Department of Music

News & Events

Fall 2015 Orientation & Audition Information

The music theory placement test for incoming freshmen [Fall 2015] will take place on Wednesday, August 26th at 1:00pm in Lander Auditoriumin in Hutchison Hall (please note the change of venue [Pt. II]!). If you are even considering taking music theory while at UR, you should take this test! Reservations are not required-- simply show up with a pencil.

After the placement test, a Music Q & A session will be held right next door to Lander in Hubbell Auditorium, with information on lessons, ensembles, courses, practice rooms, and more. If you are not taking the theory placement test, simply come to Hubbell Auditoriumin in Hutchison Hall at 1:30pm on August 26th.

Ensemble auditions will take place throughout orientation week and the first week of classes. Visit the large bulletin board in Dewey Hall to view the options and to sign up.

Students interested in private lessons at the Eastman School should complete the online application at For more details, visit the "FAQ" page.

2015 Hopeman Summer Carillon Recital Series Begins on July 6

2015 Recital Image

The Hopeman Memorial Carillon Summer Recital Series is set to begin on Monday, July 6 on the University of Rochester’s River Campus. The free outdoor concerts on the Eastman Quadrangle are open to the public and continue each Monday in July.

The program will begin at 7 p.m., rain or shine, and last about an hour. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring folding chairs, blankets, snacks or picnics, and relax on the lawn on the west side of Rush Rhees Library. The annual event features carillonneurs who travel throughout the world to perform music specifically written for the instrument of bells.

Housed in the upper-most chamber at the top of Rush Rhees tower, the Hopeman Memorial Carillon consists of 50 bells that were cast in bronze by Royal Eijsbouts Bellfoundry of Asten in the Netherlands. Throughout the year, the sounds of the carillon can be heard on campus as the traditional melody known as “Westminster Quarters” marks every quarter hour. One of only seven carillons in New York, the more than three-ton instrument is regularly played by students of the University’s Carillon Society, who perform classic and modern musical compositions for campus events, holidays, and special impromptu concerts. The ringing of the carillon bells also marks special community, state, and national events.

Performer schedule:

Teaching Assistant Wins Award

Aaron James Arard thumb

The University Dean of Graduate Students has recognized Aaron James with the 2015 Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student. This is a competitive award, and, as Dean of Graduate Students Margaret H. Kearney indicated, “the materials submitted on (Mr. James’) behalf clearly demonstrated (his) skill and commitment to the role.” This is the second year in a row that the Music Department has nominated a winning candidate. The award includes a monetary prize of $1000.

As teaching assistant for MUR 223, History of Western Music 1750-1850, Prof. Kim Kowalke noted that , “Aaron was an exemplary TA, one of the best I’ve ever had, and that is a select group indeed, with a half dozen winning the Edward Peck Curtis Award during the last three decades. Aaron deserves to be in that elite company . . “

Aaron James completed an MM in organ performance at Eastman following a BMus at the University of Western Ontario, where he received the Faculty of Music Gold Medal; he is now pursuing a PhD in musicology concurrently with a DMA in organ. His primary research interests involve issues of genre, theology and devotional culture in the sixteenth-century motet. He has presented conference papers at McGill University and the University of Sheffield (UK), and will present his work at the 2014 annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America. His article on polyphonic settings of the Salve Regina was published in the spring 2014 issue of the Journal of the Alamire Foundation.

New Hopeman Carillon Video Created by Students

Created by Kara Morse, Sara Macnally and Jackie Meyer

High Voltage Course Profiled by Death Metal Underground

Death Metal Underground recently conducted an interview with Josef Hanson to discuss MUR 145, High Voltage- Heavy Metal Music and its History. Check it out here!