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Music

Music is an integral part of a liberal arts education and vital to campus life at Holy Cross. Every year hundreds of students take advantage of a wide range of courses and activities offered by the music program. Our ensembles bring students together to collaborate and perform a diverse repertoire; our program of private vocal and instrumental instruction offers students one-on-one instruction with exceptional performers from across New England; and our academic courses challenge students from across the curriculum to think, speak and write effectively about music.

Music is a wordless art form that transcends boundaries of language, culture, time and place. Whether you are interested in Western classical, popular, or world music, in music of the past or of the present, in creating, performing, or simply listening, the liberal arts is a particularly rich context in which to critically engage with music and the arts.

The Department of Music at Holy Cross provides all students the opportunity to nurture and develop their own particular love of music, while providing music majors with rigorous, sustained musical training. Students have many opportunities to work individually and in small groups with faculty on topics including music theory, composition, history, and performance, Western classical, jazz, popular, and world music, audio engineering, and avant-garde music technology.

Program Highlights

Our courses range from medieval Gregorian chant to 21st-century laptop ensembles, from Mozart to the Notorious B.I.G., from opera to Broadway, from global music to American folk. In addition to our course offerings, students can take vocal and instrumental lessons for credit, participate in masterclasses and performance forums led by distinguished artists-in-residence and guest artists, and perform in vocal choirs, orchestra, jazz band, Balinese gamelan, chamber ensembles, and marching band. Small class sizes, tutorials, interdisciplinary opportunities, and a vibrant cocurricular performance program and concert schedule foster an interconnected environment of dynamic teacher-student interaction and collaboration both inside and outside of the classroom. Areas of study include:
  • theory
  • composition
  • history
  • performance
  • Western classical
  • jazz
  • popular music
  • world music
  • audio engineering and music technology
Lessons are available through the music department for all instruments and voice.
Music majors and non-majors are welcome to join a wide variety of vocal and instrumental ensembles.
Outstanding high school students may be eligible for scholarships covering full tuition at Holy Cross.

Music News

How the Arts Prepare Holy Cross Alumni for Success in Every Field

Jul 14, 2017

What happens when we bridge the gap between the real world and our imagination? “Balance,” says chief executive James “Jim” Keyes ’77, “and the ability to move forward in wonderfully creative ways.” When technical know-how is coupled with art, the …

Holy Cross Explores the Secret Life of Books

Jul 13, 2017

Deep in the stacks of Dinand Library, Jane McGrail ’17 knelt on the floor, surrounded by a wealth of information contained by the library’s half-million volumes. But that afternoon, she was on the hunt for a different kind of treasure. …