Entrance to Dalton Center Music Building at Night
The Western Michigan University School of Music is a comprehensive program served by faculty and staff who are active leaders in their professional organizations. This includes service as president and past president of the International Trumpet Guild International Trombone Association, International Horn Society, International Tuba Euphonium Association, International Society of Bassists, and the American Music Therapy Association, as well as board memberships for performance instrument, therapy, and music education state, national, and international organizations. The National Association of Schools of Music accredits the School of Music and the music therapy program meets the standards set by the American Music Therapy Association.
School of Music faculty members have been recognized with every possible university award multiple times. Just recently, faculty were honored in diverse ways including recognition as a Steinway Artist; the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Music Therapy Association; String Teacher of the Year from the Michigan Chapter of the American String Teachers’ Association; College of Fine Arts Outstanding Teacher Award; and Western Michigan University’s Distinguished Teaching Award. In the past year, music faculty produced six new CD recordings; published three books; and performed hundreds of concerts, lectures, and presentations nationwide and in multiple countries. We are just the right size with 394 undergraduate music majors and 82 graduate students enrolled in various master’s programs during this fall and spring semesters. Another 40 graduate students are enrolled in the four summer master’s program in music education.
The School of Music has selective admission that allows it to better utilize resources. This past year nearly 400 prospective students auditioned for 106 vacancies. The entering freshman class had an average high school GPA of 3.65 and an average ACT Composite of 25.1. In the past years, a large percentage of music students have been recognized as Medallion Scholars, WMU's highest academic award. Last year students in the School of Music came from nine countries and 18 states.
In 2010–11, the School of Music, its students, faculty, and staff presented 380 on campus events with an attendance of 47,050. There were 294 off campus events presented, attended by 183,315 people. The Bronco Marching Band and athletic pep bands, directed by Dr. David Montgomery, performed at home and away games (including Notre Dame, football; plus basketball and hockey postseason tournaments) before audiences totaling more than 260,000 (not including television).
Our students are remarkably successful. This past summer, trombonist Derek Lyp was the 1st Place Winner in the 2011 International Trombone Association’s Bass Trombone Solo Competition (18 and under) in Nashville, Tenn. Pianist Robert Hjelmstad was the collegiate level winner of the Bach Festival Young Keyboard Artists Competition in Grand Rapids. Dan Kramer, a composition major and tuba player, was named the winner of the 2011 Ralph Taylor Award in Composition at Marshall University. Last year, 22 vocal music students won in various categories of the state level competition of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and student performers won five Down Beat Magazine Music Awards, considered by many as the highest level of achievement in student jazz competition. Lisa Barnhart, a music therapy major, was the recipient of the fall scholarship award from the Michigan Music Therapists Association. Vocal jazz ensemble Gold Company was invited to perform at the National Hall of Fame 2011 Induction Ceremony in Washington D.C. WMU music alumni are active professionals in all facets of the music field. They are teachers in K–12 programs and hold positions in higher education at prestigious universities and colleges. Music therapy alumni thrive in clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities all across North America. WMU graduates can be heard and seen performing with major symphony orchestras, at internationally recognized opera houses, and on television and Broadway. Their music compositions can be heard on radio, television, and in films. And they are actively engaged in arts administration and the music industry.