Music Program

At the Five Colleges, each music department has its own identity, its own range of offerings, and a particular emphasis that sets it apart. A variety of special cooperative arrangements among the departments give students access to their combined faculties, courses, music libraries, and guest artists.

Departmental concerts and recitals, coupled with joint concerts and residencies, ensure a lively calendar of musical events and furnish a remarkable array of resources for the study and performance of music of every period and style.

Students wishing to enroll in a music class on another campus should consult with the instructor and then register at their home campus. Students seeking academic resources beyond their campus may also take advantage of the libraries on each campus; the libraries together contain extensive research resources that allow for advanced study, including a substantial collection of foreign language sources in the Werner Josten Library of Smith College.

Music Departments on the Campuses

 

Faculty

Courses

Music Theory: Approximately 18 faculty teach courses in music theory.

History/Musicology: More than 16 faculty members offer courses in music history and musicology from classical to popular, beginning with early music and continuing up to and including contemporary composers and forms.

Composition: Students interested in writing music have a choice of studying with nearly a dozen distinguished composers whose work is regularly performed, including recent winners of the Pulitzer Prize in Music and the Samuel Barber Rome Prize Fellowship.

Computer/Electroacoustic Music: Offered at Amherst College, Hampshire College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

African-American Music and Jazz: A dozen faculty specialize in and teach various aspects of African-American music and jazz.

Ethnomusicology: The study of world music has a strong presence at the Five Colleges, with ethnomusicologists whose interests range from traditional and popular American music to music of Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, Africa, India, and the Caribbean.

Music Education: Eight faculty members offer courses in music pedagogy ranging from choral conducting to teacher education at elementary and secondary levels.

Performance Instruction

Students wanting individual voice or instrumental instruction are usually accommodated on their home campus.

Key to initials: Amherst College (AC); Hampshire College (HC); Mount Holyoke College (MHC); Smith College (SC); UMass Amherst (UM)

Note: Applied Instruction includes full-time, part-time, and adjunct instructors, and additional fees are usually required.

  • Baroque Flute - MHC, UM
  • Flute - AC, MHC, SC
  • Recorder - SC
  • Clarinet - AC, SC, UM
  • Oboe - AC, SC, UM
  • Saxophone - AC, MHC, SC, UM
  • Dulcian - MHC
  • Bassoon - AC, UM

  • Trumpet - AC, SC, UM
  • French Horn - AC, MHC, SC, UM
  • Trombone & Euphonium - AC, UM
  • Sackbut - MHC
  • Tuba - UM

  • Violin - AC, MHC, SC, UM
  • Baroque Violin - MHC
  • Viola - AC, MHC, SC, UM
  • Viola da Gamba, Baroque Cello - MHC, SC
  • Cello - AC, MHC, SC, UM
  • Bass - UM
  • Harp - AC, SC
  • Piano - AC, MHC, SC, UM
  • Organ/Harpsichord/Fortepiano - MHC, SC, UM
  • Guitar/Lute - AC, MHC, SC, UM

  • Percussion - AC, SC, UM

  • Baritone - AC
  • Jazz Voice - AC, SC, UM
  • Soprano - AC, MHC, SC
  • Tenor - UM

  • choral orchestral - AC, MHC, SC, UM
  • jazz ensemble - SC, UM
  • marching / hoop band - UM
  • orchestral - AC, MHC
  • studio orchestra - UM

Ensembles

Students may audition for a number of the many choral ensembles at each campus. Inquiries about auditions may be made with the appropriate choral director.

Amherst College
  • Concert Choir
  • Women's Chorus
  • Glee Club (men) 
  • Madrigal Singers
Hampshire College
  • Chorus
Mount Holyoke College
  • Chorale 
  • Glee Club
  • Chamber Singers
  • Vocal Jazz Ensemble
Smith College
  • Glee Club 
  • Chamber Singers
  • College Chorus 
  • Chamber Choir
UMass Amherst
  • Chamber Choir
  • Chorale
  • Madrigal Singers
  • Women’s Choir
  • Opera Workshop
  • Vocal Jazz Ensemble
Five College Early Music
  • Collegium
  • Voces Feminae

The ensembles and orchestras listed below are open to all Five College students by permission of the director.

Amherst College
  • Wind, string, and mixed chamber ensembles 
  • Flute Choir
Hampshire College
  • Baroque Ensemble
Mount Holyoke College
  • Five College Euridice Ensembles
  • Flute Choir
  • String Ensemble
Smith College
  • Stringed Instruments
  • Chamber Music Ensembles
  • Wind Ensemble
UMass Amherst
  • Brass Choir
  • Brass Quintets
  • Horn Choir 
  • Double Reed Ensemble
  • Flute Choir 
  • Marimbas
  • Percussion Ensemble
  • Mixed Chamber Ensembles
  • Saxophone Quartets 
  • Trombone Choir 
  • String Quartets
  • Woodwind Quintets

The ensembles and orchestras listed below are open to all Five College students by permission of the director.

Amherst College
  • Orchestra
Mount Holyoke College
  • Five College Early Music Collegium
  • Symphony Orchestra
Smith College
  • Orchestra
UMass Amherst
  • Concert Band
  • Minuteman Marching Band
  • Hoop Band
  • Studio Orchestra
  • Orchestra

Students may audition for a number of the many choral ensembles at each campus. Inquiries about auditions may be made with the appropriate choral director.

Amherst College
  • Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combos
Hampshire College
  • Jazz Performance Seminars
Mount Holyoke College
  • Big Band
  • Chamber Jazz Ensemble
  • Vocal Jazz Ensemble
Smith College
  • Jazz Ensemble
UMass Amherst
  • Chapel Jazz Ensemble Graduate Jazz Quintet
  • Jazz Lab Ensemble
  • University Jazz Ensemble 
  • Vocal Jazz Ensemble

The ensembles and orchestras listed below are open to all Five College students by permission of the director.

Amherst College
  • South Indian Veena
  • Gamelan
Hampshire College
  • African Drumming
  • Contradance Band
  • Klezmer Band
  • Old-time String Band
  • South Indian Vocals
  • Steel Band Ensemble
Mount Holyoke College
  • Klezmer Band
Smith College
  • Gamelan
  • Irish/Celtic Ensemble