About the School
Somos Músicos — "We are Musicians": a simple expression of solidarity of purpose and cooperation in an extraordinary community of musical artists, scholars, composers — the students and faculty of the School of Music
The Texas State University School of Music proudly provides an intensive and nurturing environment that emphasizes student-faculty interaction. We guide students to become performers, educators, and scholars. A long-standing, fully accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music, the School of Music has 90 faculty who teach more than 500 students who perform in more than 30 ensembles. We offer a comprehensive array of degree programs, including:
- Master of Music degrees in Music Education (general, instrumental, choral, and Kodály), Performance (classical, Latin, and jazz), Composition, Conducting, Music History, and Music Theory
- Bachelor of Music degrees in Music Education (instrumental and choral) and Performance (classical and jazz)
- Bachelor of Science degree in Sound Recording Technology
- Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with a minor or second major in an area other than Music
Why choose Texas State?
Here are some assets that distinguish our School of Music from others in the state and region.
- Students study directly with world-class faculty, not with graduate TAs
- Our award-winning ensembles include a high percentage of undergraduates
- Our new Performing Arts Center, which opened in 2014, includes two Steinway D concert grand pianos and a beautiful custom-built Flemish-replica harpsichord
- Our tuition rates are highly competitive
- Texas State has over 39,000 students and is one of the four largest universities in the state of Texas, providing all the benefits of a large university while maintaining a small community feel
- The city of San Marcos has a growing live music scene and provides easy access to the vibrant music communities in Austin and San Antonio.
Read more about what we have to offer:
Texas State Wind Symphony
Respected as one of the most outstanding collegiate wind ensembles in the nation, this 50-student ensemble has performed for prestigious music associations:
- Seattle — College Band Directors National Association Conference
- Fayetteville — College Band Directors National Association Conference Southwest Regional Conference
- Kansas City — College Band Directors National Association Conference Southwest Regional Conference
- San Antonio — Texas Music Educators Association Convention
Texas State Chorale
Our premier vocal ensemble performs on international, national and regional levels. Membership comprises outstanding musicians from various disciplines. Chorale has performed at:
- China — The Shanghai Children's Palace, the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Bejing's Forbidden City Concert Hall, and China Minzu University
- South Africa — Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
- Denver — American Choral Directors Association
- San Antonio — Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention
Texas State Symphony Orchestra
Performing the grand works of the symphonic repertoire, the orchestra also serves as a pit orchestra for annual opera productions and has played at a variety of venues off campus:
- Europe — Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, England, Scotland, and Italy
- U.S — The White House, State Dining Room, Washington, D.C.
- San Antonio — Texas Music Educators' Association Clinic/Convention
- Dallas — Meyerson Center
Texas State Opera Theater
Texas State Opera presents two fully staged productions each year. Highly successful and entertaining recent productions have included:
- Mozart’s Magic Flute and Don Giovanni
- Bernstein’s Candide
- Kurt Weill’s Street Scene
- Romberg’s The Student Prince
- The World Premiere commission of Lady Bird written by Henry Mollicone and Sheldon Harnick (2016)
Latin Music Ensembles
A wide variety of performing opportunities are available through the Latin Music ensembles.
- Mariachi Nueva Generación — a frequent winner of the prestigious Vargas Mariachi Extravaganza in San Antonio
- Salsa del Rio — a three-time winner of Premios a la Música Latina and the 2007 winner of the 30th annual Downbeat Student Music Awards
- Afro-Caribbean Lab — offers Salsa majors the opportunity to pursue arranging and improvisational techniques at the advanced level
Chamber Music and Small Ensembles
- The Texas State Saxophone Quartet — won Down Beat Magazine's 36th Annual Student Chamber Music Award for 2013
- Hill Country Jazz Bones — winners of the National Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition and 2nd prize for the International Kai Winding Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition (2013). Performed at the 2013 American Trombone Workshop and International Trombone Festival.
- Trombone Choir — invited (by audition) to perform at the 2013 International Trombone Festival and 2015 American Trombone Workshop in addition to the 2013/2015 TMEA Convention, 2012/2015 Big 12 Trombone Conference and 2016 SliderAsia Festival.
Signature Degree Programs
Music Teacher Training
With a job placement rate that approaches 100%, Texas State is proud to claim the premier education and training program for state-certified school music teachers in Texas. Each year over 200 music majors receive advanced training and intensive hands-on experience for all levels of music teaching, from elementary through high school bands, choirs, and orchestras. Special optional certificates prepare them for creating and leading mariachi or jazz ensembles in the schools. Many school districts around the state prefer to hire Texas State trained individuals.
Latin Music Studies
The School of Music's Latin Music Studies area boasts award-winning mariachi and salsa ensembles: Mariachi Nueva Generación has earned numerous trophies at the prestigious Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio, and Salsa del Rio is a three-time winner of Premios a la Música Latina as well as the 2007 winner of the 30th annual Downbeat Student Music Awards. Undergraduates can earn a minor in mariachi music in conjunction with the Bachelor of Music in Music Studies, while graduate students may pursue a Master of Music with concentrations in Mariachi Education or Salsa Performance. Distinguished guest artists offer yearly master classes and workshops, and numerous opportunities for public performance at professional venues in San Marcos, Austin, and San Antonio are built into the requirements of the program.
Sound Recording Technology
One of the most respected of such programs in the nation, the Texas State Sound Recording Technology program offers an intensive Bachelor of Science degree to a highly select group of individuals preparing for a career in the music recording and sound industry. Students work in state-of-the-art labs within a working commercial recording studio, as well as gain experience through internships with such events as Austin’s SXSW music festival.
A long tradition of great jazz at Texas State is exemplified by the exciting places to which our jazz ensembles have traveled, including, The Netherlands’ North Sea Jazz Festival, Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival, Projazz Institute in Santiago, Chile, and the Notre Dame Jazz Festival in South Bend, IN. Leading jazz educators and top regional jazz artists teach improvisation and jazz history, as well as direct three big bands, several jazz combos, a jazz trombone group, and teach jazz theroy and improvisation. Legendary Count Basie drummer Butch Miles is one of several faculty who teach individual lessons in the art and craft of jazz.
Led by international concert artist Jason Kwak, the piano program is truly global in its makeup. Advanced students from Asia and South America as well as Texas and the U.S. come to study with Kwak, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Performance, as well as Sound Recording Technology and the Bachelor of Arts. Guest artists from the best U.S. conservatories provide master classes and recitals. Texas State also hosts an annual International Piano Festival, attracting aspiring young pianists worldwide who study with a stellar array of teachers during an intensive one-week summer residency.
Community Outreach Programs
Three programs of the School of Music offer the greater San Marcos community the benefits of expert music instruction and activities for children:
- Youth Mariachi
- Hill Country Youth Chorus
- Texas State String Project
In each program, music faculty work side by side with Texas State student interns to teach children and youth and inspire their talents and love for music.
World-Class Faculty of Performers, Composers, and Scholars
The music faculty of 90 individuals includes 50 internationally active performing, conducting, or composing artists. Collectively, they have performed in more than 30 countries on virtually every continent and have won prestigious prizes such as Grammy Awards, Dallas Concerto Competition, Guillermo Wright-Vallarino National Piano Competition of Ecuador, National Finger Picking Championship, Bulgarian National Clarinet Competition, Atlanta Steinway Society Competition, Handok Piano Competition, and Southern Keyboard Competition. Their artistry can be heard on hundreds of commercial recordings as released by labels such as Deutsche Grammophon, Harmonia Mundi, Sony, Naxos, Columbia, Capstone, Centaur, Rounder, ERM Media, and Nonesuch Records.
Our scholar faculty claim many important honors and publications in such prestigious journals as Grove Dictionary of American Music, College Music Symposium, Choral Journal, Computer Music Journal, Journal of Band Research, Journal of Research in Music Education, Music Educators Journal, Journal for Music Teacher Education,Theoria, In Theory Only, Journal of Musicological Research, Perspectives of New Music, Southwestern Musician, and Handbook of Texas Music. In one year alone, they published 4 books, 10 book chapters, 16 journal articles, and 87 other scholarly writings. As many as 15 music faculty are regularly active in seeking and obtaining external funding for their initiatives and creative projects. Over a 10-year period, this totaled more than 30 resulting grants, providing nearly $200,000 in external funding for their activities in the School of Music.
The School of Music offers a busy lineup of concerts for the public, including:
- Texas State Ensemble Series
- Texas State International Concert Series (acclaimed guest artists from around the world)
- Other Guest Artists
- Student Degree Recitals (bachelor’s and master’s)
Somos Músicos Concert Series
Somos Músicos is designed for music students to perform for each other in a supportive, informal setting. Reaching beyond the idea of a learning laboratory, “Somos Músicos” (“We are Musicians”) has become a motto for the entire school, expressing a collective passion for making music together. Each Somos Músicos concert is preceded by a Musicians Forum, with speakers discussing career-building topics for developing musicians.
As the music department has grown into a large, comprehensive School of Music, so too have the facilities expanded to keep pace with its diversity of ensembles, programs, and students.
At 101 Pleasant Street, the Music Building includes six classrooms, three large rehearsal rooms, and three smaller rehearsal rooms. The facility also contains a 149-seat Music Building Recital Hall, the Schneider Music Library, 40 practice rooms, an electronic piano laboratory, a multi-station music computer lab, instrument storage rooms and the administrative office suite. Some 13 faculty offices and 49 larger teaching studios are also in the main building.
Performing Arts Center
The new Performing Arts Center on Moon Street includes an acoustically superb 312-seat Recital Hall. Equipped with two Steinway D concert grand pianos and a beautiful custom-built Flemish-replica harpsichord, the hall hosts performances by international guest artists, music faculty, and some student ensembles. It is a learning laboratory for student degree recitals. Another venue, the Patti Strickel Harrison Theater, provides a state-of-the art theater with orchestra pit for Texas State Opera Theatre productions.
Evans is the largest performance hall on campus with a seating capacity of 933. The University’s wind bands, orchestra, and University Arts events utilize Evans as a performance site. Evans also contains two Steinway concert grand pianos.
Fire Station Studio
The Fire Station Studio is located near campus on Guadalupe Street and is available for both Texas State and non-Texas State persons to rent for commercial purposes. The Studio houses the School of Music’s Sound Recording Technology program and contains one large recording studio, two smaller studios, and one mixing room.
Located on Pleasant Street, it houses the Balinese Gamelan, 16 additional practice rooms, and marching band storage.
Offering Music an additional 5 offices and 3 teaching studios, Lampasas is the second oldest building on campus and was beautifully renovated in 2012.
Mission and Motto
Somos Músicos — "We are Musicians" — expresses with simplicity our solidarity of purpose and cooperation within an extraordinary community of musical artists, scholars, and composers: the students and faculty of the School of Music. Our unified mission is threefold: to make music together, to develop ourselves and our art, and to contribute value to our society.
Somos Músicos is both our motto and the name of an ongoing student concert series. Each concert is a learning laboratory in which students perform with and for each other. The prelude to each Somos Músicos concert is Musicians Forum. Guest and faculty presenters share career advice, introducing students to issues they will encounter on their career path as a performer and/or educator.
Somos Músicos also became the title of our newsletter, published 2009 through 2014 as monthly issues on the School of Music web site. Now the news appears as individual articles in a new Word Press blog-site format: http://somosmusicos.wp.txstate.edu/