Music is one of the seven original liberal arts—and it’s just as indispensable for modern students as it was for the ancient Greeks.
Whether you dream of life as a composer, or you simply want to keep playing your instrument, Macalester’s Music Department has something to offer you. Music serves a fundamental human need, allowing us to explore, express, and communicate, both as individuals and as entire cultures. As a discipline, music offers an irreplaceable perspective and critical lens, both of which help fulfill the broader mission of Macalester.
Our curriculum includes courses in the craft of music, including performance, theory, and composition, as well as opportunities to learn conducting and recording. We also invite you to examine music through a critical studies lens. For example, you might:
- Perform works from the Western canon and other repertories, while critically examining the process of canonization itself
- Conduct fieldwork on world musical traditions
- Explore the connections between music and gender, ethnicity, race, nationalism, and more
- Study how music and literature intersect and influence one another
Why Music at Macalester?
Many of our professors team up with other departments on campus—such as English or the Asian Languages and Cultures Department—to lend additional insight and expertise to music courses.
Our Mairs Concert Hall houses two Steinway D concert grand pianos, an Allen Q370 organ, as well as state-of-the-art recording and broadcast equipment. The exceptional acoustics of the hall can be custom-tuned to the perfect setting for every performance.
Many practice and performance spaces in our gorgeous facility are wired and set up for audio recording, at a studio-level quality.
Life after Macalester
- 3M Company
- Allen Brill
- Americorps - Rebuilding Together Twin Cities
- Asylum Access Ecuador
- Blue Tree Music Education
- Branson School
- Denver Schools of Science and Technology
- Ecole Phillipe Gaulier
- Learn Now Music
- Minnesota Council of Churches
- Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
- School of Rock Oak Park
- Solate Band
- the Hive Hong Kong
- Twin Cities German Immersion School
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Volt at Apple
- Waterbury Music + Sound
- Indiana University
- North Carolina School of the Arts
- University of Iowa
- University of Minnesota
- University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill
- University of South Florida
- University of Wisconsin–Madison
- Yale University
Music in the cities
Number of nights per week that students have opportunities to see local, national, or international concerts, thanks to the Twin Cities renowned music scene.
Number of times the community gathers each week to celebrate students’ achievements at recitals.
Number of department-sponsored ensembles, for which any student may audition.
Music Major Receives an Arts Fulbright to Brazil
Jonah Lazarus ’17, a Music major from Oak Park, Ill., with minors in Physics and Portuguese, received an Arts Fulbright to Brazil. He will live in Salvador da Bahia where he will continue his study of the music of Candomblé, a religion, under the tutelage of Iuri Passos, of the Rum Alagbe Music School, and Dr. Angela Luhnig, an ethnomusicologist, at the Universidade Federal de Bahia.