Welcome from the Dean
Since its beginning as the Ithaca Conservatory of Music 120 years ago, the mission of the School of Music at Ithaca College has remained essentially unchanged: to seek and admit talented young musicians, and then to immerse them in an advanced culture of musical learning and training that positions them to become leading musical professionals.
During the more than 20 years I have spent at Ithaca College as a faculty member, department chair, and now interim dean, it has been my distinct pleasure to witness this incredible transformational journey many, many times. Our sustained success in matching our vision to our students’ reality is why our school has consistently been recognized as one of the very best institutions of musical learning. And unlike our original music students who attended the Ithaca Conservatory of Music and affiliated schools in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, today’s music student is a member of a broader learning community encompassing Ithaca College’s five professional schools and two divisions.
Perhaps therein lies our greatest strength: at Ithaca College you have the opportunity to train at one of the finest music schools, but at the same time to benefit from and take advantage of the countless possibilities provided by the entire institution. You can attend a great college while training at a world-class conservatory. Ithaca is one of the few institutions that can deliver this highly successful and special combination.
When Grant Egbert founded his conservatory in 1892, he sought out and hired the very best performers and music teachers from all corners of the world, and Ithaca’s excellent music reputation is still the direct result of the outstanding resident faculty members who combine distinguished backgrounds as performers and scholars with a dedication to teaching. In fact, a recent music education graduate wrote: “What truly amazes me is that I have not had a professor that has not been engaging, dedicated, or caring. I do not think every college student is afforded the opportunity to create such strong bonds with the faculty and become so fully involved in his or her program. I feel very blessed.”
The rich variety of performance opportunities at Ithaca also plays a key role in developing our students’ musical talents. Over 300 concerts and recitals are performed here each year, reflecting the vitality of an exceptional range of instrumental and choral ensembles as well as the skills of individual faculty and student musicians. The Whalen Center for Music, which opened in 1999, is one of the most beautiful and complete music buildings under one roof in the country, providing faculty and students with a state-of-the-art facility that inspires teaching, learning, and performing.
Alumni from the School of Music have distinguished themselves in virtually every musical arena—as teachers on every level; as performers in major orchestras and opera houses worldwide; as composers, recording artists, and technicians; and as arts administrators and leaders in a wide variety of musical professions.
I invite you explore our website, and then to come to Ithaca and experience the School of Music and the College in person. Our faculty, students, and alumni are leaders of a noble venture at the highest level. If you have the ability, the passion, and the dedication, I welcome you to join us.