the best college guide you can buy
(Vocus) May 1, 2010
The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2010, described as “the best college guide you can buy” lists St. Mary’s College of Maryland as one of the best places in the U.S. to study music. It is the only public liberal arts college on the list, which includes colleges like Oberlin, Bard, and Swarthmore.
Its faculty and philosophy are the reasons why. Just last month three members of the SMCM music faculty received glowing reviews in the New York Times and The Washington Post. Pianists Eliza Garth and Brian Ganz, along with two percussionists, “offered a mesmerizing performance” said the New York Times. The Washington Post reviewed a performance including works by SMCM composer David Froom of “atmospheric and colorful love songs.”
The music program’s philosophy encourages SMCM faculty to focus attention on both majors and non-majors. The goal is to help all musicians develop their skills. In many music conservatories, undergraduates never get an opportunity to work with professionals of the caliber of SMCM’s music faculty.
The College’s music department sponsors two major music festivals each summer, encouraging talented SMCM students to perform with professional musicians from some of the world’s best orchestras. The River Concert Series has brought more than 300,000 music lovers to the College campus over its 11-year history.
The Alba International Music Festival is a Spoleto-like event created by SMCM in a beautiful northern Italian town nestled in Italy’s Piedmont wine region. Here again SMCM students are privileged to perform with SMCM faculty and illustrious visitors, such as the Romanian State Symphony.
The College’s small size (approximately 2,000 undergraduates) is not a deterrent to a great music program but just the opposite. Dawn Kasprow Wolski ’98 is a classical soprano in the Spokane area. She earned an M.M. (voice) from the Manhattan School of Music. She said, “I think the most wonderful thing about St. Mary's – something I believe makes it unique among smaller colleges throughout the U.S. – was that rather than its size being a limitation for aspiring artists, the faculty went out of their way to provide more opportunities for their music majors. Where in a larger conservatory an undergraduate might often get lost in the tide of talent, faculty in the music department of St. Mary's went out of their way to give personalized attention, specifically geared towards each student's talents, strengths, and needs.”
Please view the attached White Paper on the SMCM music department. It’s a unique “David and Goliath” story. The College can offer faculty and graduates, as well as current students, to flesh out the story.
Marc Apter, APR
Associate Vice President, Marketing and Public Relations
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Calvert Hall, 107
18952 E. Fisher Road
St. Mary’s City, MD 20686