Ready to find out what MSU Denver can do for you? We’ve got you covered.
MSU Denver’s Bachelor of Music degrees with concentrations in performance and composition offer vigorous study of music alongside a strong liberal arts education, equipping students with versatile skills that are highly valued in the broad spectrum of music-related careers.
Music at MSU Denver offers extensive performance opportunities with over 20 ensembles, private instrument instruction, and access to over 200 concerts and events per year including masterclasses with visiting artists, competitions, and music festivals.
Concentration options for the Bachelor of Music degree are:
The Composition concentration provides a solid foundation of classical and jazz music theory while building skills in arranging, orchestration, conducting, performance, and music technology.
All music majors must pass an audition on their primary instrument for entry into MUS 1710 Private Instruction I. For admission to the Composition concentration, students must pass a review of their composition portfolio upon completion of MUS 3650, Basic Techniques of Composition.
Our Jazz and American Improvised Music performance concentration is unique amongst jazz degrees, embracing folk and popular music alongside traditional jazz. Our close-knit community of jazz students at MSU Denver learn genre-spanning improvisation techniques, opening the door to a wider variety of performance and career opportunities.
Private instruction with a Jazz & American Improvised Music focus are offered for guitar, bass, drum set, piano, voice, woodwinds, brass, strings, and percussion instruments. All music majors must pass an audition on their primary instrument for entry into MUS 1710 Private Instruction I. For admission into the Jazz & American Improvised Music Performance concentration, students must also pass the Music Performance Audition, which is held upon completion of MUS 1720, Private Instruction II.
Music at MSU Denver offers Performance concentrations for all brass, woodwinds, and strings instruments, as well as percussion, Classical guitar, piano, and organ. Students in the performance track gain extensive experience performing as soloists, in small groups, and in large ensembles such as Symphonic Band or Symphony Orchestra.
All music majors must pass an audition on their primary instrument for entry into MUS 1710 Private Instruction I. For admission into either of the Instrumental Performance concentrations, students must also pass the Music Performance Audition, which is held upon completion of MUS 1720, Private Instruction II.
The Voice Performance concentration offers a vibrant and diverse array of performance opportunities, from fully-staged productions of operas and musicals to large choirs, mixed choirs, chamber music groups, and global music ensembles.
All music majors must pass an audition on their primary instrument for entry into MUS 1710 Private Instruction I. For admission into the Voice Performance concentration, students must also pass the Music Performance Audition, which is held upon completion of MUS 1720, Private Instruction II.
With state-of-the-art performance venues and internationally recognized professors, the Department of Music at MSU Denver serves as a leader in the education of performers, teachers, and music industry professionals. Our program flows through classical, jazz, commercial, and global music to prepare you for the broad range of opportunities that exist for today’s musicians.
MSU Denver’s music faculty are among the finest performers and educators in the nation, committed to building a familial atmosphere for students and bringing a passion for music education that will ignite your creativity and inspire you to think about music in innovative ways.
Our location in vibrant Downtown Denver places you in the heart of the city’s rich and diverse cultural district. We provide ample performing opportunities both on and off campus with concerts at Dazzle, the Mercury Café, and more. You’ll have the opportunity to perform in fully-staged operas, musicals, and festivals hosted annually on campus like the Viva Southwest Mariachi Festival and the Jazz Celebration. We partner with organizations such as the Colorado Wind Ensemble and the Playground Ensemble to give you experience working with professional musicians.
The Music Department at MSU Denver is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music.
As a music major, you’ll study and perform in the King Center on the Auraria Campus, and the Kalamath building in the Santa Fe Arts District, which include:
You will also be studying on a campus within walking distance of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and many music venues.
As a Bachelor of Music graduate, you’ll have myriad opportunities for music performance and music-related jobs. Here are examples of median annual salaries for music-related positions according to careersinmusic.com.
College, Conservatory, or University Music Teacher $50,934
Film Music Editor $45,764
Music Therapist $50,934
Opera Singer $70,000
Private Instrument Teacher $42,910
Session Musician $54,600
Sound Designer $40,827
Director of Guitar Studies
Alex Komodore is a Denver-based virtuoso guitarist. His powerful interpretations, formidable technique, and natural musicianship have won unanimous praise from prominent international critics, audiences, and many of the world’s finest guitarists. A tireless and dedicated servant and teacher of his craft, Komodore has judged in many of the world’s most prestigious Guitar Festivals and Competitions, including the Portland International Guitar competition, the Denver International Guitar Competition, the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival, and the Guitar Foundation of America International Youth Guitar Competitions. He has been invited to teach at many International conservatories throughout the world. Winner of the 1985 MTNA Collegiate Artists Competition, his subsequent appearances on National Public Radio and PBS Television broadcasts brought swift national acclaim. A much sought-after soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra soloist, his performances and master classes have taken him across the United States, Canada, Portugal, Greece, Turkey and the Dominican Republic. Showing rare versatility, he has performed as a guitar, theorbo, mandolin, and tenor banjo soloist with many of the finest orchestras across the U.S.
Director of Piano Studies
Dr. Jooeun Pak has appeared as a soloist, chamber musician, and a champion of contemporary music, performing throughout the U.S., Korea, Italy, Jordan, and Germany, including Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall and Terrace Theatre in the Kennedy Center. A highly in-demand collaborative pianist and chamber musician, Pak has performed with winners of the Metropolitan National Council Audition and the Tchaikovsky International Competition. She is a passionate advocate of creative interdisciplinary projects and actively commissions and premieres compositions of our time. She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and Literature from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.
Director of Jazz Studies, Assistant Professor, Jazz Voice & Piano
Pianist/Vocalist/Composer Dawn Clement has established herself as one of the most sought-after musicians working today. With her joyful presence, consummate technique and distinctive sound, Clement has gained the attention and respect of musicians, critics and fans through the US and abroad. “In all this world of jazz, there are very few individual voices, no matter what the instrument, but Dawn has come up with a voice that’s unique…” says legendary jazz trombonist Julian Priester. She has released five albums and has appeared as side woman on Jane Ira Bloom’s latest release Wild Lines and Emi Meyer’s Monochrome. With her newest release, Tandem, she explores the magic of musical pairs with some of her closest musical cohorts. This “Wonder Woman of Seattle,” (Paul DeBarros, Seattle Times) has recently relocated to Denver to join the MSU Denver faculty as Assistant Professor.
Director of Voice Studies
Dr. Bradley Thompson, lyric baritone, serves as the Director of Vocal Studies at MSU Denver. His students have appeared with several opera companies in the region and have received recognition in the Boulder International Voice Competition as well as competitions sponsored by the National Association of Teachers of Singing and Classical Singer magazine. His own operatic repertoire spans over ninety performances of some thirty different roles. He has appeared with many orchestras in the Rocky Mountain region, and he made his Carnegie Hall solo debut in 2015. Dr. Thompson is renowned for an evidence-based teaching style which seeks to impart the necessary technical growth to help a student unlock their instrument’s potential.
Director of Composition
Dr. David Farrell’s music has been performed by ensembles across the United States, including the North/South Chamber Orchestra, the Playground Ensemble, the Indiana University Symphonic Band, the University of Iowa Center for New Music Ensemble, and the University of Illinois Chamber Orchestra as winner of the University of Illinois Orchestra Composition Competition. His works have been featured at the Sam Houston State University Contemporary Music Festival, the University of South Dakota’s “60/60” concerts, and the Midwest Composers Symposium. Farrell earned a DM in Composition from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.
Our teachers made you believe you could have a career. Being exposed to musicians who are working… that gives you a really realistic picture of what you could be doing. It’s inspiring to be around that.
Melissa Wimbish is an opera singer who has been praised by The New York Times for her “stylish singing.” She made her Kennedy Center recital debut in 2011 and her New York solo debut recital at Carnegie Hall in 2016. She is the winner of the 43rd Annual National Association of Teachers of Singing Artists Awards.
Graduates of MSU Denver’s Bachelor of Music degree program perform as artists across musical genres, manage recording studios, teach at the elementary through college level, serve as music and choir directors, and operate their own private-instruction businesses. Among the institutions that have accepted B.M. graduates for post-graduate study are Regis University, the University of Colorado Denver, and UCLA.