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A Message from the Director

Music is key to what makes us human—an expression of our creative beings.  In the School of Music, we daily and collectively engage our creative humanity as performers, composers, researchers, teachers, and students—together we collaborate, inspire, discover, reflect, mentor, innovate, and create. 

While we value our actual togetherness in our music-making, our priority is protecting the health and safety of the students, staff and faculty, and community, particularly during this covid-19 crisis.  Cal State Fullerton, like universities across the country, is preparing for Fall 2021 instruction.  Recently, CSU Chancellor Timothy White announced a “planning framework” in which Fall 2021 is “primarily virtual” for all CSU campuses.  We are encouraged by CSU Fullerton President Framroze Virjee’s subsequent mention that such “predominantly” virtual instruction in Fall 2021 will allow, when possible, for limited “face-to-face exceptions for hands-on instruction that cannot be delivered virtually.”  And, we are heartened by Chancellor White’s mention of exceptions to virtual instruction in the performing and creative arts, where possible.

Planning for the School of Music’s Fall 2021 continues under the direction of our College of the Arts Dean Dale Merrill, Provost Carolyn Thomas, and President Virjee, with the guidance of the Chancellor’s office and the state of California officials.  Our goal remains our students’ musical learning, and their moving through the meaningful curriculum toward their degree and their educational dreams.  As such, the School of Music faculty and I continue to “think out of the box,” focusing on the essence of music and music instruction, exploring ways of engaging in music and learning, and examining what each learning situation might look like for student and instructor.  Fall 2021 semester will begin in virtual mode at CSUF, but we hope that, for a significant part of the semester, one-on-one applied instruction and small ensemble rehearsals under 10 persons may occur in person, practicing social distancing, and maintaining health and safety.

Dr. Katherine Powers
Director, School of Music


In the News

katherine powers

mariachi divas
Mariachi Divas Up for Third Grammy

"I feel lucky and blessed that Cal State Fullerton was the base of my music education," says Shea. "To this day, I've never met better educators. They are incredible."

pamela madsen
CSUF Composer Pours Lifetime of Passions, Concerns Into Her Most Ambitious WorkPDF File Opens in new window

Composer Pamela Madsen’s path in life was influenced by events that happened long before she was born.

Omar Crook
Renowned Alumni Reflect on What Made Their CSUF Education SpecialOpens in new window

“One thing that stands out to me is that from choral to operatic studies, the faculty are always teaching you the little things that add up to ‘how to be a professional’” -- Christopher Job

Jesus Ramos Scholarships, Ensembles Create Ambassadors of Music

When Hurricane María hit Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm in 2017, Jesús Ramos was in the process of applying to graduate school. He and millions of others spent weeks with no power, and Ramos missed all application deadlines.  Enter Music Professor Rong-Huey Liu...

Opera Singer Takes 'Center Stage' — at Dodger StadiumOpens in new window

“I am super excited and a little nervous,” Pribyl admitted. “It isn’t opera but what an experience! And what a way to kick off my final year at Cal State Fullerton.”

valdepenas Valdepeñas’ Master Class is a Homecoming for Music AlumniOpens in new window

“I played the clarinet all through junior high and high school. … but I didn’t have a private lesson until I went to Cal State Fullerton,” says the music performance alumnus. 

Mathew Yang Freshman Wins Gold at International Piano Arts FestivalOpens in new window

The freshman credits the mentorship of [Bill] Cunliffe and [Rob] Watson for the opportunity to attend the event, which included master classes and recitals, as well as a competition and showcase for pianists of all ages.

YOLA National student Guillermo Najera
School of Music Welcomes LA Philharmonic’s YOLA Festival

“YOLA is why I attend here,” says Emmanuel Rojas, a freshman music major at Cal State Fullerton who has been working with this year’s festival. “I know that music is something I want now and it wouldn’t have been the same without YOLA.” 

Dustin Barr ‘Expressive Conducting’ Expert Finds Musicality in MovementOpens in new window

Ask Dustin Barr how he teaches conducting, and he’ll tell you it may all begin with a nursery rhyme. Admittedly, it’s a departure from how the art of directing a musical performance is traditionally taught.

Jubilant Sykes Alum Jubilant Sykes Shares Lessons
He LearnedOpens in new window

“Initially, I had no dreams of becoming an opera singer,” he recalled. “But that changed when I was at Cal State Fullerton. I had teachers who poured their lives into me. I had everything I needed right on campus to prepare me for my career.”

Dr. Christopher Peterson and Students
Dr. Christopher Peterson Receives Carol Barnes AwardOpens in new window

It’s such a wonderful thing to work for an institution that values teaching,” said Peterson upon receiving the award. “Here, I feel like I do what I love to do. I maintain a full-time load and don’t want to give up any of my classes. I love my students.”

Land Acknowledgement
The  School of Music acknowledges our presence on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Gabrielino/Tongva Nation.
We pay our respects to the Indigenous land caretakers past, present, and emerging. For more information please visit the Gabrielino-Tongva Tribe    websiteOpens in new window