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Birmingham-Southern College set to offer new graduate program in music

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Birmingham-Southern College will begin offering a Master of Music degree in fall 2002, with concentrations in piano, organ, voice, and composition.

The 12-unit program is designed to be completed in four semesters, or two years of study. It will be the college's only daytime graduate program.

“We recognized a need for advanced training in music in these four areas, not only from our current students in the undergraduate program, but also from music professionals in the local community who want to hone their performance or composition skills through graduate study,” said Dr. Lester Seigel, chair of the college's Division of Fine and Performing Arts.

“We want to offer graduate education in those areas where we feel we are the strongest and where we feel we can offer high-quality education and training, and we are doing that with graduate study in piano, organ, voice, and composition.”

Seigel said that the graduate program in music will be a continuation and intensification of the college's undergraduate program, with the focus remaining on personal attention and small class size.

The graduate program also will expose students to performance opportunities within the college community and the local Birmingham area; the facilities and musical equipment of the Hill Music Building on campus; various college ensembles such as the Concert Choir, the Opera Workshop, and the in-residence Red Mountain Orchestra, which performs annually with student winners of the Whittington Competition; and the Hugh and Barbara Thomas Master Class Series, which each year brings up to four eminent performers and teachers to campus.

Some qualified graduate students may receive teaching opportunities through the college's Conservatory of Fine and Performing Arts; be engaged as teachers in private lessons, musicianship, and theory classes as an aid to their graduate education; and be offered classroom teaching opportunities.

The college currently offers the Bachelor of Music (with majors in church music, composition, music performance, or music history), Bachelor of Music Education, and Bachelor of Arts in Music degrees.

In June 2001, the college's music program was reaccredited by the National Association of Schools of Music Commission on Accreditation. The music program at the college has been accredited by NASM since 1934.


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