The Department of Music at MSU Denver offers 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.
Enjoy extensive performance opportunities with over 20 ensembles, one-on-one private instrument instruction from our celebrated faculty, and access to over 200 concerts and events per year including masterclasses with visiting artists, competitions, and music festivals.
By combining a minor in music with a major in such fields as business, marketing, graphic design, or journalism, you can customize your degree to suit your personal talents, interests, or career goals.
Other Music Degrees
Bachelor of Music (Concentrations in Composition, Jazz & American Improvised Music, Voice Performance, Instrument Performance)
Bachelor of Arts (Concentrations in Music and Music Theory)
Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver
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.
Career Opportunities for Our Graduates
A music minor combined with your major field of study will expand your opportunities for music-related jobs. Here are examples of median annual salaries for music-related positions according to careersinmusic.com.
- Concert Promoter $78,553
- Entertainment Attorney $117,567
- Music Critic $52,608
- Music Librarian $55,169
- Publicist $47,139
- Record Producer $68,168
- Sound Technician $41,129
- Tour Manager $54,317
Dave Devine, Jazz & American Improvised Music Guitar
Hailed by Westword as Denver’s guitar guru, Dave Devine is known for his virtuosity as a performer and his keen ability to connect with and inspire his students. Devine has recorded and/or performed with Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band, John Grant and the Czars, Art Lande, The Barr Brothers, Don Byron, Marc Broussard, Ron Miles, and Janet Feder among others. His own projects include Dave Devine Relay, Doors That Don't with vocalist Tania Katz, and modern jazz trio Invisible Bird with trumpeter Shane Endsley and drummer Scott Amendola. Many of Denver’s most popular bands contain former students of his, including Paperbird, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, and the Flobots.
Gene Roberts, Director of Opera Theatre
Gene Roberts is the Director of Opera Theatre at MSU Denver. He holds a BM in Vocal Performance from the St. Louis Conservatory of Music, where he also studied stage direction, and an MM in Vocal Performance from the University of Houston. Roberts was in the original Swiss cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera in Basel, Switzerland, and played the Beast in the German premiere cast of Beauty and the Beast in Stuttgart, Germany. Roberts has sung over 30 musical theatre and 20 opera roles throughout the US and Europe. He is a regular guest of universities throughout the US, including Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, where he serves every summer on the faculty of the Naked Voice Institute.
Patricia Surman, Director of Woodwind Studies
Yamaha Performing Artist Dr. Patricia Surman is an active solo, chamber, and orchestral flutist. Patricia has recently performed as a soloist and given masterclasses in Taiwan, Korea, Canada, and across Europe and the United States. In 2014, Patricia served on faculty at the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki, Greece and researched contemporary Greek flute repertoire. Her article on Ida Gotkovsky is featured on Oxford Music Online. She was recently featured in the International Alliance for Women in Music Journal, interviewed in The Flute View, and has published articles in the Journal of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors and Flute Talk Magazine. Patricia can be heard in recordings on the GIA and Mark Custom labels and as a soloist on the GIA Choralworks CD series.
Michael Hengst, Director of Brass & Percussion Studies
Michael T. Hengst teaches trumpet, serves as brass area director, and directs the Roadrunner Pride Pep Band at MSU Denver. Prior to his appointment, he served on the faculties at the University of Texas at Austin and Southwestern University. Dr. Hengst holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the University of Texas at Austin. He has been a finalist at the National Trumpet Competition, the Crawford Trumpet Competition, and the Brass Quintet Competition of the Americas. He is an active soloist and clinician throughout the country and also teaches at the InterHarmony International Music Festival each summer in Italy. He is a Bach trumpet performing artist.
Students seeking a music minor at MSU Denver complete 24 semester hours of music courses. As a minor in music, you’ll take courses such as:
- Private Instruction
- Class Piano
- Musics of the World
- Music Theory
See the full course sequence:
Facilities and Resources
As a music minor, 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:
- Concert Hall (King Center)
- Recital Hall (King Center)
- Performance Venue (Kalamath)
- Music Technology Computer Labs (Plaza and Kalamath)
- Theatre (King Center)
- Music & Dance Studio (King Center)
- Practice Rooms
- Private Instruction Studios
- Smart Classrooms and Rehearsal Spaces
You will also be studying on a campus within walking distance of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and many music venues.
MSU Denver is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music.