Message from the Director
Welcome from Dr. Michael Parkinson, Director of the MTSU School of Music
Welcome to the Middle Tennessee State University School of Music. Housed in the College of Liberal Arts, our School of Music serves 400 undergraduate and graduate music majors and music minors from across the nation and abroad studying in ten Bachelor of Music and eight Master of Music degree programs, and four specialized minors. In addition more than 3000 MTSU students enroll in music classes and ensembles each year. The MTSU School of Music offers all students a wide variety of performing opportunities including five wind bands, three orchestras, five choral ensembles, opera theater, vocal jazz ensemble, two big bands, two commercial music ensembles, myriad jazz combos and chamber music ensembles, percussion ensembles, steel drum bands, and a salsa band that regularly entertains at clubs in the metro area.
Located 35 minutes from Nashville, America's music capital, the MTSU School of Music houses an acclaimed faculty of 38 full-time and 40 adjunct artists/educators. MTSU's faculty perform, compose, teach, conduct, publish and present their research or music continually, from South Korea to Costa Rica to Rome. They instruct students in classical, jazz and popular music through courses in theory, history, conducting, composition, education, performance, and more. Private study is offered on all orchestral, keyboard and jazz instruments and voice. The School's low faculty-to-student ratio enables a high quality of personalized instruction, interaction and learning. Our prime objective is to fully invest in each student's future, providing state-of-the art educational experiences that will help ensure professional success.
MTSU was the first music school in Tennessee to become an "All-Steinway" institution, a national distinction, and is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. The School annually produces two hundred events that run the gamut from solo recitals to fully-produced operas, and includes performers that range from students and faculty, to international artists. Each year the School presents either premiere or first Tennessee performance of new works in a variety of media. Guest artists have included the Beaux Arts Trio, Jimmy Heath, Bill Holman, David Liebman, Jens Lindeman, Robert McDonald, Peter Serkin, and Alexa Still. MTSU is the home of the Center for Chinese Music and Culture, Dr. Mei Han, director, a one-of-a-kind facility in the United States, and the Center for Popular Music, Dr. Gregory Reish, director, an internationally recognized repository and working research center, as well as the Department of Recording Industry through the College of Media and Entertainment.
The MTSU School of Music annually sponsors numerous workshops and festivals attended by approximately 5,000 middle and high school students, performers and educators from throughout the region and beyond. The School hosts four youth and community ensembles, and cooperative arrangements exist with professional music associations that regularly stage events at MTSU. The national Orpheus Vocal Competition is held in the school in partnership with the Middle Tennessee Choral Society. Each summer MTSU hosts the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts, the Stamps-Baxter School of Music and the Southern Girls Rock and Roll Camp.
Our alumni teach thousands of students every day in private studios and schools from the kindergarten through university levels. MTSU alumni perform in orchestras, military ensembles, jazz bands, and opera companies, they appear in clubs and recording studios with the famous and yet-to-be-known, compose music for Hollywood films and commercial jingles, lead professional music organizations, work in the music industry, serve as church musicians, and continually enrich the lives of others through music as their sacred calling.
Built on proud traditions and alumni success, at MTSU we are focused on the future and excited to be in the forefront of educating the next generation of musicians for Tennessee and beyond. As a native of Cleveland, Tennessee, it is my honor to serve as director of the School of Music. I invite you to explore our curricula, meet our faculty, listen to our performances, and visit us in Murfreesboro. Regardless of your musical interest or career goals and dreams, you will find your home with us at Middle Tennessee State University!
Michael Parkinson, DMA
Director, MTSU School of Music