Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

Press Kit

Media Contacts

Dan Fernandez
Director of Marketing & Communications, School of Music 
412-268-4921 (office)

Pam Wigley
Director of Media Relations, College of Fine Arts
412-268-1047 (office) 
412-889-6238 (cell)

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About the School of Music

Founded in 1912 as one of the five schools of the College of Fine Arts, Carnegie Mellon’s School of Music educates outstanding, intellectually gifted musicians through excellence in performance, creativity, scholarship and pedagogy. The School of Music offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in instrumental and vocal performance, composition and keyboard performance as well as a Bachelor of Science in Music and Technology. A Master of Music degree is offered in performance, composition, conducting, collaborative piano and music education and a Master of Science in Music and Technology. Additionally, the School of Music offers a variety of highly acclaimed non-degree programs, such as the Artist Diploma (Performance, Composition, Conducting), Advanced Music Studies Certificate (Performance, Composition, Piano Pedagogy, Audio Recording and Production, and Piano Maintenance), and Music Education Certification. The School of Music presents more than 250 events annually, many of which are free and open to the public

Facts & Figures *


Established: 1912
Music Faculty: 87
Music Undergraduate Majors: 146
Music Graduate Students: 110
Student-Faculty Ratio: 3:1


Established: 1900
Total Faculty: 1,316
Total Undergraduates: 6,020
Total Graduate Students: 5,510
Student-Faculty Ratio: 10:1

* for the 2010-2011 School Year

Other Facts

Approximately 350 graduate and undergraduate students hail from 35 states and 19 countries.

Admission is selective with only the top 30% of voice and instrumental auditioning applicants accepted.

Graduate students work as substitute performers with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and as members of Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Fesival Opera, Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh.

Roughly 55% of students in the School of Music receive some form of financial aid.

More than half of the current undergraduate vocalists are employed by singing in local churches and synagogues throughout the Greater Pittsburgh region.

The School of Music has an internationally recognized program in eurhythmics and solfège.

The School of Music instrumental faculty includes twenty-two members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Fifteen of which hold principal or co-principal chairs.

Undergraduate, Graduate Programs, & Certifications

The School of Music provides a rigorous musical education within a major research university setting. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for careers by balancing the classical with the contemporary and blending traditional instruments with the most modern technologies.


Bachelor of Fine Arts – offered in performance (instrumental, piano, organ, and voice) and composition.

Bachelor of Science in Music & Technology – offered in partnership with the School of Computer Science and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Carnegie Institute of Technology.

BXA Intercollege Degree – interdisciplinary degree program offering a Bachelor of Humanities and Arts, Bachelor of Science and Arts, and Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts. 

Music Minors – offered in accompanying (piano majors only), conducting (music majors only), music education certification (music majors only), music technology (major and non-majors), music (non-majors only), music composition (music majors only), and music theory (non-majors only).


Master of Music – offered in performance (instrumental, piano, organ, and voice), composition, conducting (choral and orchestral), collaborative piano, and music education.

Master of Science in Music & Technology – offered in partnership with the School of Computer Science and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Carnegie Institute of Technology.


Advanced Music Studies – offered in performance, composition, piano pedagogy, audio recording & production, and piano maintenance.

Music Education – offered only to performance or composition undergraduate music majors, this K-12 certification begins in the sophomore year.

Artist Diploma:

Designed to meet the needs of the more mature musician, the Artist Diploma is the most advanced program in the School of Music where students focus solely on studio instruction, major ensemble and chamber music performance, or composition.


Over the last 100 years, the School of Music has graduated more than 3,200 undergraduate and graduate students – many of whom can be found performing, composing, conducting, teaching and contributing significantly to the music field worldwide. Across the United States, accomplished graduates are performing with some of the finest symphonies, opera companies and ensembles in every major city. Additionally, many School of Music alumni can be seen performing on Broadway.

A few of our distinguished alumni include:

  • Liam Bonner (A’03) – Baritone, The Metropolitan Opera
  • Andrew Clark (MM'01) – Director of Choral Activities, Harvard University
  • Dale Clevenger (A’62) – Principal horn, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Valerie Debaele (AD ’02) – Principal flute, l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Liege, Belgium
  • Brian del Signore (A’81) – Principal percussionist, Houston Symphony Orchestra
  • Jan Fišer (AD’04) – Concertmaster, Prague Philharmonia
  • Cristian Ganicenco (MM’97) – Principal trombone, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
  • Ricky Ian Gordon (A’80) – Critically acclaimed composer
  • Tim LeFebvre (A'87) - Associate Professor of Singing, Oberlin College & Conservatory
  • Keith Lockhart (MM’83) – Music Director, Boston Pops and BBC Orchestras
  • Emma McGrath (MM’06, AD’08) – Associate Concertmaster, Seattle Symphony
  • Philip Myers (A’64) – Principal horn, New York Philharmonic
  • Joel Reist (A’93) – Principal bass, Nashville Symphony
  • Marie Tachouet (MM ’08) – Principal flute, Lyric Opera of Chicago
  • Lisa Vroman (A’81) – Soprano, Theatre Critic’s Award winner for Christine Daae in The Phantom of the Opera, New York City Opera
  • Ari Winters (BHA'05 & MET'06) – Award-winning Composer (video game scores and creator of music software)

About Carnegie Mellon University: 

Carnegie Mellon is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 11,000 students in the university’s seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration, and innovation. A global university, Carnegie Mellon’s main campus in the United States is in Pittsburgh, PA. It has campuses in California’s Silicon Valley and Qatar, and programs in Asia, Australia, Europe, and Mexico. CMU is in the midst of a $1 billion fundraising campaign, titled “Inspire Innovation: The Campaign for Carnegie Mellon University,” which aims to build its endowment, support faculty, students and innovative research, and enhance the physical campus with equipment and facility improvements.