Whether part of a performance that resembles experimental theater, through the ear buds of an iPod, through a dorm-room wall or as the song of the mockingbird at 3 a.m., the Music program at New College recognizes that music challenges as often as it comforts and represents conflict as often as it communicates a message of peace and understanding.
Through developing skills of basic musicianship and introducing students to a wide array of musical styles in the Western art music tradition, world music, and forays into social theory, as well as many opportunities to compose, the New College Music program educates students to listen, observe, interpret and create. Students concentrating in Music can elect to focus on historical, anthropological, critical, compositional, technological or theoretical approaches to music.
Diverse guest lectures, theater and dance performances, art exhibitions and musical events are regularly held on campus including a cutting-edge contemporary music series, New Music New College, in which Music students and non-Music students frequently collaborate.
Within the program you can choose to pursue Music as a stand alone Area of Concentration (AOC), combine it with another major (a “slash” AOC as we call it), or you can concentrate on Music as part of an AOC in Humanities. Regardless of your choice, you will work closely with faculty who will challenge you to test the boundaries of what exactly music is and explore it from a variety of perspectives, including:
• Creative expression
• Physical gesture
• Social impact and experience
• A measure of cultural change
Graduates from our program lead successful careers in a wide variety of fields, including teaching at all levels from K-12 through college, and many are active performing artists and composers. Two of our recent graduates also received Fulbright Scholarships for international travel and research.
Our students must complete seven contracts, three Independent Study Projects and a senior thesis project to graduate. Contracts consist of three to five academic activities — courses, tutorials, internships, independent reading projects, etc. — that will develop your personal educational goals during a semester.
Here’s a list of recent course offerings in Music:
Introduction to Music
Music Theory I
Music Theory II
Music and the Environment
Early Music and Its Notation
European Music from 1600-1750
Languages of Modern Music: Analytics and Aesthetic Perspectives
New College Chorus
Opera, Ballet, and Supernatural
Group Tutorials and ISPs
Composition for Chamber Ensembles
For a complete list of courses, click here.
M.Mus., D.M.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Professor Miles is active as a composer, performer, and scholar. In all his work Professor Miles probes the dynamic relationship between musical and social structures, drawing on critical theory, and experimental techniques of composition and performance. His music has been performed throughout the United States, and he regularly presents papers at the Conference on Social Theory, Politics, and the Arts and the annual meetings of the Society of Composers.
Professor Miles is also the director of our New Music New College performing arts series, featuring contemporary music and compositions by leading local and national artists, as well as students and alums from New College. Recent guest artists include Pamela Z, Kathleen Supové, Corey Dargel, Scott Kluksdahl, and The JACK Quartet. Visit the New Music New College website for more information on this cutting-edge series.
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
In both her research and teaching, Professor Clark moves among the disciplines of musicology (music history), ethnomusicology (anthropology of music), and dance history, striving to demonstrate the ways that experiences of music are culturally constructed and historically situated.
Most of Professor Clark’s research has focused on French opera and ballet of the nineteenth century. She recently began a project on women whistlers in the United States, 1880-1930. She teaches on a wide range of topics in music history, including courses on the history of opera and music and the environment.
ABD, Princeton University
Professor Dancigers is a composer and electric guitarist from Virginia Beach, Virginia. His music seeks to move listeners through a combination of innovative timbres and melodic grace. As the guitarist for NYC-based NOW Ensemble, he has premiered dozens of works and performed across the US.
A large part of Professor Dancigers’ musical output is for NOW Ensemble, whose second album Awake charted at #2 on Amazon’s Classical Music Charts and was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered. His music has been described in the New York Times as “entrancing” and “rich in beguiling timbres”, and in The Classical Review as “fresh and vibrant.” Orchestral performances have included the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, and the New York Youth Symphony. In 2013 his piano piece “The Bright Motion” was used in choreography by New York City Ballet choreographer Justin Peck for performances at the Fall for Dance festival in New York City Center.
Professor Dancigers’ teaching interests include analysis of 20th Century Music, music and gesture, music composition, electronic music, and music theory.
Adele Fournet ’09 is pursuing her Ph.D. in music at New York University. While at New College, Fournet earned a Fulbright to study Gender in Musical Structure: Female Rock Artists in Lima, Peru. Provost Stephen Miles said. “Classical and pop music were always in two separate categories for Adele, but she was able to bring those together at New College.” While a student at New College, Fournet composed music for the Sarasota string and piano quartets and wrote a senior thesis called “Chicks with Picks, an ethnography of the Tampa, Female Rock Musicians in the Tampa Bay Music Scene.” As part of her work, she looked at female musicians — not singers necessarily, but instrumentalists and asked the questions: What was their path to music? And what has been their experience professionally? A version of her thesis was published in a peer-reviewed online journal called Music in Arts and Action.
New College is proud of the many Music and non-Music graduates who have contributed to the field. Here’s a sampling of some of our graduates:
• Martin Daughtry is in an assistant professor of music in musicology at NYU. He concentrated in Russian Language & Literature at New College and received his master’s degree and Ph.D. in musicology from UCLA.
• Silas Durocher is a composer, guitarist, songwriter and singer who blends rock and funk with classical music. You can follow him and learn more about his music by visiting his website at silasdurocher.com.
• Ellen Gray is an associate professor of music in ethnomusicology at Columbia University. She concentrated in Humanities at New College before earning her master’s in music and her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology at Duke University.
• Erica Gressman combined her love of music and art with an AOC in Humanities at New College. She earned her M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. “She used the flexibility of a Humanities AOC to be able to craft the right blend for her,” Provost Miles said.
• Erin Hannon is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). She is the director of the UNLV Music Lab on Auditory Cognition and Development. She concentrated in Music and Psychology at New College.
Sample of Graduate Schools Attended by NCF Students in Music
• Ohio State University
|Each academic experience builds toward your senior thesis project, which is required for graduation. Students tell us that while the thesis project is demanding, it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives.
Within Music, our students’ senior thesis projects range from musicology and theory to original compositions and performances. Here are some examples of recent thesis projects in Music.
Musicology and Theory
“Genre Vs Individualism: Claude Debussy and the Evolving Parisian Artistic Landscape” by Abigail Carissa Lindo
“A Historical and Algorithmic Study of Schoenberg’s Approach to Counterpoint” by Walter Maisel
“To Be Black As You Are: Jimi Hendrix, Ofwgkta, Bob Kaufman, and The Marginalization of Black Cultural Traditions” by Jakilah Mason
“American Hybridity in the Music of George Gershwin” by Brendan Rivers
“Chicks with Picks: An Ethnography of Female Rock Instrumentalists in Tampa, FL” by Adele Fournet
“The Circus Tune Everyone Knows” by Lindsay Benet Crowe
“”Join in a Song with Sweet Accord”: Creating Community and Maintaining Harmony among Sacred Harp Singers” by Jessamyn Doan
“Dissonance and the Body in Contextual Atonality: A Phenomenological Analysis” by Brian Oberlander
“Something Borrowed, Something New: Traditions, Cliches, and Symbolism in Igor Stravinsky’s Les Noces” by Chelsea Evangeline Famiglio
“Sergei Prokofiev’s Modern Interpretation of Sonata Form as Seen in Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 28” by Margaret Stanny
“The Critique of Sample-Based Music: Creating a Foundation for Understanding” by Eliot Chayt
“The Perception of Meter in Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat” by Eric K. Napier
“Communicating Protest: The Rhetoric of Violeta, Parra, Social Activist Cantora of the Nueva Canción” by Heather Williams
“In the Middle of the Field: Arvo Part and the Pursuit of popularity, Prestige, and Authenticity” by Jeffrey D. Lundy II
“To Blast away the Things that Block Men’s Ears’: Adorno’s Relevance for Contemporary Music” by Thomas W. Patteson
“Technology and Creativity: The Role of Compositional Tools in the Shaping of Music” by Audrey R. Troutt
“Examining Schubert’s Piano Sonatas His Innovations and his Conservative Shift to a More Classical Style of Composition” by Sara Wood
“African Music Through a Western Lens” by Allison Fremont
“Perceptual Coherence in the Atonal Music of Arnold Schoenberg” by Erin Hannon
Original Compositions and Performances
“Meaning in Music: A Hybrid Composition/Analysis Project” by Susanna Payne-Passmore
“Beyond The Mash-Up: A Composition Inspired by Configurable Culture” by Caegan Quimby
“Songs of the Mountains, Songs of Resistance: A study of protest music against “King Coal” in Southern Appalachia, historically and today” by Sara Henry
“Mandala Music” by Sara Stovall
“Parallelpiped: Sounds Serious” by Thomas Wheat
“Ain’t Nothin’ To It But To Do It: Collaboration and Reflexivity in Experimental Performance” by Caitlin McMullen
“Walpurgis Night in Sarasota: For Chamber Ensemble” by Alejandro Castano
“Winterreise: In Study and Performance” by Brandon Evans
“Systematizing intuition: Musical Composition as Process” by Justin Crowell
“Synthesis of Popular and Institutional Music; Original Compositions and Essay” by Silas Durocher
“The Process of Composing “Brass Quintet”” by Kevin James
“Negotiating Voices: Performing Aaron Copland’s Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson” by Tara Lee Nixon
“Bario’s Sequenza III: An Aesthetics of Otherness” by Amber Vistein
“Le Rythme de la Vie” by Taylor Briggs
“Twinkle’: An Original Musical for Children” by Emily M. Payne
“Eight Pieces for Brass Quintet Combining Serial and Minimalist Compositional Techniques” by Michael Ferguson
“Four Colours” by Jason Rosenberg
Located adjacent to the world-renowned John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, New College’s Caples Fine Arts Complex is dedicated to students in the fine, visual and performing arts and includes the following:
• 260-seat Mildred F. Sainer Art & Music Pavilion
Each is the setting for performances and exhibitions throughout the year.
Within the Caples Fine Arts Complex, music students enjoy classrooms and practice rooms designed for their needs, as well as a Mac lab for students in all areas of the arts. Sainer Pavilion is also home to the College’s Steinway B grand piano.
Performance at New College is seen as an opportunity to integrate theory and practice. A great example is our New Music New College (NMNC) series, which each year brings world-class performers to campus for concerts and master classes. Students attend the master class sessions for free and are involved in at least two of the performances including Crossroads, an outdoor concert held each spring that brings together musicians from backgrounds as diverse as rock ‘n’ roll, blues, guitar, piano and more. Students who participate may or may not be working toward a Music AOC.
As part of the New Music New College series, alumna Erica Gressman returned to campus recently to present her master’s thesis performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. “Wall of Skin” is a multimedia theatrical piece that is emotional and stunning. As a New College student, Gressman performed twice at Crossroads concerts as a drummer and vocalist for the student band Tyger Beat.
New College also offers composers opportunities to hear their work played by professional musicians. Every spring semester a chamber ensemble associated with the Sarasota Orchestra (the Sarasota String Quartet, Sarasota Woodwind Quintet, or Sarasota Brass Quintet) rehearses the works of New College student composers, which culminates in the Composers’ Concert.
Beyond the extensive NMNC programming, students may also sing in the New College Chorus and arrange their own chamber groups. Or they can sing in Acapellago, our four-part mixed a capella choir intent on warming people’s hearts with harmonies and performances throughout the year. New Cats, the College’s eclectic jazz ensemble, is another popular alternative for students in music.
Music faculty are also available to help students make connections with musicians in the Sarasota community who teach private lessons, although students must pay for those lessons over and above the tuition and fees that New College charges.