Colorado State University / Music Brochure / Fall 2021

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CSU MUSIC | State of Inspiration

In alignment with Colorado State University’s landgrant mission, the Department of Music prepares and inspires current and future music professionals while cultivating, preserving, and expanding the musical arts for people of varied ages and abilities in diverse local and global communities.

Welcome to the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance (SMTD) at Colorado State University.

The faculty and staff of SMTD are committed to the success of students as they prepare for careers in the creative sector of the economy as music educators, music therapists, performers, composers, and entrepreneurs.

The School offers small academic classes and careful attention to advising within the major, assuring that each student receives a high-quality and personalized education. Music majors receive applied instruction on their instrument with highly qualified faculty beginning in their first semester of study. Students apply knowledge gained in lessons and coursework in a variety of performing ensembles.

Because it encompasses all three performing arts areas, the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance creates special opportunities for programs and courses that draw on the interdisciplinary character of the arts.

At CSU, your performing arts education takes place in one of the nation’s finest teaching and performance facilities, the exquisite University Center for the Arts. Our facility brings together talented and committed students with a dynamic faculty and staff in a vibrant learning environment that fosters and supports creativity and growth.

We know you’ll “find your state” at Colorado State University, and be inspired all along the way!


In addition to meeting the academic requirements for admission to Colorado State University, the successful passing of an audition as assessed by applied area faculty is required for admission into all music degrees and the music minor. In addition to the audition, music therapy, music education, music composition, and jazz faculty must approve prospective students desiring to pursue degrees and options in these areas.

For audition dates and to register: please visit OR email

Information about the general application to CSU:


Talent-based scholarships are available to music majors based on the level of their entrance audition and the availability of funds in each applied music area.

Although all auditioning students are considered for scholarships as part of the audition process, students must also complete the CSU Scholarship Application (CSUSA). Information on the CSUA can be found at:


Campus visits are encouraged, and we would enjoy giving you a tour of the University Center for the Arts where you will find out about auditions, meet with faculty, and watch a rehearsal. Students who wish to visit should complete our visit request form at admissions or email


The School of Music, Theatre, and Dance offers five undergraduate degree programs in music: The Bachelor of Music (B.M.) with concentrations in music education, music therapy, music composition, and music performance, and the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Music. A minor in music is also offered.

B.M., MUSIC EDUCATION CONCENTRATION prepares students for teaching choral, instrumental, and general music in elementary and secondary schools. This degree prepares students to apply for music teaching licensure (grades K-12) in the state of Colorado. CSU’s outstanding music education faculty members are in demand as clinicians, guest lecturers, conductors, and researchers. A feature unique to the accredited music education curriculum is the extensive field experience that students receive throughout their coursework, culminating in a semester of student teaching at the end of the program. Students must select one of two options: instrumental or choral.

B.M., MUSIC THERAPY CONCENTRATION The concentration is designed to prepare students to take the Certification Board for Music Therapists (MT-BC) examination. Music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship. As a MT-BC, graduates may work in various health care settings, including hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, assisted living centers, and special education. Some music therapists maintain private practices or serve as consultants. The Music Therapy program at CSU is internationally recognized for its leadership in clinical training and research. The area includes the Undergraduate Music Therapy Research Academy and the interdisciplinary Brainwaves Research Laboratory, where students have opportunities for hands-on involvement in music and music therapy research.

B.M., PERFORMANCE CONCENTRATION prepares students for potential professional careers in the music and creative industries as performers, entrepreneurs, private music teachers, as well as for continued study at the graduate level. The curriculum provides a strong foundation in music history, music theory, and performance, with many opportunities for performance, including large and small ensemble participation as well as solo recitals. In order to complete the Performance Concentration, students must select one of the following options: jazz studies, orchestral instrument, organ, piano, or voice.

CSU Jazz Ensemble I

B.M. IN PERFORMANCE, JAZZ STUDIES OPTION offers instrumental students a balanced course of study in both performance and academic classes to help them develop their skills as jazz artists and educators. Students in the degree have the opportunity to study jazz history, theory, improvisation, pedagogy, composition, and arranging, in addition to taking private lessons with both traditional applied faculty and jazz specialists.

B.M., COMPOSITION CONCENTRATION is a professional undergraduate degree program designed to prepare the student to compose original music for a variety of genres, including symphonic works, chamber music, electronic music, and music for media. Course work emphasizes comprehensive musicianship throughout the curriculum with particular emphasis on individualized study in music composition. Students receive six semesters of applied composition lessons, as well as specialized training in arranging, orchestration, electronic music production, and music analysis. The degree culminates with a student composition recital and the completion of a senior thesis in the form of a major work for orchestra or other large ensemble.

B.A. IN MUSIC allows students to study music within a larger context of a liberal education. In comparison to the curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Music (B.M.), less emphasis is placed on studies specifically in music, with greater flexibility for studies in a field outside of music. In lieu of a larger number of credits in music as required for the B.M, the B.A. student completes a 21-credit option in an area outside of music. In addition, completion of a major paper or capstone recital (half recital) is required during the senior year.

MUSIC MINOR a performance-based minor in music enables students to broaden their career opportunities in disciplines outside of music or to continue pursuing music studies throughout their time at CSU within the structure of a minor program. The music minor requires eight semesters of ensemble participation and requires a successful audition prior to entrance.


Students are accepted into specific degree programs as outlined above and are bound by degree requirements as articulated for each program of study. Students wishing to pursue a double concentration within the Bachelor of Music program must receive written permission from both the relevant applied area(s) and/or the relevant academic area (music therapy or music education) prior to pursuing a double concentration. Only under exceptional circumstances will a double concentration be allowed. A double concentration in music therapy and music education is not allowed. Note: a double concentration is highly likely to increase time to graduation.

Concert Choir Concert Band



The School of Music, Theatre, and Dance represents the performing arts on campus in a highly visible and prestigious environment. Performance opportunities are extensive and ensemble placement auditions are held at the beginning of the school year.

■ BANDS: Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Marching Band

■ CHOIRS: Chamber Choir, Concert Choir, University Chorus

■ JAZZ: Jazz Ensembles I, II, Jazz Combos I, II, III

■ ORCHESTRAS: University Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Orchestra, Opera Orchestra, Concert Orchestra

■ PERCUSSION: Percussion Ensemble, Steel Drum Ensemble, Marching Drumline

■ CHAMBER ENSEMBLES: String Quartet, Saxophone Quartet, Trombone Choir, Horn Ensemble, Flute Choir, Clarinet Choir, Brass Quintet, Woodwind Quintet, Brass Ensemble



Collaboration thrives in the University Center for the Arts, home of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Students and faculty engage in frequent interdisciplinary projects, including lighting, scenic, costuming, performance, choreography, and stage management for dance concerts, operas, and plays. Full-time students may attend SMTD events at the UCA at no charge.

visit for more details

Ralph Opera Program’s The Marriage of Figaro, by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Admission into a graduate program in music requires acceptance by the University as well as acceptance by the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. We urge you to apply for admission to the University as soon as possible. Applicants should possess an appropriate undergraduate degree, as well as potential for advanced study as evidenced by musical and academic achievement. An audition and/or personal interview may be required for admission into specific music programs. You may audition prior to acceptance by the Graduate School.

For audition dates and to register: please visit OR email


Merit-based scholarships and graduate teaching assistantships are available for each academic year. Assistantships provide a stipend for teaching and/or performance duties assigned by the School and include tuition remission for in-state and out-of-state tuition (excluding fees).

More information at


Campus visits are encouraged, and we would enjoy giving you a tour of the University Center for the Arts, where you will find out about auditions, meet with faculty, and watch a rehearsal. Students who wish to visit should complete our visit request form at admissions or email

Additional questions and requests to schedule a visit may be directed to:

Murray Oliver, Director of Graduate Studies

Colorado State University, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance Fort Collins, CO 80523-1778; (970) 491-5193



MASTER OF MUSIC, MUSIC EDUCATION SPECIALIZATION is designed for elementary and secondary music teachers who already hold a K–12 State music-teaching license. Specifically, this program is designed to inspire and develop the next generation of leaders in the field of music education by developing and applying scholarly research skills in the field of music education, the in-depth study of advanced pedagogical expertise, and the impact of contemporary learning theory on K 12 music education.

In this program, successful students will have the opportunity to gain content knowledge regarding the history and philosophy of music education, an understanding of how quantitative, qualitative, and historical music research is conducted, advanced skills in music analysis and interpretation, and a contemporary understanding of the pedagogy of music teaching and learning. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in CSU music ensembles to continue to develop as musical artists. Additionally, students are expected to be full-time students in residence and will most likely be given the opportunity to teach or assist with undergraduate music education coursework depending upon level of expertise and program demands. The degree coursework is designed to be completed over a period of two years and includes both on-campus and online coursework. Students in this program are expected to be in residence full-time during the school year and are encouraged to take advantage of the diverse summer elective offerings.

MASTER OF MUSIC, MUSIC EDUCATION WITH LICENSURE is designed for students who hold a Bachelor of Arts in Music or a Bachelor of Music degree and would like to earn teaching licensure in K–12 music while studying music education at the graduate level. To be considered for admission, applicants must hold an undergraduate music degree and perform an audition on their principal instrument. The degree can be completed in as few as three years if coursework is taken full-time and in the summer. Many students complete the degree in four years due to the number of courses required for licensure and the fact that one semester is devoted to full-time student teaching. The program ultimately leads to Colorado Teacher Licensure in K—12 Music. Students in this degree program are expected to be in residency year-round in Fort Collins, taking coursework on a full-time or part-time basis year-round.

THE MASTER OF MUSIC, MUSIC EDUCATION, COMPOSITION SPECIALIZATION is intended as a professional degree with specialized training towards composing music for educational ensembles and incorporating composition, improvisation, and music theory into K-12 music classrooms. Students enrolled in the program produce original compositions for educational ensembles and have them performed publicly by student ensembles. The degree option in music education with a specialization in composition is designed to provide music educators with the ability to apply compositional and arranging skills and the pedagogy of the creative process to the classroom in K-12 settings. This provides an option for a master’s degree in music education for students with an interest in composition, arranging, and the pedagogy of the creative process. Students take advanced coursework in scoring and arranging for educational ensembles, curriculum development for composition in K-12 classrooms, music theory and history, and applied composition lessons. Students in the program have multiple opportunities to have their works performed and recorded by local student ensembles.

THE MASTER OF MUSIC, PERFORMANCE OPTION is a comprehensive approach to the study and performance of literature in all styles and idioms of music. The curriculum is designed to develop musicianship, technical proficiency, and cultural awareness in performance and pedagogy. Regardless of degree concentration, the graduate student will maintain regular study on their applied instrument or voice and additional directed areas based on individual goals and needs. Graduate students may choose to specialize in one or more areas as they work toward degree recital requirements.

The intent of this specialization is to prepare students with outstanding performance potential to be competitive in performance and teaching careers and to be advocates for the arts in their communities. They may help meet the needs for skilled performers of solo and small and large ensemble music, and they will be able to teach in a university and help meet the considerable community demand for excellent private studio teachers.


THE MASTER OF MUSIC, CHORAL OR INSTRUMENTAL CONDUCTING SPECIALIZATION program is committed to musical excellence. The graduate curriculum is designed to build a well-rounded conductor/teacher, using the musical and personal strengths of the graduate conducting student. The program offers two options: the M.M., Choral Conducting Specialization, and the M.M., Instrumental Conducting Specialization, both of which require a two-year residency.

By the completion of the program, students will have developed advanced, personal conducting skills and techniques that are appropriate to a variety of musical needs. The student will learn effective rehearsal techniques, score preparation, and become knowledgeable scholars of important instrumental and choral scores representing repertoire of various musical periods and secular and sacred styles.

The conducting degrees accept a limited number of students who pursue a variety of professional goals, including education and directors of choral/instrumental ensembles. Students who are full-time music educators at the middle/ high school levels will be considered if they have three years prior teaching experience, and are presently conducting an ensemble(s). Students who are not public school educators must show a minimum of three years of full-time music/ conducting employment, and be presently conducting a high school, religious or community ensemble. In order to develoop the musicianship and skills necessary for the student's future professional success, graduate courses are organized in the areas of music literature and theory, the choral/vocal instrument, conducting, and teaching.

THE MASTER OF MUSIC, MUSIC THERAPY SPECIALIZATION is intended to provide board-certified music therapists with advanced training in clinical skills and research. The curriculum specializes in neuroscience and evidence-based music therapy to improve sensorimotor, speech, and language and cognitive function in children and adults who have disabilities. Specifically, the study of music therapy at CSU is designed to prepare music therapists for advanced clinical work in music therapy, as music therapy supervisors and administrators and for teaching positions at the college or university level.

Two master’s curriculum tracks are offered: the first is a thesis program of 30 credit hours designed to provide students with the opportunity to complete a substantial research project. The second track is a 32hour program that requires, in lieu of a thesis, additional course work in music therapy, a final project, and a common final exam. Either program prepares the student to pursue doctoral study. Our academic curricula are approved by the American Music Therapy Association and the National Association of Schools of Music. Applicants are expected to be Board-Certified Music Therapists (or eligible to sit for the exam) and demonstrate excellent musicianship and interpersonal skills.

The degree is offered on-campus and as a distance program.

THE MASTER OF MUSIC, MUSIC THERAPY SPECIALIZATION, WITH EQUIVALENCY is designed for the person who has excellent musicianship and has completed an undergraduate degree in music or a related area (including, but not limited to psychology and occupational therapy). Students take the necessary undergraduate prerequisite course work to fulfill entry-level music therapy practice requirements and graduate course work in advanced clinical practice and research. After completion of all course work, and a six-month clinical internship at an approved site, the student is eligible to sit for the Certification Board for Music Therapists exam. This degree requires at least two years of on-campus courses, then a year of internship and advanced clinical practicum.

This program is only offered on-campus.

SPECIALIZED MASTERS OPPORTUNITIES Opera Fort Collins Apprentice Artist Program Graduate String Quartet/Trio Online programs, with annual two-week summer residency seminars, in Conducting, Kodály, and Music Therapy


THE MASTER OF MUSIC, MUSIC EDUCATION SPECIALIZATION, KODÁLY OPTION is a graduate program designed for elementary classroom music teachers, independent music instructors, and secondary music teachers interested in developing their teaching, conducting, musicianship, and depth of knowledge about music education. One unique aspect of this program is that it enables students to earn national certification in Kodály music teaching through CSU’s Colorado Kodály Institute while earning a master's degree. The Colorado Kodály Institute (CKI) is one of the select programs endorsed by the Organization of American Kodály Educators. CKI faculty are among the top experts in the United States, and the University Center for the Arts location, at the foothills of the Rockies, provides an inspiring setting for personal growth.

The degree is designed to be completed over a time span of three summers with a minimum of 30 total credits (the degree is officially conferred at the end of the fall semester following the term in which all course work has been completed), with several online and/or evening courses required to be taken during the school year. Therefore, students have the option of living remotely during the school year and traveling to Fort Collins for the core summer coursework. The majority of participants in this degree program teach either part or full-time during the school year, gaining relevant experience while pursuing the graduate degree. As a result, they are continually assimilating real-world teaching experiences into their academic coursework.

Applicants are expected to be State-Licensed Music Teachers* and demonstrate excellent musicianship and interpersonal skills. *Exceptions may be made by the Music Education area on a case-by-case basis.



SPECIALIZATION is designed for current middle school and high school choir, band, and orchestra directors who seek to further their knowledge and conducting skills while earning a master’s degree, completing most of their course work in three summers. The two-week conducting seminar (four credits each summer) includes daily conducting opportunities in all three disciplines with a workshop orchestra, band, and choir, providing further hands-on training. All participants learn to conduct in all three disciplines. In addition, each student takes three, 3-credit academic classes (music history, analytical techniques and music research), one 3-credit music education course (Foundations of Music Education) and three, 1-credit seminars on various topics of interest to music educators. These courses are either offered on campus during the summer or online during the school year.

The complete program consists of 30 credits. A maximum of six credits in the academic courses can be transferred to your graduate program from NASM-accredited universities pending approval by your advisor and the Graduate School.

MASTER OF MUSIC, MUSIC THERAPY SPECIALIZATION The degree is offered on-campus and as a distance program (


The Ph.D. in Music Therapy emphasizes research and scholarship, as appropriate for the music therapist who aspires to a career in research, college-level teaching, or advanced clinical practice. In this program, you will engage in coursework that will advance your scholarship and help you to reach your professional goals. You will be involved in groundbreaking research, with the opportunity to develop original research in an area of interest.




CONCERT BAND (MU 205) W/F 4:15 – 5:45 P.M. Spring semester only contact:

UNIVERSITY CHORUS (MU 202) T/TH 5:30 – 7 P.M. contact:



MU 100 Music Appreciation registration required

MU 111 Music Theory Fundamentals registration required

MU 113 Music Technology registration required

MU 201 Men’s Chorus based on availability/non-auditioned

MU 202 University Chorus non-auditioned

MU 204 CSU Marching Band audition registration required

MU 205 Concert Band non-auditioned

MU 206 Concert Orchestra non-auditioned

MU 300 Women’s Chorus based on availability

MU 302 University Orchestra audition required

MU 304 Symphonic Band audition required

MU 305 Concert Choir audition required

MU 309 Jazz Band/Ensemble audition required

MU 310 Jazz Combo audition required

MU 332 History of Jazz registration required

MU 333 History of Rock and Roll registration required

MU 400 Chamber Choir audition required

MU 401 Opera Theater audition required

MU 402 Theater/Chamber Orchestra/Sinfonia audition required

MU 404 Symphonic Wind Ensemble/ Wind Symphony audition required


If you don’t have an instrument with you on campus, don’t worry, many instruments are available for rental! Contact for details.




The Colorado State University Marching Band is the largest and most visible student organization at CSU. The ensemble maintains an annual enrollment of approximately 250 members representing every college on the CSU campus. The band, of which 85% are nonmusic majors, performs annually for more than a million spectators. Performances include all home football games, the Denver/9News, Parade of Lights, the Colorado Bandmasters Association Regional/State Festivals, Denver Bronco games, and NCAA football bowl games throughout the United States.

Consisting of brass, woodwinds, percussion, colorguard, and the Golden Poms dance team, the CSU Marching Band (CSUMB) strives for musical excellence coupled with an exciting and innovative visual presentation. In addition, the group serves as a spirit leader and musical ambassador for the CSU athletic community. Membership is open to all students regardless of academic major by audition.

A required pre-season camp is held in Aug. of each year; drumline, colorguard, and Golden Poms auditions take place each late spring/summer. Each member selected for participation in the CSUMB is eligible to receive a $615 scholarship during the fall semester. The scholarship is contingent upon registration (full-time university status) as well as enrollment in MU 204 (Marching Band). Additional scholarships are available for those who audition and are selected for the Presidential Pep Band (fall) and Basketball Pep Bands (fall/spring).


T / W / TH / F, 4:30-6 P.M. (FALL ONLY)


The CSU Presidential Pep Band is a select group of up to 45 players who perform during the fall semester at select women’s volleyball games and other special university events through the president’s office. Membership is open to current members of the CSU Marching Band, and auditions are held during pre-season camp. Scholarships for service/ participation. Though the schedule is published in advance, there are occasional additional performances.



The CSU ‘Rampage’ Basketball Band is an auditioned group of players that support the men and women’s basketball teams and other special events during the late fall/spring semesters. Auditions take place in October and are announced in advance. The two bands (Green and Gold) alternate games and a full season schedule will be distributed before the season starts. The basketball band consists of the following instrumentation: alto saxophone, trumpet, mellophone, trombone, baritone, sousaphone, and drum set. Other woodwinds are encouraged to audition and will be utilized if space in the ensemble allows. Post-season travel to the Mountain West Basketball Tournament and any NCAA/NIT post season tournament will be limited to 29 members per trip and will be assigned based on instrumentation starting with the students with the highest level of regular season participation. Membership is open to all full-time CSU Students, but only members of the fall Marching Band are eligible for the Basketball Band Scholarship.


Colorado State University School of Music, Theatre, and Dance UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR THE ARTS, 1778 CAMPUS DELIVERY, FORT COLLINS, CO 80523-1778 Websites: / Phone: (970) 491-5529 #csumusic #thisisyouruca
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