of the other students makes Hood's music department really feel like family. There is never an atmosphere of cut- throat competition, only of encouragement and camaraderie."
—Music history and literature major, Class of 2010


The Frederick area offers a number of sites for music internships. Music students have interned with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and the Weinberg Center for the Arts in downtown Frederick.

Alumni Success Stories

Many of our graduates have gone into music careers, including

  • Professional singers in opera and musical theater
  • Professional instrumentalists in orchestras, bands and as soloists
  • Church organists and recitalists
  • Choral conductors
  • Piano accompanists
  • Private teachers of voice and instruments
  • Music librarians
  • Managers of musical organizations
  • Teachers in colleges and universities, public and private schools,

And many of our graduates have been accepted into graduate schools, including

  • The Catholic University of America
  • Eastern Illinois University
  • North Carolina School for the Arts
  • Shenandoah Conservatory
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Maryland

And received advanced degrees (master's, doctoral) in such areas as

  • Compoistion
  • Guitar performance
  • Music History
  • Music Theory
  • Music Therapy
  • Organ performance
  • Piano performance
  • Vocal performance

Learn more about the department.