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The Department of Music is a unit of the Drake University School of Fine Arts and a visible musical resource for the community and the region.

Its mission is to provide a center for the study and understanding of music that develops students’ intellectual, practical, and expressive abilities by emphasizing professional preparation, collaborative learning, critical thinking, and musical communication.

Drake University

At Drake, you will find the best of both worlds: a music department that is large enough to support a vast range of musical activities, but small enough for students to receive highly personalized instruction and individual mentorship.

Drake music students share in the excitement that comes from working with renowned artists who are committed to excellence. Opportunities abound, enabling students to succeed in their chosen field, whether it's performanceeducationmusic business, or research.

This breadth and depth brings Drake students flexibility in career choices. Graduates of the Drake Department of Music are well-trained and well-rounded musicians who are highly competitive in today's complex and fluid musical world.

New Director of Choral Studies

Eric Barnum photoWe are thrilled to announce that Dr. Eric Barnum will become Drake’s Director of Choral Studies beginning in fall 2019.  Dr. Barnum is currently on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where he serves as Director of Choral Music.  He earned  Bachelor of Arts degrees in composition and vocal performance at Bemidji State University (MN-2002), a master’s degree in choral conducting at Minnesota State University, Mankato (2004), and a doctorate in choral conducting at the University of Washington (2013).  He is a well-known composer and has written numerous commissions for ensembles both in the United States and abroad.  As a composer/conductor, he has served as an artist-in-residence with notable ensembles, including Choral Arts (Seattle), The Rose Ensemble (Minneapolis), Kantori (Denver), Magnum Chorum (Minneapolis) and Coro Vocal Artists (Tucson).  Dr. Barnum has a deep desire to create profound and moving performances in all eras and styles and we have no doubt that he will envision and bring to life an exciting new era in Drake choral music.

More about Dr. Barnum here:

Enjoy his beautiful composition, Dawn.

Finally, you might be interested in his podcast, with Richard Robbins, The Choral Contrarians


Des Moines, Iowa

Options are plentiful in Des Moines, Iowa's capital and a lively center for arts, culture, and entertainment as well as business and government. Drake students earn positions in the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra and perform in many other venues in the metro area as well as on campus.


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