SUNY Oswego has variety of programs for those who sing, play instruments — or those who want to learn
By Maria Pericozzi
Whether you sing, play an instrument, want to get a degree in music or want to perform master works, SUNY Oswego is the place to be.
Department of Music Chairman Robert Auler said there are lots of ways for students to get involved in the music ensembles.
“We are hugely student-centered and a very warm group of professors who really take a lot of personal investment in their students,” Auler said. “It’s a real family atmosphere here and I feel we really just have the right size.”
For singers, they can join the festival chorus, college choir for women, college choir for men, or StateSingers, all led by Mihoko Tsutsumi, the director of choral activities.
For people who play wind instruments, they have the opportunity to join Wind Ensemble, the Oswego State Jazz Ensemble, a woodwind quintet, a flute ensemble and a clarinet quintet.
For non-wind instrument musicians, there is also a guitar ensemble, a percussion ensemble, and a college orchestra. There are 11 full-time faculty members and multiple part-time instructors who assist students.
While there aren’t thousands of students attending and participating in the programs, Auler said there are enough students to create a buzz and excitement in the buildings.
“It’s one of the warmest places you can study,” Auler said. “I sense that our students are really happy and feel like they belong here.”
Students can pursue a major in music, a minor in music, a certificate of specialized study in piano, an arts management minor or an audio design and production minor.
Students who are not music majors are also welcome to join the program. Auler said there is a huge group of non-music majors.
“We love music majors and we love music minors and we also love chemistry majors,” Auler said. “[The groups] are open to all students on campus.”
For students who have never learned an instrument, there are beginner classes in piano to take. Some studios have classes for beginners, such as beginner guitar.
Every April, the jazz program plays a concert on Long Island, and visits high schools in the area to inspire students.
“We are actively inviting students to come down and have a lesson and see how it goes,” Auler said. “We are active as performers, we perform throughout New York state. That’s a nice way to actually meet people that might have been at the concerts and are interested in learning more about Oswego.”
Auler said he is excited about the growth in digital music and electronic production.
“One of the good things about Oswego is that we’re not classical music snobs,” Auler said. “We believe all music is valuable and kids may come from a lot of different entry points. If you want to learn classical piano this is a great place for you, or jazz piano, or electronic production.”
Auler said if students are interested, they should not have any fear about reaching out to a professor to get involved.