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The Department of Music in the School of Fine Arts is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. The requirements for entrance and for graduation, as set forth in this catalog, are in accordance with the published regulations of this association.

Degree Options

The Music Department offers courses leading to the following degrees:

  • Bachelor of Music (B.M.), with majors in applied music or with elective studies in business
  • Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) Completion of this degree qualifies the student for a State of Iowa Teaching Certificate. Music education students achieve specialization in one of the following two areas: choral/ general music emphasis or instrumental/general music emphasis.
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), with a major in music. For students wishing to balance music training with other academic courses. The degree comprises 56 credit hours in music and 68 credit hours in the arts and sciences.

The Music Department also offers a Concentration in Jazz Studies, a Minor in Piano Pedagogy, and an Academic Minor in Music. These non-degree programs are not intended to be substitutes for any of the professional degrees offered by the department. See the listings for these programs below for required courses.

Music Department Regulations

1. Students desiring a major in music must have the approval of the Music Department prior to registration. An audition is required before consent can be granted. Applicants should contact the Music Department to arrange for an audition or to obtain permission to submit an audio or video recording in lieu of an on-campus audition.

2. The applicants for admission to the Music Department are invited to enclose with the application a brief statement of musical experience and education to date along with the names and addresses of one or more music teachers who can provide information about the applicant’s musical competencies.

3. Majors in all music degree programs receive one 60-minute applied lesson per week. Music minors receive one 30 minute applied lesson per week. Non-music participants, who are scholarship recipients, receive one 30 minute applied lesson per week.

4. Degree students are assigned to ensemble groups by the ensemble director and the department chair. Each student enrolled in the B.A. and B.M. programs is required to participate in one major ensemble (band, choir or orchestra) during each semester of full-time enrollment. Students enrolled in the B.M.E. program are required to participate in one major ensemble (band, choir or orchestra) during each semester of full-time enrollment until the eighth semester in the program. Prior to student teaching, students enrolled in the B.M.E. program will participate for at least one semester in a small ensemble experience during their years at Drake. Certain scholarship conditions may require students to participate in ensembles beyond the minimum degree requirements. Because of the educational and professional needs of the student and the Music Department, a student may be required to participate in more than one ensemble during a given semester. Usually, the ensemble assignment is in the area of the student’s major (or minor) applied study.

5. Private lessons missed by students may not be made up unless satisfactory arrangements are made in advance with the instructor.

6. Attendance at events listed under Music 21 (Recitals) is required of music students in all degree programs for a total of eight semesters, except for Music Education majors, for whom the requirement is seven semesters. A list of approved programs is posted at the beginning of each semester, and the attendance requirement is 15 recitals each semester, with double penalty for arrears, to be made up within the next semester. No more than one semester in arrears is allowed.

7. Students in the Bachelor of Applied Music and the Bachelor of Music Education programs must receive departmental approval before being classified as juniors or seniors within the Music Department.

8. All majors enrolled in Bachelor of Music and the Bachelor of Music Education programs must fulfill a four semester applied minor requirement and demonstrate keyboard competency. Majors in these programs, who have little or no keyboard skills, are required to enroll in the four-semester piano laboratory sequence (Mus 6, 7, 49, 50). Successful completion of the four semesters of this sequence will satisfy the applied minor requirement.

Students may be placed within the laboratory sequence based on a piano proficiency examination given during their first semester. Students who successfully complete portions of the piano proficiency will be a) placed appropriately in the laboratory sequence, and b) be required to study other instrument(s) and/or voice for the remaining number of semesters. Upon completion of the piano sequence, students may combine a variety of instruments and/or voice in order to fulfill the remainder of the applied minor requirement.

Students who successfully complete all elements of the piano proficiency exam will be required to enroll in four semesters of lessons on piano, other instrument(s) and/or voice, in order to fulfill the applied minor requirement. Students may combine a variety of instruments and/or voice in order to fulfill this degree requirement.

Transfer students must meet the piano competency required by the department. Placement in the piano laboratory sequence for these students will be based on examination. All transfer students are required to meet the applied minor requirements as outlined above.

University Musical Organizations

Choral Music

The DRAKE CHOIR is a 64-voice select ensemble that performs at least four times annually. The choir tours regionally on an annual basis and internationally every four years.

The CHAMBER CHOIR, the University’s most select ensemble, consists of 28 students chosen by audition from the Drake Choir. The Chamber Choir performs on each choral concert and is the featured ensemble for the yearly madrigal dinners. The choir tours annually throughout the region and internationally every four years.

The DRAKE CHORALE is a select women’s ensemble offering both on-campus performance opportunities, as well as collaborative concerts with area ensembles.

DRAKE UNIVERSITY/COMMUNITY CHORUS is a large ensemble of students, faculty, staff and singers from the Greater Des Moines area. The chorus performs at the end of each semester.

All four choruses rehearse and perform a major choral/orchestral work in each year.


OPERA THEATRE produces fully staged operas as well as one-acts and scenes each spring. Recent productions include Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro," Donizetti's "The Night Bell" and Copland's "The Tender Land." Auditions are held in September.

University Bands

Drake University Bands include three concert organizations (Wind Symphony, Wind Ensemble and Concert Band), the Marching Band, Bulldog Brass Athletic Band and chamber wind ensembles. Membership in Drake University Bands is open to students in all colleges and schools of the University. Contact the director of bands for more information.

The WIND SYMPHONY is Drake’s select wind performance group, whose members are chosen by audition. The group has released several compact discs and alternates recording and touring each year. Repertoire includes the most challenging and contemporary works for band and chamber winds.

The WIND ENSEMBLE AND CONCERT BAND is selected by auditions each fall. Its repertoire includes a broad variety of compositions of university and professional caliber. The Wind Ensemble and Concert Band gives three public performances each year and is open to all students.

The MARCHING BAND performs at all home football games and is a participant in many campus activities. It is open to all students, whether or not they participate in any other ensembles. The marching band also includes the Drake Flag Line.

The BULLDOG BRASS ATHLETIC BAND performs at most of the men’s and women’s home basketball games and also attends the Missouri Valley Conference and the NCAA tournaments. Bulldog Brass is open to all students. Students receive a stipend for each performance.

The DRAKE JAZZ ENSEMBLE I makes numerous public appearances, including participation in regional, national and international jazz festivals. In recent years, the ensemble has appeared with Ryan Kisor, Dick Oatts and Bob Mintzer.

The DRAKE JAZZ ENSEMBLE II also performs several times each year, and has performed at the UNC-Greeley Jazz Festival, where the ensemble received a superior rating.


THE DRAKE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA is open to any qualified University student. The orchestra presents a regular series of concerts on campus, one of which annually features the winners of the Young Artists Auditions. Artist faculty often appear as soloists as well. In addition, the orchestra performs with various choral organizations and in productions of operas and musicals.

Chamber Music Ensembles

(Under faculty supervision)

WIND ENSEMBLES are established each semester with various combinations of instruments.

STRING ENSEMBLES (quintets, quartets, trios) are composed of qualified students.

Other Music Activities

Drake University Community School of Music

In addition to the college-level applied music program, the School of Fine Arts Department of Music maintains the Drake University Community School of Music. It offers private instruction to those who wish training without University credit.

Workshop Programs

Workshop programs are offered for both students and non-Drake musicians in the areas of music education, band, chamber music, piano,conducting,strings, and voice. Such programs include an All-State preparation clinic, a jazz festival, an honor band festival, an invitational choral festival and professional conferences.

An endowment donated by Drake alumnus Edwin Earle Ferguson provides funds for a biennial residency by an internationally prominent musical artist or ensemble.

Master classes are offered by nationally and internationally-renowned musicians throughout the year. Recent clinicians have included Sherill Milnes (Drake Alumnus), Stanford Olson and Dawn Upshaw, voice; Frederic Chiu, Ralph Votapek, Marvin Blickenstaff, and Jon Nakamatsu, piano; Marina Piccinini, flute; Richard Stoltzman and Robert Spring, clarinet; Jean-Marie Londeix, saxophone; the Tokyo String Quartet; The Seoul Women’s Chorus; the king’s singers; Libby Larsen, David Berger, Maria Schneider and David Holsinger; composers; Jack Stamp, conductor, and the principal players of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Brass.

Each summer, the Music Education Area sponsors an intensive Music Education Workshop Institute. The institute offers master teacher workshops in Kodaly and Orff-Schulwerk certification, music literacy in the choral rehearsal, vocal pedagogy in the choral rehearsal and the Iowa Comprehensive Musicianship Project.

Drake MIDI Studio

This fully equipped MIDI studio houses synthesizers and tone generators with Macintosh-based software. The studio is open to students who have taken MIDI courses.

Dickson Media Resource Center

The center is a 900-square-foot facility containing individual and group listening and viewing stations and houses the fine arts library of more than 9000 CDs, LP records, tapes videos, and DVDs.

Computer Laboratory

A music computer laboratory, with Macintosh computers and MIDI keyboards, is housed in the Fine Arts Center.

Des Moines Symphony Orchestra

The Des Moines Symphony Orchestra presents a regular subscription series of concerts each year. Students may audition for membership in this outstanding civic orchestra.

Music Charges

There is a charge of $280 per semester for private lessons for music majors who are enrolled full-time, unless the student registers for more than three lessons per week. In this case, the extra lessons are charged at the part-time day tuition rate.

Non-majors also may enroll for private lessons for a charge of $280 per semester. Studio lessons for non-majors are available only with permission of the instructor and department chair.

Academic Credit for Private Lessons

Credit for applied music study is allocated as follows:

1. Two to six hours of credit for one-hour weekly lessons in major areas, depending on the degree program.

2. One hour of credit per one-half hour weekly lesson in minor and elective areas.

3. One hour of credit for all non-major lessons.

Instructors for Private Music Lessons

ALBAUGH, John Jazz Guitar
ALTEMEIER, David Jazz Bass
BLANNER, Christine  Voice
BRIDSON, Paul Jazz Trombone
BRIZZI, Paul Music Education
BROOKENS, Justin Trumpet
CLASSEN, Andrew Trumpet
CORPUS, Edward Voice
CRABBS, David Classical Guitar
CRAVERO, Ann Voice
GALE, Timothy Bassoon
GIUNTA, Cynthia Piano
HARRIS, Ruth Organ 
LEO, Nicholas Jazz Piano
MARRS, Leslie Flute
McGRANNAHAN, Grady Trombone and Euphonium
McINTYRE, Guinevere French Horn
MEUNIER, Robert Percussion
PADILLA, Clarence Clarinet
PEICHL, Daniel French Horn
PLUM, Sarah  Violin/Viola
ROMAIN, James  Saxophone
ROTH, Nicholas Piano
RYKER, Andrew Voice 
SHORT, Michael Tuba
SIDON, Ashley Cello
UCHIDA, Rika Piano

Teaching artists offer lessons in clarinet, guitar, jazz bass, jazz guitar, jazz piano, harp, horn, oboe, organ, saxophone, string bass, tuba, and voice.

Degree Option

Bachelor of Arts with a major in Music.

Description of Program

Candidates for the B.A. degree in music are prepared for graduate studies in music (particularly in musicology, music theory, ethnomusicology or music therapy) or interdisciplinary fields that emphasize musical knowledge or related skills (such as music criticism or library science). This degree is particularly well suited for students wishing to pursue a double major in music and another field, for those interested in pursuing academic research in music, or for those looking for a wide-ranging liberal arts curriculum that emphasizes studies in music. The candidate must complete a minimum of 124 credit hours: 56 in music and 68 in the arts and sciences. The completion of a senior thesis on a topic in music of the candidate’s choice is required during the senior year.
The B.A. degree in Music is not intended to be a substitute for any of the professional degrees offered by the Department of Music.

Requirements for Major

Required Courses

Credit Hours

Applied Music


Music 1 and 2 (Materials of Music I)


Music 3 and 4 (Materials of Music II)


Music 51 and 52 (Materials of Music III)


Music 53 and 54 (Materials of Music IV)


Music 81 (World Music)


Music 85 (Music History I)


Music 95 (Music History II)


Music 105 (Music History III)


Music 107 (Analysis of Post-Tonal Music)


Music 148, 149, or 150 (Band, Choir, or Orchestra)


Music 167 (Junior Research Seminar)


Music 168 (Senior Thesis)


Music Literature/Theory Electives




1. An audition is required in the applied area.
2. The required two years of study in applied music must be in the same instrument/voice.
3. Eight semesters of Music 21(recital attendance) are required in addition to all coursework.
4. Sixty-eight credit hours are to be taken in courses outside of music.

Music Minor

Description of Minor

The minor in music is intended for students with musical skills who do not wish to pursue careers in music. This program does not satisfy the requirement for certification in a minor teaching area. The minimum requirement for the minor is 24 credit hours. Music history/literature and music electives must be chosen in consultation with a designated music faculty adviser. An audition is required in the applied music area.

Requirements for Minor



APPLIED MUSIC (four semesters)


MUSIC 1 (Materials of Music I)


MUSIC 2 (Materials of Music I)


MUSIC 3 (Materials of Music II)


MUSIC 4 (Materials of Music II)


MUSIC 80 ( Music in Western Culture)




MUSIC 10, 73, 78, 81, 85, 95, 105, 106, 109, 110, 116, 119, 120, or 140


MUSIC ELECTIVES (Any music course for which the student is qualified.
No more than two ensemble or six additional applied music
hours apply toward the minor requirement.)



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