A Letter from the Dean

You stand at the precipice of a choice that will influence the rest of your life. We know that where you chose live, learn, perform, and create for the next few years will have a profound impact on who you will become. We also know that a career in that arts can, at times, seem like the hardest path possible.

Many will tell you it’s irresponsible, impossible, or unrealistic to think you can make a living doing what you love. We know it takes a brave and vivid soul to step off that precipice and fly. We also know how to give you the tools you’ll need to succeed.

The 21st Century artist is dynamic, innovative, community-minded, collaborative, and thrives on cross-discipline pollination. They are smart. They are entrepreneurial. They are novel. They root their ideas in tradition and the classic canon, but then push beyond the classics to build bridges to the horizon. They are the new creative class. They have led the biggest urban and economic revivals of note during the past two-decades. They are community leaders, activists, and risk-takers. They are the online influencers, and the big dreamers who make our world a more interesting place to be. And, we are the incubator for those artists to grow.

As the largest and most comprehensive music and dance program in the Pacific Northwest, the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance has been guiding scholars, artists, dreamers, and performers like you for more than a century. With enhanced technology, the finest quality pianos, instrumental equipment, and superior recording capabilities, our facilities provide a high-quality environment for students to learn, teach, practice, and perform. Our dedicated faculty members place students first and at the center of what they do, while continuing to conduct research, present, and perform nationally and abroad.

Our roster of guest teachers and performers connects students with the professional world of working artists, featuring such luminaries as: Burt Bacharach, Branford Marsalis, Libby Larsen, Simon Carrington, Midori, Yo-Yo Ma, Jeffrey Zeigler, Emmanuel Ax, John Perry, Joseph Alessi, Heidi Duckler, White Bird Dance Theater, Vincent Mantsoe, Michelle Boulé, Stephanie Jordan, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble, the London Haydn Quartet, the Juilliard String Quartet, and The Emerson Quartet.

Then, of course, there is the internationally renowned Oregon Bach Festival and Berwick Academy, which offer an unparalleled chance to learn from one of America’s great music festivals.

So plan a visit. Connect with us online, or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube. See what our 40+ student performance groups have been up to, or watch one of our free, live-streamed concerts. Then choose Oregon. Let us be your launching pad as you learn to soar.


Sabrina Madison-Cannon, Dean