Goucher students are encouraged to engage in the performing arts as both participants and observers. The Music Department produces 40 to 60 public events each year. Student vocalists are invited to audition for the Goucher Chorus, Chamber Singers, Jazz Ensemble, and Opera Workshop. Instrumentalists are encouraged to audition for the Goucher Chamber Symphony, the Goucher Chamber Music Group, the Goucher Jazz Ensemble, and the Goucher African Drum and Dance Ensemble. Computer enthusiasts are invited to participate in the music department's two computer music studios. Numerous artists and companies perform in the college's Kraushaar Auditorium during the academic year. Many events are free, and students may attend others at reduced rates. The Music Department and the Office of Student Engagement plan several trips off campus each year to cultural and performing arts events. While opportunities for performance are available to all students at all levels, public performance and exhibition are granted through audition and selection only. Because adjudication is a fundamental aspect of the arts professions, the Music Department considers the process of evaluation, through audition and performance, to be an important aspect of professional training and education in music.
The Music Department offers a major and a minor in music. The major in music requires a choice of one of seven concentrations: theory and composition, music history, performance, arts administration, computer music, jazz studies, and music and theatre.
Music has held a central and honored position in Western culture since antiquity, yet its essential nature remains ever a mystery to us. Its power to evoke emotion-and even to persuade and inspire-has been regarded in certain periods and cultures as magical, for although it affects us strongly, it is also fleeting and ephemeral. No doubt for this reason Plato said, and many after him have affirmed, that "education in music is most sovereign." At Goucher music is one of the liberal arts. Questions about the place of music in culture, its power, and hence its mystery, and the diversity of its appearances are important issues in the department curriculum. Goucher's approach to music is not for everyone, but it is ideal for the student who wishes to explore musical interests in depth and who also wants the kind of intellectual challenge that is not often available in a conservatory setting.
The Music Department provides instruction to students who wish to study music as a manifestation of a civilization or culture, who will use music as an avocation, and who wish to enter professions in music. Thorough preparation is given to those who intend to pursue graduate study or begin a career. (See specific descriptions of the major and minor programs.) In both the music major and minor, courses are designed to enable students to acquire a balance of harmonic and structural study, historical and analytical information, interpretive and performing experience, and compositional technique. In addition, specific career tracks in music are outlined in the major's concentrations. Students may also pursue other interests and career options by combining music courses with courses in other departments. (See Music in the Individualized Major.) The department curriculum provides graduates with the knowledge and experience to become music educators, composers, performers, critics, journalists, and arts administrators, as well as to work in computer music or pursue graduate study in music technology.