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Music

Music: Major

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 opportunities to explore, experience, and perform music both inside and outside the classroom. 

Our academic courses challenge students from across the curriculum to think, speak, and write effectively about music. Our performance ensembles bring students and faculty together to perform a diverse repertoire. Our program of instrumental and vocal instruction offers students private lessons, coaching, and master classes with exceptional performers drawn from across the country. Students find the skills emphasized in music (such as creativity, listening, and collaboration) are transferable to most disciplines and professions.

As a universal form of human expression, music transcends boundaries of language, culture, time and place. Whether you are interested in classical, popular, or world music, in music of the past or the present, in creating, performing, or simply listening, Holy Cross provides a rich context for engagement with music and the arts.

Students of all interests and passions, regardless of experience, are invited to become a part of our musical community. With a distinguished faculty, small classes, and a focus on mentoring, our vibrant program has something for everyone: for students who wish to major in music and for those who wish to explore music one course — or one concert — at a time. 

Program Highlights

The Department of Music offers courses in the history, theory, technology, and performance of music that cover topics reaching back through history and around the globe. Small classes, individual instruction, 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 and composition
  • History and cultural studies
  • Performance studies
  • Classical music and popular music
  • World music and jazz
  • Audio engineering and music technology
Jan and a student at a piano looking at sheet music
Lessons are available through the music department for all instruments and voice.
All students (majors and non-majors) are welcome to join a wide variety of vocal and instrumental ensembles.
student playing the organ
Outstanding high school students may be eligible for scholarships covering full tuition at Holy Cross.

Music News

A Passion for Music: Fenwick Scholar Matthew Pinder ’20

Aug 3, 2020

If you had told him when he was a first-year student that he would be spending his senior year at Holy Cross composing music, Matthew Pinder ’20 — who had never composed before — would have had little faith in …

Academic Conference Goes Virtual in Response to Pandemic

May 6, 2020

As faculty members across the College worked to transition their courses to a distance-learning format this semester, one of the many logistical challenges to tackle was the annual Academic Conference, where students present the results of their independent work in …

Yo-Yo Ma's Silkroad Ensemble preforms pop-up performances around campus.

Highlights From the Silkroad Ensemble Residency at Holy Cross

Mar 31, 2020

Throughout their multi-year residency hosted by Arts Transcending Borders at the College of the Holy Cross, Silkroad Ensemble has engaged the community in activities and conversations that explore the roles that passion and art can play in learning. Founded by …