February 2017
Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano Philip P. DiStefano

Dear Friends,

Last week we announced our College of Music campaign – music+ – as the college prepares to move into its second century of existence, with a fundraising goal of $50 million. Currently, the college is halfway to meeting that goal, including major gifts to name the Eklund Opera Program and the Ritter Family Classical Guitar program.

Founded in 1920, the College of Music embodies my three strategic imperatives of developing tomorrow's leaders, leading in innovation and impacting humanity.

Impacting humanity is evident in the sheer beauty that music students and faculty convey to more than 10,000 audience members every year in performing on average 400 concerts and hosting world-class performers, such as cellist Yo-Yo Ma this past Wednesday at Macky Auditorium.  

We all know the arts play a vital role in the health and well-being of humanity. Perhaps we think less often about how the arts promote innovation by allowing us to think creatively and get outside of our own experience.

The arts also are important to the ideals of diversity and inclusivity. The arts are powerful teachers of different cultures, perspectives and historical interpretations.

Impact can also come on a highly personal level, such as the college's Piano for Dreamers program, which offers introductory no-cost piano lessons to low-income fourth- and fifth-graders.

When it comes to developing leaders, the college's new bachelor of arts degree in Music, Technology and Media will debut this fall as students grow up with unprecedented technology. The college's strategic plan calls for it to develop several new programs that connect music to other fields. For example, more than 25 double-degree students are pursuing music and engineering.

In November, some of the college's leading students took the stage at the iconic Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, providing them a professional-level experience.   

In innovation, our Entrepreneurship Center for Music was the first of its kind in the country. The center equips today's music students with the skills and tools to create sustainable careers in the arts as the industry undergoes enormous change in how its content is produced, distributed and consumed. The center's academic programming goes beyond traditional career skills taught at some music schools.

Whether it's our resident Grammy Award-winning Takács Quartet, our Pulitzer Prize-winning alumni like opera librettist Mark Campbell, who returned recently to lead our summer opera workshop, our Pulitzer-finalist professors like Carter Pann (composition April 2016) or the music+ campaign, we’re seeing the College of Music take its national and international reputation to the next level.

Music will play a big role as the campus takes its place as a leading innovation university, developing tomorrow's leaders and impacting humanity.   


Philip P. DiStefano

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