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UMBC Department of Music
Department Overview
Welcome to the Music Department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Whether you are looking for concerts to attend, or information about entering and auditioning as a music major at UMBC, I hope you will find this site useful.

We are especially excited to call the new Performing Arts and Humanities Building our home from August 2014.  Only a short distance up the hill from the Fine Arts Building, we have a beautiful new Concert Hall that seats 375, a black box space called The Music Box (seating 80) that will house smaller-scale performances, a suite of Recording Studios to support the oldest and most developed program in music technology in the State, and numerous practice rooms, rehearsal rooms, classrooms, studio teaching rooms, and faculty offices.  Here is a photo (by Ken Wyner) of the Concert Hall:

For other photos, please visit “The Arts at UMBC.” (

Click here to sign up for a tour of our new Performing Arts and Humanities Building.

Our Curriculum:

UMBC's Music Department provides the one-on-one attention undergraduates need to flourish as young musicians within the resources of a small research university. We provide excellent large ensembles that unite musicians from across campus, regardless of major (the UMBC Symphony, the UMBC Wind Ensemble, Camerata, The Jubilee Singers, and The Jazz Ensemble), balanced with small classes in music theory, musicianship, music history, and music education. In addition, small performing ensembles such as Chamber Players, the New Music Ensemble, the Percussion Ensemble, the Vocal Arts Ensemble (opera scenes), and a number of jazz combos, allow students to hone their musical skills in a small group setting.

UMBC music faculty are renowned musicians who also love to teach. We are especially keen to build entrepreneurial skills in our students so that they are prepared to contribute as musicians to societies of the 21st-century as highly-skilled innovators. Examples of this initiative include our Arts in Education course (modeled on the Lincoln Center program in New York), a Careers in Music course, and a number of internships and side-by-side collaborations with our faculty and other professional musicians.

A new internship to be implemented during Fall 2014for our undergraduate music education students will take place at schools in Baltimore City that are part of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids program – an award winning after-school program that is modeled on Venezuela’s El Sistema (an innovative and widely successful initiative in music education). This partnership between UMBC Music and the Baltimore Symphony follows two others for graduate students – a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Music Entrepreneurship (1-year), in partnership with the BSO’s Education Department; and the BSO/UMBC Academy for Music Educators (a one-week summer program that includes classes pertinent to music teachers, an opportunity to conduct the BSO in rehearsal, and a side-by-side concert with the BSO).

Our students also join faculty in their research. One exciting new interdisciplinary project undertaken is “Symphony Interactive” – an I-Pad app thatenhances audience engagement at orchestral events by providinglive program notes during a performance. Led by Dr. Linda Dusman (Professor of Music) and Eric Smallwood (Assistant Professor of Visual Arts), and joined by student interns, the SI team has collaborated with the UMBC Imaging Research Center, the UMBC Symphony, and the National Orchestral Institute in developing and testing this app, and recently was awarded a Maryland Innovation Grant to support further work.

UMBC Music also values international experiences for our students. The Department has established an exchange program with the Nicolini Conservatorio in Piacenza, Italy (located only 1 hour from Milan!), where students can study for a semester.

So, whatever your musical interest or expertise, please visit us! We look forward to meeting you!!


Dr. E. Michael Richards
Associate Professor and Chair,
Department of Music

Mission Statement - Department of Music
Provide a dynamic learning environment that stimulates the highest standards of research, innovation, and leadership in music composition, teaching, performance, technology, education, and advocacy.

Vision Statement
Foster a society which values music as both part of a universal education, and as an essential expression of the human experience and spirit.

Goals and Objectives

1) Promote the highest levels of human aspiration and artistic integrity through the composition, documentation, and performance of music.

2) Develop an analytical, creative, and intuitive understanding of music as a cultural language.

3) Afford students opportunities for cultural and aesthetic experiences through active participation in music, to enhance their understanding and appreciation of the arts, and of the interaction between music and the liberal arts.

4) Enrich the campus and the region through concerts, workshops, and other public events, and provide opportunities for traditional and contemporary musical expression by students, faculty, guest artists, and members of the community.

5) Serve the University System of Maryland, the state, and the nation as an internationally recognized center for cutting-edge research in contemporary art-music through creative work in music technology, composition, and performance.

6) Promote and support student research and collaborations, often conducted jointly with faculty through publications and performances.

7) Provide opportunities and guidance to prepare our students for a professional life in music through mentorship, internships, entrepreneurial experience, and training as educators.

8) Promote diversity among our faculty and students

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