Return to: Areas of Study
Full Time Faculty and Staff: Randall Bauer, Michael Breidenbach, Victoria Malawey (Chair), Mark Mandarano, Michael McGaghie, Mark Mazullo, Sowah Mensah, Laura Nichols, Chuen-Fung Wong
Part Time Faculty: Clea Galhano, Joan Griffith, Peter Hennig
Studio Faculty: Rebecca Albers (viola), Ann Benjamin (harp), Michael Breidenbach (Highland piping), Claudia Chen (piano/piano for proficiency), Christine Dahl (piano/piano for proficiency), Julie Elhard (viola da gamba), Lynn Erickson (trumpet), Cléa Galhano (recorder), James Garlick (violin), Richard Gaynor (trombone/baritone horn), Joan Griffith (electric guitar/electric bass/jazz improvisation/mandolin/bass), Shelley Hanson (clarinet), Rachel Holder (voice), Gao Hong (pipa), Mary Horozaniecki (violin), Martha Jamsa (flute), David Jensen (trumpet/jazz improvisation), Winston Kaehler harpsichord/organ), Steve Kimball (percussion), Caroline Lemen (horn), LeAnn Lindgren (saxophone), Adam Linz (bass), Mark Mazullo (piano), Carole Mason-Smith (bassoon), Sowah Mensah (African drums/xylophones/flute/voice), Dan Newton (accordion), Laura Nichols (voice), Joe Reed (voice), Thomas Rosenberg (cello), Jennifer Rubin (bass), Laurie Sager-Wright (piano/piano proficiency), David Schmalenberger (percussion), Mark Seerup (oboe), Jeffrey Thygeson (guitar), Mike Vasich (jazz piano), Chuck Wazanowski (tuba), David Whetstone (sitar).
The music department offers many opportunities for general students and for students interested in music as a major or minor. All performing ensembles and most courses are open to majors and non-majors alike, although some courses carry prerequisites. For the music major or minor, a careful balance between theory/composition, history/literature and performance is maintained. Students electing a music major or minor may emphasize performance, composition, or music history/literature. A senior project in one of these areas is required of majors and recommended for minors. The music major provides preparation for graduate study in music, and many music-related jobs and professions. The major and minor prepare students for lifelong enjoyment of music through the study of appropriate skills, repertoire, and performance practice.
General Distribution Requirement
All courses in the music department count toward the general distribution requirement in fine arts except, on occasion, courses cross-listed with other departments. Credit accumulated through ensemble performance and studio instruction counts toward the general distribution requirement upon completion of four consecutive semesters. These four consecutive semesters must be taken in a single ensemble or performance medium in order to fulfill the distribution requirement.
General Education Requirements
Courses that meet the general education requirements in writing, quantitative thinking, internationalism and US identities and differences will be posted on the Registrar’s web page each semester prior to registration.
Additional information regarding the general distribution requirement and the general education requirements can be found in the graduation requirements section of this catalog.
Certain courses are particularly appropriate for the general student. These include Music Appreciation, Electronic Music, World Music, African Music, and various topics courses. Other courses, while open to all students, may require specific musical background or skills. Students interested in upper level courses should consult the instructor about prerequisites.
Performing ensembles are open to students by audition without regard for music major or minor status. These groups include the large vocal and instrumental ensembles, chamber music groups in the Western concert tradition, and other ensembles performing a spectrum of musical styles: African Music Ensemble, Mac Jazz (big band jazz), Early Music Ensemble, Highland Pipe Band, and the Mac Jazz and Popular Music Combos. Additional chamber ensembles such as string quartets and flute ensembles are formed in response to student interest. Students are also involved as soloists, conductors, or managers for the ensembles. Special performance projects such as dance concerts requiring live and electronic music, opera, and musical theater are scheduled as opportunities arise.
Studio instruction in voice, piano, harpsichord, organ, guitar, all standard orchestral instruments, jazz improvisation, bagpipe, African drumming, African flute, African voice, gamba, recorder, and sitar, is available to all students in the College. Studio instruction is with studio faculty who are all active professional musicians.
Lesson fees: Please consult the “Studio Instruction/Private Lesson” section of the Music department website.
1) Students can receive credit for successful completion of a sequence of 2 semesters of studio instruction and/or 2 semesters of ensemble participation. All majors and minors enrolled in lessons must complete a 15-minute performance exam at the end of each semester. Credit is given in the following manner:
Credit will be applied after completion of 2 consecutive semesters of the same studio instruction and/or ensemble participation. Consecutive semesters are usually fall-spring, but may be spring-fall.
Credit for a single semester of studio instruction or ensemble participation is not awarded.
Interruption of a sequence due to participation in an approved Study Abroad program is not considered a discontinuity.
2) Performance studies will be graded as follows:
Students with music major/minor concentrations, those receiving fee waivers, and those in ensemble studies, will receive letter grades A/B/C/D/NC.
General students without fee waivers have the option of letter grade A/B/C/D/NC or S/NC in studio instruction. Letter grades will be assigned unless the student designates in writing to the department coordinator a request for pass/fail option by the all-college deadline.
A student must earn a grade of A,B,C,D, or S for each term to receive credit for the course. All majors and minors enrolled in studio instruction must receive a grade of C or higher and complete and end-of-semester performance review, or the waived fee will be reversed and the student will be required to pay the entire fee for the instruction.
3) A student may count no more than 8 credits for performance studies toward graduation, but no limit is placed on continued participation. Continued participation will appear on a student’s transcript, but will not fulfill Macalester graduation requirements.
4) Credit for performance studies satisfies the general distribution requirement if four consecutive semesters of a single ensemble or performance medium are completed. The grade a student receives for credit-bearing performance studies is computed in the student’s cumulative GPA when the block of 2 consecutive semesters is completed.
Ensembles are open to all Macalester students. Selection of members is usually made on the basis of auditions in the fall. Students joining an ensemble are expected to remain active in it throughout both fall and spring terms. However, it is possible to audition to join an ensemble in the second term. Students with a declared major in music are required to participate in ensembles for their entire residence as a major, with at least four semesters in one of the following: Orchestra, Mac Jazz Band, Concert Choir, Macalester Chorale, or African Music Ensemble. Students with a declared minor in music are required to participate in ensembles for a total of four semesters, with at least two semesters in one of the following: Orchestra, Mac Jazz Band, Concert Choir, Macalester Chorale, or African Music Ensemble.
Piano for Proficiency Requirement
All Music Majors and Minors must pass a Piano for Proficiency exam before graduation. Towards this end, each music major and minor is offered four semesters of reduced-fee lessons in piano for proficiency in order to develop basic keyboard skills, which are indispensable to the study of music. Students are encouraged to begin the four-semester sequence as early as possible, typically upon their enrollment in Theory II. At the end of each semester students will be tested on their progress, and a passing grade on the final semester’s exam is required for all students graduating with a major or minor in music. Required skills include sight reading and the ability to play major and minor scales (hands together), triads in inversions (broken and solid), simple chord progressions, and short pieces in contrasting styles.
The music department participates in the honors program. Eligibility requirements, application procedures and specific project expectations for the music department are available from either the department office or the Director of Academic Programs. As part of the College Honors Program (administered by the Academic Programs Office), Music majors with a GPA of 3.5 and higher in their Music Department coursework may propose an honors project to be undertaken in their senior year. Projects may include performance, composition, and academic research. Guidelines and procedures for Music honors projects are available from the Department Chair or Department Coordinator.
MUSI 194, MUSI 294, MUSI 394, MUSI 494
Examination of special topics of interest to faculty and students. Recent topics have included: Beethoven, Cover Songs, Passion Music, Music in the United States, and The Art and Practice of Improvisation. To be announced at registration. (4 credits)
The department offers independent study options in the form of tutorials, independent projects, internships, and preceptorships. For more information contact the department and review the Curriculum section of the catalog.
Return to: Areas of Study