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Welcome to the UNC Department of Music!

In the Department of Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, we take pride in our role as a vibrant arts program within the liberal arts university. We teach, create, and impart through performance and study the richness and breadth of musical creation and scholarship. A community of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff, we are dedicated to fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment. Our program builds on core commitments: to developing critical thinking around music and its role in society, to understanding music’s details and structures, and to shaping through practice, performance, and creation the skills necessary for communicating music’s nuance, power, and variety. With these goals in mind, we offer a wide range of classes, lessons, ensembles, lectures, workshops, and concerts that serve students, the campus, Chapel Hill, the state of North Carolina, and the world widely.

We grant two undergraduate degrees in Music, the B.A. and B.M., and two graduate degrees, the M.A. and Ph.D. in Musicology. Our comprehensive curriculum blends individual instruction with academic study for about 200 undergraduate majors. Those interested in pursuing pre-professional instruction have the opportunity to study with well-known performers in a rigorous performance/academic program. At the same time, our courses and ensembles enroll students from across the entire university, including some 250 minors, with a spectrum of offerings in classical, jazz, bluegrass, musical theater, world music, rock, country, hip-hop, and music technology. We welcome and encourage non-majors to audition and perform in our department ensembles. Our preeminent Ph.D. program provides graduate students with the opportunity to work closely with distinguished and world-renowned scholars in musicology, theory, and ethnomusicology. The magnificent collection of the Music Library is an important university resource for all.

Our department resides in three buildings: Kenan Music Building, Hill Hall, and Person Hall. In our performance venues – the recently renovated James and Susan Moeser Auditorium, Person Recital Hall, and Kenan Rehearsal Hall – as well as in Memorial Hall, Gerrard Hall, and Historic Playmakers, we present more than 200 public concerts each year covering a wide range of musical genres in performances by faculty, guest performers, and students. Please consult our online calendar on this website for a list of upcoming events open to the public.

I heartily invite you to make use of our wide-ranging offerings. Come, join us! I look forward to seeing you at our events.

David Garcia

Chair, Department of Music

Featured Videos

Carolina Stomp
UNC Department of Music
May 2020

2019-2020: A Playback
UNC Department of Music Ensembles
May 2020








Featured Stories

Interest Form Now OpenFirst Fridays 2021-2022 Call for Musicians

June 11, 2021

Do you want to be part of our First Fridays pop up concert series? Fill out your information and you or your musical group could be featured in this monthly concert series!

This year, we’re celebrating the many sights and sounds of Carolina and look forward to showcasing a wide variety of different genres and styles of music. Details about location and COVID guidelines for these performances are still being finalized. More information will be provided soon. … Get all the details and fill out the interest form!

Student examines an open score amidst the music library stacksShining a light on music’s graduate students


The department celebrates some of our graduate musicology students’ many accomplishments from this past academic year. We’re constantly impressed by the work that these students do! Please join us in congratulating all of our graduate students on their accomplishments this year, both those listed below and those not included.

Read the full list.

Book Notes: Dr. Christi Jay Wells & Between Beats

Christi Jay Wells
Dr. Christi Jay Wells (Photo courtesy of CJW)

In the final edition of our May mini-series, Book Notes, we’re featuring alumnus Dr. Christi Jay Wells and their book Between Beats: The Jazz Tradition and Black Vernacular Dance, published by Oxford University Press on April 16, 2021.

Christi Jay Wells is assistant professor of musicology at Arizona State University’s School of Music and affiliate faculty with ASU’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy. They received their doctorate in 2014 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where their dissertation on drummer/bandleader Chick Webb and swing music in Harlem during the Great Depression received the Society for American Music’s Wiley Housewright Dissertation Award and UNC’s Glen Haydon Award for an Outstanding Dissertation in Musicology. They have also received the Irving Lowens Article Award from the Society for American Music. A social jazz and blues dancer for over a decade, Wells regularly places highly in blues dance competitions and is a frequent lecturer and clinician at national and international events, having recently taught blues and jazz dance classes and lectured on dance history in Seoul, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Read more about Wells’ Between Beats

Book Notes: Dr. Douglas Shadle & Antonín Dvořák’s New World Symphony

Douglas Shadle
Douglas Shadle, Associate Professor of Musicology, Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music (Photo: Anne Rayner; VU)


In this new weekly series, Book Notes, we’ll feature recently released books by a handful of our musicology graduate alumni each Thursday in May. This week, we’re featuring alumnus Dr. Douglas Shadle and his book Antonín Dvořák’s New World Symphony, published by Oxford University Press on March 12, 2021.

Douglas Shadle (M.A. 2006, Ph.D. 2010) is an Associate Professor of Musicology and Chair of the Department of Musicology and Ethnomusicology at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. A specialist in American orchestral music history, he is a two-time winner of the ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award. His first book, Orchestrating the Nation: The Nineteenth-Century American Symphonic Enterprise (Oxford, 2016) also received the inaugural H. Robert Cohen/RIPM Award from the American Musicological Society. Dr. Shadle was recently named a 2021 Chancellor Faculty Fellow, along with eight other faculty members across Vanderbilt University.

Read the full interview with Shadle

Book Notes: Dr. William Robin & Industry

William Robin
Dr. William Robin (Photo courtesy of WR)

This new weekly series, Book Notes, will feature recently released books by a handful of our musicology graduate alumni each Thursday in May. This week, we’re featuring Dr. William Robin and his recent book, Industry: Bang on a Can and New Music in the Marketplace, published by Oxford University Press in February (2021).

William Robin, Ph.D. 2016, is an assistant professor of musicology at the University of Maryland’s School of Music. His research explores how institutions structure the creation, dissemination, and reception of contemporary classical music in the United States. Recent publications, aside from his new book, include an exploration of the term “indie classical” in the Journal of the Society for American Music, an article on new music and neoliberalism in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, and an examination of patronage and politics at the New York Philharmonic’s 1983 Horizons festival in Musical Quarterly. As a public musicologist, Robin contributes to The New York Times, hosts the podcast Sound Expertise, and tweets as @seatedovation.

Read the full interview with Robin.

Book Notes: Naomi Graber & Kurt Weill’s America

Naomi Graber holds up a copy of her new book Kurt Weill's America.
Dr. Naomi Graber with her new book Kurt Weill’s America. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Graber)


Welcome to Book Notes! This new weekly series will feature recently released books by some of our musicology graduate alumni each Thursday in May. In this inaugural installment, we’re featuring Dr. Naomi Graber and her recent book, Kurt Weill’s America, published by Oxford University Press on April 27, 2021.

Dr. Naomi Graber graduated from UNC in 2013 and is now an assistant professor of musicology at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, University of Georgia. Her dissertation, “Found in Translation: Kurt Weill on Broadway and in Hollywood, 1935–1939,” earned her the Glen Haydon Award for an Outstanding Dissertation in Musicology. She is the recipient of the Rhonda A. and Robert Hillel Silver Award from the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, as well as fellowships to study at the Library of Congress, the Arnold Schönberg-Centre in Vienna, and the Kurt Weill Foundation. Her research centers on twentieth-century American music, especially the Broadway stages of the 1930s and 1940s. She is also interested in modern representations of gender in Broadway musicals and Hollywood film scores.

Text Reads: Do the Work WednesdaysDWW: Reflecting and looking ahead


As we wrap up the 2020-2021 academic year it’s important to reflect upon all that we’ve accomplished this year. The creativity and ingenuity of our students, faculty, and staff have kept us engaged in musical research, performance, and education.

This year that musical exploration has included the new “Do the Work Wednesdays” series and Anti-Racism Resources page. Through this series’ twenty-nine installments, the department has highlighted the incredible lives of great artists of color, examined issues of racial justice in the music industry and music education, and challenged readers to expand their repertoires and “do the work.”

Take a look back at this year’s DWW series.

Summer School Sounds


Summer School is just around the corner! Registration opens March 15, so take a peek at all the courses the music department will be offering this summer!

See what courses are being offered this summer!