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An exceptional reputation for excellence. Extraordinary faculty mentors. An enriching curriculum. Performance opportunities, worldwide. And the outstanding instruments of an ALL-STEINWAY school. Ready to pursue your passion? The Music Department may be a perfect fit.

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Performance Opportunities

Your music sounds best when it’s shared with the world. We get that. It’s why the Department of Music surrounds students with a world of performance opportunities that extend far beyond campus and deep within creative organizations, communities, and venues across the globe.

From large ensembles, to solo recitals, to working with award-winning music professionals, this is a place where every day brings new opportunity to immerse yourself in creative collaboration, express yourself through music, find your true voice, and announce your talent to the world.

  • Develop your performance skills through weekly lessons, weekly performance classes, and departmental recitals.
  • Discover an extraordinary array of opportunities to enhance your talent by collaborating regularly with soloists or by the accompaniment of small and large ensembles, including the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble and a number of jazz combos, the World Drum Ensemble, and a variety of chamber ensembles.
  • Become one of the 24 advanced singers who comprise the select Chamber Singers, directed by Dr. Patrick O'Shea. With at least six performances a year in formal concert and liturgical settings, this acclaimed ensemble offers challenging repertoire from the Renaissance to the present. Their recent annual concert tours have taken them everywhere from Washington, D.C., and New England, to Ireland, France, and Italy.

Meet the Faculty

Extraordinary talent requires extraordinary nurturing. And thanks to faculty as dedicated to teaching as they are to their own work, small class sizes, an overall emphasis on the liberal arts, and our unique Lasallian tradition of service-minded achievement and leadership, Saint Mary’s will challenge you to scale the highest peaks of your creativity while supporting you every step of the way.


  • Being mentored by a piano soloist and chamber musician who collaborates with outstanding musicians across the globe…and who is giving concerts this season in the United States, Poland, Hong Kong, China, and Kenya!
  • Collaborating with the professor who not only developed our unique music technology program but also the Music Access For All program to help disadvantaged children in the Winona area gain access to music instruments and lessons…and who has been featured on MPR and has published articles and produced three master class CDs of original compositions for The Saxophone Journal and Jazz Player magazine.
  • Working one-on-one with a jazz musician and composer/arranger whose published compositions are performed throughout the U.S. and in Europe…or an award-winning conductor and flutist who is a sought-after clinician and adjudicator throughout the Midwest region…our choral conductor who regularly tours the United States and Europe with the Saint Mary’s Premier Choral Ensemble.

As a student of music at Saint Mary’s, you’ll learn from renowned musicians, performers, composers, and scholars. Above all, you’ll find mentors, professors, and peers as dedicated to nurturing your talent as they are to their own.

Course Work

All great artists begin with the basics. And the strong foundation, breadth, and depth of knowledge they gain as well as the skills they develop through our rigorous, challenging, and enriching curriculum is what accounts for the success Saint Mary’s music majors achieve once they graduate.

Consider these facts:

  • From music fundamentals, to applied lessons, ensembles, and experiencing music, our students enjoy access to all of the opportunities (and resources) we offer from their very first day on campus.
  • They may declare a music major as early as the beginning of the second semester…and choose from an array of outstanding programs, including liturgical music, music, music performance (all wind instruments, keyboard and composition), music education (K–12 Classroom and Vocal or K–12 Classroom and Instrumental), and music industry (either music business or music technology—both unique offerings within the context of a liberal arts education).

Before graduation, they demonstrate:

  • Comprehensive knowledge of music history, including Western music, world music, and contemporary musical styles.
  • Analytical skills in the areas of music theory and aural skills, analysis of music from all historical periods, as well as skills and understanding in conducting, arranging, improvisation, and technology.
  • Proven performance skills appropriate to their major with their primary instrument or voice.

Sure, you’ll have fun here. After all, whether it’s through collaboration with their professors and peers or by performing together at home and overseas, our students build relationships and memories that endure long after they graduate. But make no mistake about it: To be a Saint Mary’s music major is to challenge yourself to learn, lead, perform, and achieve in ways you never imagined you could.

Careers in Music

Here, you’ll develop the knowledge and the skills you need for success in a variety of careers in performance, education, and the music industry. Gain the confidence you need to perform, teach, compose, and collaborate meaningfully with the best in the business. Achieve mastery over your voice, your talents, and your instruments of choice. And acquire the credentials and the credibility you need to be taken seriously by professionals in your field.

In fact, many music or music performance majors choose to continue at Saint Mary’s in the Master of Arts in Instruction programs—Once certified, many graduate with both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as Minnesota teaching licensure in a total of five years and one summer session.  And it’s no coincidence that our graduates go on to launch their own recording studios, work with well-known arts organizations like Ford’s Theater in D.C. and MPR, and are admitted into prestigious graduate programs or teach at well-known music schools across the nation.

But for you, music isn’t simply a road to a rewarding career. It’s a fundamental part of your life. You belong here. At Saint Mary’s, we believe the true measure of our approach to the study of music has as much to do with the quality of life you shape for yourself as it has to do with material or musical success. Regardless of the career paths they choose, our students graduate knowing how to enrich their lives through music…to appreciate musical connections across cultural borders…to wear their passion for the arts on their sleeves in everything they do.

Recent Graduates on the Move

  • Music industry (business) major Jeff David ’08 is currently a K-5 music teacher at Mineral Point Elementary School in Mineral Point, Wisconsin.
  • Music industry (business) major Mackenzie Sondalle ’08 serves in the Executive Marketing division of Function X Entertainment Company (formerly Interscope Records).
  • Music education major Dulcinea Basile ’07, who also earned a Master of Arts in Instruction from SMU in 2008, currently works as a music teacher at St. Colette School in Chicago.
  • Music industry (business) major Matt Perkins ’06 is currently vice president of Marketing at Minneapolis Public Radio (MPR) in the Twin Cities, Minnesota.
  • Music industry (technology & business) major Brandon Mathieus ’05 currently works with the Music Sales Group.
  • Music industry (technology) major Luke Walchuk ’05 serves as a sound Technician for Norwegian Cruise Lines.
  • Music education major John Popke ’03 now serves as director of Choral Activities at Xavier High School in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
  • Music education major Katie Kreuger ’03 is currently an elementary music specialist at Byron Public School in Byron, Minnesota.
  • Music industry (technology) major Dan Bowers ’02 currently works at Clear Wing Sound Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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