Facilities & Strengths

Performing Ensembles

  • Civic Symphony
  • Wind Symphony
  • Wind Ensemble
  • Jazz Band
  • Choir
  • Women’s Ensemble
  • Chamber Choir
  • College and Community Chorus
  • Men’s Ensemble
  • Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Ensembles

Student-Faculty Collaboration

Students are often invited to collaborate with faculty in performances, conference presentations, and community outreach activities.  Additionally, students regularly perform with intercollegiate ensembles at the state and national levels.

Independent Study

With one-on-one faculty supervision, students can explore areas not offered in the standard curriculum.  Examples of recent independent studies include:

  • Conducting
  • Acoustic Analysis of Vocal Tract Resonance
  • Piano Literature from Classical and Romantic Periods
  • The History of Music Theory

Department Facilities

  • Performance venues includes 1,700-seat Shafer Auditorium and 450-seat Ford Memorial Chapel
  • Centrally located music facilities in Arnold Hall, adjoining Henderson Campus Center
  • Steinway pianos in concert venues on campus
  • Ample practice and rehearsal space for music students
  • An extensive inventory of large instruments available for loan to ensemble members
  • Technology for vocal analysis including spectrography and electroglottography

Visiting Musicians

  • Alexander String Quartet
  • U.S. Marine Band, “The President’s Own”
  • Boston Brass, brass quintet
  • U.S. Navy Band
  • Johan de Meij, composer
  • Demetrius Spaneas, saxophonist
  • Anthony Plog, composer
  • Meredith Ziegler, mezzo-soprano

Field Study

Annually, the department schedules trips to hear visiting artists and performing groups in the nearby cities of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Erie, and Buffalo.

Honors and Prizes

  • Morten J. Luvaas Prize to choral music student
  • Ethyl Moore Miller Prize to a junior or senior who shows exceptional progress and ability in musical studies and performance
  • Edith Mead Osborne Prize to the individual who shows marked musical ability, talent, or direction in voice, piano, or organ
  • The Frederick and Lucille Marantz Memorial Prize, awarded to outstanding piano students
  • The Robert and Bronwell Bond Award awarded to an exceptional talented Allegheny student who will benefit from a rich musical experience away from the campus
  • Ann H. and Daniel F. Sullivan Award for Outstanding Musicianship


  • Approximately 15-20% of the entire student body is involved in music department programs.
  • “Despite pursuing a career outside of music, I have found that the discipline of music theory is applicable in many areas and that I am more well-rounded in my knowledge than the engineering majors I work with. The most important part of the department is the professors: my music advisor became my mentor, a friend, and taught me things beyond music, things that I use in my everyday life.” – Barbara Anderson Werner ’91, math and music major, now a programmer analyst/software engineer with Logicon Geodynamics, Inc.
  • “During my years at Allegheny, I had the chance to perform as a soloist for the Civic Symphony on two occasions. Through the support and instruction I received from the music department, I was able to do something I had never believed I could do. Through the hours and months of rehearsals, practice and preparation, I discovered that, if I put my mind to it, I could accomplish anything.” – Jennifer Story ’92, psychology major.
  • ” Allegheny provided a nurturing environment that allowed me to examine my areas of interest with outstanding, caring instructors, which eventually led to my changing my major to music and drama. One of my advisors for my two majors was honest about my skills and limitations. Not only did he instruct and motivate me, but he challenged me always to be the best I could be. ” – Steve Sheftz ’83, music and drama major
  • “We were not merely instructed to open our ears to a type of music that we had dismissed, but instead we were shown by example how to appreciate and embrace its universal and sweeping beauty. Rather than memorizing history, biography, and theory, we were taught a far greater and more important skill: the art of listening and understanding.” – Reid Ockerman ’95, English major
  • Jonathan Hamilton, ’07 Worship and Creative Arts Director, Erie First Assembly Church