James Madison University School of Music

The James Madison University School of Music is the first All-Steinway School in Virginia, with a full range of professional degree programs, ranging from the Bachelors of Music (degrees in performance, composition, education and industry) to the Doctor of Musical Arts. The School of Music is highly selective, having auditioned 501 applicants for 110 places in its fall 2011 freshman class. The University itself drew more than 22,600 applications for its 2011 entering class of 4,040. This selectivity helps it fulfill its commitment to providing its students with an excellent comprehensive educational experience that is academically and musically challenging, supportive and enriching. In 2010, the JMU School of Music was thrilled to open the glorious Forbes Center for the Performing Arts on the JMU campus, which for the School of Music contains a concert hall, recital hall, opera theater, many more practice rooms, and additional classroom, rehearsal, and office space. Among the many highlights of the inaugural season included a performance by the JMU Symphony with guest soloist and Washington favorite, Denyce Graves, and a solo concert by the distinguished pianist, Menah Pressler, who hailed the hall as one “…that any place in the world would envy. It is so beautiful.” The school's 45 full-time and many part-time faculty members are committed to its students, and maintain active involv ent in performance, writing, creative activity, research, and service at local, state, national, and international levels. Many are involved in camps and festivals offered throughout the school year. These include, among others, Flute Fling, the Tri-State Jazz Festival, Double Reed Day, Spring String Thing, Festival of Brass, and the contemporary Music Festival. Each s ester the school maintains at least 25 ensembles, ranging from the world-renowned 425-member Marching Royal Dukes to chamber trios and quartets; from the full symphony orchestra to a 20-piece jazz ensemble; from musical theater to opera; from the University Choir to the chamber-size Madison Singers. These groups join faculty, guest artists, and individual students in building an annual concert calendar of more than 250 events.