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.
2019-2020: A Playback
UNC Department of Music Ensembles
Happy Holidays from UNC Music!
Happy Holidays, Tar Heels – or shall we say, Happy Heelidays! To spread a little holiday cheer, we’ve created some special UNC Music holiday Zoom background. Note: For the text to appear correctly, make sure that “Mirror my image” setting is not selected. Enjoy! … View and download the holiday Zoom backgrounds.
Teaching with creativity and ingenuity during a pandemic
by Catherine Zachary
By this point it has become cliche to say that the current climate is unprecedented, but, in truth, there is no better word to describe the challenge that our campus community faced this fall semester. Still, the music department faculty have gone above and beyond to meet every challenge they faced and created innovative teaching. From global collaborations, to Zoom masterclasses and lessons, to virtual concerts, the fall semester saw our faculty and students rising to meet each challenge with creativity and ingenuity. … Read about the incredible work our faculty have accomplished this semester!
Collaboration, Communication, and Support: Staff Stories from the Covid-19 Era
December 16, 2020
by Ashley Lucas
As the Coronavirus pandemic has surged on around us, staff within the music department have had to rethink the ways in which the department operates. Over the course of the semester, I had the chance to talk to the staff of the music department about how the COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted the department as well as each of their individual responsibilities. Here is what they said! … Read how department staff have been adjusting their workflows during the pandemic.
Michael Figueroa on CURS “Viewpoints” Podcast: Arab American Music During COVID
Assistant Professor Michael Figueroa, who is a Fellow at UNC’s Center for Urban and Regional Studies interviewed Marwan Kamel of the music group City of Djinn on a recent CURS podcast episode.
Part of the series “Viewpoints on Resilient and Equitable Responses to the Pandemic” from the Center for Urban and Regional Studies at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing people around the world to question how this virus will affect the many public and private systems that we all use. We hope this collection of viewpoints will elevate the visibility of creative state and local solutions to the underlying equity and resilience challenges that COVID-19 is highlighting and exacerbating. To do this we have asked experts at UNC to discuss effective and equitable responses to the pandemic on subjects ranging from low-wage hospitality work, retooling manufacturing processes, supply chain complications, housing, transportation, the environment, and food security, among others.
Michael Figueroa is an assistant professor of music who recently embarked on a study of post-9/11 Arab American race consciousness through an expansive study of musical life across genres and geographical boundaries called Music and Racial Awakening in Arab America. It is through this work that he met Marwan Kamel, the subject of this interview. … Read more about Figueroa’s episode of “Viewpoints”
Divya Narayanan featured in endeavors
Divya Narayanan is a junior double-majoring in neuroscience and music within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She explores the neural connections between the auditory cortex and thalamus to understand how the brain processes and reproduces sound.
Q: When you were a child, what was your response to this question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
A: A doctor. It was clear to me that there was no better way to utilize my talents and skills than to help others overcome ill health. Without the burden of sickness or injury, people are free to pursue whatever they want: painting the next Mona Lisa or travelling to the Great Wall of China. … Read more of Divya’s interview with endeavors.
DWW: Martha Flowers: Black Music Faculty Trailblazer
by Professors Marc Callahan, David Garcia, and LaToya Lain
Upon listening to Martha Flower’s 1973 performance of Francis Poulenc’s Miroirs brûlants, recently uncovered in the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Music archive collection, one can only imagine that this very text by Éluard was describing the performer herself. From the moment the illustrious soprano spins a perfectly crafted chiaroscuro tone on the opening text Tu vois le feu du soir, the listener hears what Maya Angelou once described as a voice like “hot silver melted.” All at once, the singing embodies an icy metal like that of mercurized glass yet containing molten passion, glowing from its confines. As the ethereal sound washes over the listener, everything seems to disappear. They find themselves alone—transported—mesmerized by the youthful voice of Ms. Flowers from a half century ago. … Read more about Martha Flowers