As a music major at Saint Mary’s College, your talents as a musician will be nurtured and expanded as you work closely with outstanding faculty and visiting artists. Our program offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Music degree, allowing you to concentrate on your specific interest, and a music education degree which prepares you to teach K-12 upon graduation. You will be challenged to strive for excellence in both individual and group performance, and to develop an intellectual understanding of musical structure and the processes that create it.

The Music Department believes that collaboration and individual discipline combine to create the perfect learning environment—and that learning about music is one of life’s most important and exciting endeavors.

The Saint Mary’s College Music Department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, a significant credential for a college music department.

"Being a member of the Saint Mary's College Music Department has been a true blessing. The world-class faculty was very helpful in facilitating my transition into an atmosphere of intense musical study. The abundance of knowledge and unique performance opportunities that I have enjoyed in the Saint Mary's Music Department have made me very confident in my future pursuits." —Lindsey Anderson '07

Writing in the Major
The advanced writing proficiency requirement in the Music Department has two components:

  • A paper written for a music course. The faculty must approve the selection of the piece to be submitted.
  • A composition, orchestration, or arrangement written during the third or fourth semester of the theory sequence. Computer notation and laser printing of the score are required. Both the composition itself and its notation will be assessed. The faculty must approve the selection of the composition to be submitted.

The advanced writing proficiency requirement may be fulfilled at any time after the history and theory sequences have been completed. First drafts are due by September of the senior year, and all subsequent revisions are to be completed before Spring Break of the senior year.

Senior Comprehensive Examination
The music comprehensive will focus your training in analysis, history, and music literature on a single solo or ensemble composition. You will present a theoretical and historical analysis of the piece or set of pieces to the faculty and other students in the department. In the event the faculty determines there are any deficiencies in the presentation, an oral examination over the materials will be scheduled, with only the student and music faculty members present. You must complete both the four-semester theory sequence and the two-semester music history sequence before starting your project, but may proceed at any point after that.

Hands-on Learning
As a music major, you will enjoy a wealth of diverse performance and other experiential opportunities working with student composers, chamber ensembles, and various members of the surrounding musical community. Recital forums and the “Window on Music” series offer exposure to many music-related careers.

All recent graduates with a Bachelor of Music degree in music education have been placed in teaching positions. Many students who pursue the bachelor of arts degree in music choose a second major as well. Recent graduates have combined music with a second major in religious studies, business, humanistic studies, political science, and communication studies. These graduates are now working in the fields of arts administration, church music and liturgy, and music publishing, while others have entered law and medical schools.

Visit the Music department web page for more detailed information.