The Department of Music is committed to the advancement of Western art music and jazz as academic disciplines, as fields of professional endeavor and as a viable presence in the community. Entrance and graduation requirements comply with the National Association of Schools of Music guidelines. The department offers degree programs at the baccalaureate and master’s levels, and each of them are described in detail on individual program pages within the Bulletins Web site.
Participating in the VCU musical community means involvement in a musically rich environment of studio lessons, small classes, independent study and participation in performing organizations, as well as hearing outstanding professional performers in the classical and jazz traditions. On-campus master classes with major touring artists are an important addition to the regular instructional program. Student soloists also may appear with regional and university ensembles. Through the Mary Anne Rennolds Chamber Concerts and other events, the department is one of the region's major sponsors of music performances.
Approximately 330 students choose to major in music, with many other students from throughout the university taking courses and participating in ensembles. There are 20 full-time faculty, more than half of whom hold doctorates, in addition to 45 part-time instructors. Among the faculty are internationally recognized performers, composers, researchers and teachers — musician-educators who are active in all facets of the professional music world. The faculty includes members and regular performers with ensembles that include the Richmond and Virginia Symphonies, the New York Philharmonic, the Virginia Opera, Rhythm and Brass, the Great American Music Ensemble and National Chamber Players. The faculty maintains a high level of recognition through each individual's publications, recordings, international performances and lectures.
The department is housed in two buildings. The principal facility is the W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts, which includes the 502-seat Sonia Vlahcevic Concert Hall, faculty offices, rehearsal rooms and special studios for organ, percussion and piano. The James W. Black Music Center has a 347-seat recital hall, classrooms, practice rooms, rehearsal spaces, faculty offices and studios.