Department of Music and Theatre

The Department of Music and Theatre houses distinct Programs in Music and Theatre. Each Program offers a General major, an Honors Program, and a minor. Music also offers several Departmental Concentrations. Each Program has its own Director.

Music Faculty

Professors Emeriti
James R. Morris, D.M.A.
University of Southern California
Albin J. Zak III, Ph.D.
City University of New York

Duncan Cumming, D.M.A.
Boston University        
Robert J. Gluck, M.F.A.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Max Lifchitz, M.M. (Chair) 
Harvard University

Associate Professors Emeriti/Emerita
R. Findlay Cockrell, M.S. (Collins Fellow)
Juilliard School of Music       
K. Drew Hartzell Jr., Ph.D.
University of Rochester
Reed J. Hoyt, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania
Victoria von Arx, Ph.D.
City University of New York

Associate Professor       
Nancy Newman, Ph.D.
Brown University

Assistant Professors
Kyra Gaunt, Ph.D.
University of Michigan
André de Oliveira Redwood, Ph.D.
Yale University

Visiting Assistant Professor
Michael Lister, D.A.
Ball State University

Instructional Support Associate
Ellen Burns, Ph.D.
Florida State University

Adjuncts (estimated): 8

Theatre Faculty

Andi Lyons, M.F.A.
Yale University
Eszter Szalczer, Ph.D. (Program Director)
City University of New York

Associate Professor Emeriti
Robert J. Donnelly, M.F.A.
Yale University

Associate Professor
Kathryn Walat, M.F.A
Yale School of Drama

Full-time Lecturers
Renee Bell, M.F.A
University of Iowa
Chad Larabee, M.F.A.
Florida State University
Kim Stauffer, M.F.A.
University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Scene Shop Supervisor and Adjunct Instructor
John Knapp, B.A.
University at Albany

Melissa Hurt
M.F.A. Virginia Commonwealth University
Ph.D. University of Oregon
Angela Ledtke, M.A.
University at Albany
Rachel MacKenzie, M.M. and Advanced Certificate in Vocal Pedagogy
New York University
Tracy Liz Miller, M.F.A.
University of Alabama
Bhavesh Patel, M.F.A.
New York University
Yvonne Perry
B.F.A. Adelphi University
M.A. University at Albany
Jacqueline Springfield, Guest Director, M.F.A.
University of North Carolina at Greensboro



The Music Program offers undergraduates the opportunity to study music in a liberal arts context and advance their skills and understanding from any starting point. Auditions are not required for the General major. Courses include introductory and advanced lecture and studio classes in theory, composition, history, ethnomusicology, and a variety of popular musical practices. Independent study and internships are also available for majors. Participation in the Program’s many performance ensembles is open to all students and university community members with permission of the respective director.

Curriculum for the 36-credit General major focuses on four areas: theory and composition, history and musicology/ethnomusicology, applied skills/performance, and upper-level electives. For their electives, students may opt for breadth by choosing among different types of courses, or create an individualized focus. For example, a 3-course focus on popular music might include jazz, rock, and hip-hop; a focus on digital media studies could include interactive and social media, sound design, and computer music.

Departmental Concentrations (minimum 54 credits) in Vocal and Instrumental Performance, Theory, Composition, and Musicology/Ethnomusicology are also available. Students who complete a Departmental Concentration are not required to have a discrete minor for the Bachelor of Arts Degree.

The Music Program sponsors concerts, lectures, workshops, and master classes by its faculty, ensembles, students, and guest artists each semester. Facilities include practice rooms, rehearsal spaces, a department library, multimedia studio, and two concert halls.

The Music major provides students with the fundamental knowledge and technical skills essential to the pursuit of graduate study or professional activity. Career paths include performance, teaching, arts administration, and the music industry. Our graduates work in non-profit and commercial settings that include choral organizations, churches, opera houses, orchestra management, recording studios, and educational institutions of all levels.
Double majors combining Music with another degree program are encouraged. Students from across the university’s several colleges have successfully combined the General major or Departmental Concentration with majors in STEM, humanities, business, etc. Recent graduates have gone on to medical school, counseling and social work, financial services, law school, and other vocations while keeping music in their lives.

Degree Requirements for the Majors in Music

General Program B.A.: a minimum of 36 credits to include:

1. Theory I - IV (12 credits): A MUS 245, 247, 345, 347

2. History/Musicology/Ethnomusicology (9 credits): A MUS 100, 301, 495

3. Performance (6 credits): A MUS 263 or 264 (Aural Skills), 265 or 270 (Keyboard), and 2 semesters of ensemble from A MUS 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187 or 287 (as appropriate)

4. Upper-level electives (9 credits at the 300 level or above in courses with an A MUS prefix, not to include more than 1 semester of lessons (i.e., Major Performance study)

Departmental Programs in Performance, Theory, Composition, Musicology/Ethnomusicology

The Departmental Concentrations are coordinated under close supervision of the appropriate faculty advisor. For voice and instrumental performance, admission is determined by a jury (examination) at the end of the first semester. Satisfactory progress in the General Major is expected to be demonstrated concurrently. Participation in the juries is required for each semester of lessons (Major Performance study) unless the student is presenting a graduation recital. Students interested in conducting are encouraged to pursue a vocal or instrumental concentration, supplemented by independent study with the choral director.

The composition concentration includes new and traditional art music, songwriting, sound design, and computer music.

All departmental concentrators intending to pursue graduate work are encouraged to undertake advanced study in European languages.

Departmental Program, B.A.: 54 credits minimum:

1. Core: 36 credits (same as General Program).

2. Concentrations:
Instrumental Performance: 18 credits to include: 12 credits of A MUS 378, 379, 478, 479; 3 semesters in ensemble (A MUS 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, or 287) beyond the Core (5 total); 3 credits as advised.

Vocal Performance: minimum 21 credits to include: 12 credits of A MUS 378, 379, 478, 479; 3 semesters in A MUS 187 or 287 (ensemble) in addition to the Core (5 total); 3 credits from A THR 240, 339, 340, or 345; and one semester of European language study beyond the General Education requirement (3–4 credits). Singers are encouraged to take A MUS 264 (Aural Skills for Vocalists).

Composition, Theory, or Musicology/Ethnomusicology: 18 credits to include 15 at the 300 and 400 levels in appropriate courses approved by the advisor; 3 semesters in ensemble beyond the Core (5 total).


The Theatre Program curriculum (which includes its production program) is designed to aid students in learning to work collaboratively and creatively to solve problems, to communicate effectively both orally and in writing, to acquire intellectual skills necessary to confront a changing world, to acquire proficiency in a core of theatre knowledge and practice, and to understand the self-discipline and work ethic necessary to pursue a life in the arts.

Theatre is a performing art. It is also a major area of study through which one may gain a liberal arts education. The Theatre Program assumes these two views of the theatre to be mutually supportive. Acting, design, direction, technology, management, history, theory, criticism, and dramatic literature are considered interdependent studies. The major is structured to guarantee a well-rounded foundation in theatre, preparing students for graduate study or entry into the profession.


A major in theatre prepares students for specialized graduate study in dramatic art or conservatory training in performance or production. Majors acquire a wide range of knowledge and skills transferable to a variety of career paths. In addition, theatre majors are prepared to pursue any career path requiring a broad education in the liberal arts.

Past graduates are currently acting, writing, and directing in television, film, on stage in New York, and in regional theatres. Graduates in design and technical areas are employed in New York theatres and major scenic studios, as well as with regional theatres, Cirque du Soleil, Disney, Las Vegas, and touring with national and international productions. Other graduates work with equipment developers and manufacturers, in film and television production, in concert and event production and management, and with assorted digital and web-based companies. Still other graduates have gone into architecture, interior design, teaching, journalism, communications, computer technology, medicine, law, and business.

UAlbany Theatre Program Casting and Production Policy

The UAlbany Theatre Program is committed to racial, cultural, and individual diversity, in all areas of production. We are committed to non-traditional casting to expand opportunities for women, actors of color, and actors with disabilities in roles where race, gender, or the presence or absence of a disability is not germane.

The UAlbany Theatre Program believes that students, and artists of all races, genders, sexualities, nationalities, and religions are needed for our casts, our crew, and our production teams. We promote the idea that earning  and retaining a role or a production position is a privilege, not a right.

Intended and registered theatre majors will be given priority consideration for all available roles and technical positions, though we welcome all students committed to taking risks, and working collaboratively, to develop dynamic and though-provoking theatre.

Degree Requirements for the Major in Theatre

General Program B.A.: 40 credits from the following:

Section 1 (25 credits core): A THR 121, 135, 220, 221, 222, 235, 240, 300
Section 2 (3 credits of practicum): from A THR 101, 201, and 301
Section 3 (9 credits): 1 class from each of the following sub-sections:
            Sub-section A: A THR 303Z, 339, 340, 343
            Sub-section B: A THR 314, 335, 360, 370, 381
            Sub-section C: A THR 309, 319, 361, 380, 421, 456
Section 4 (3 credits): 1 class from A THR 403Z, 450, 460, 465, 475, 481, 499             

Honors Program

The honors program in theatre is designed to give exceptional undergraduates the opportunity to take advanced class work in the field of theatre studies and to work more closely with faculty on independent projects than might otherwise be possible. This program is available to theatre majors.

Requirements for admission to the Theatre Honors Program:

A THR 121, 135, 220, 227, 235, and 240 completed or in progress; at least 60 but no more than 80 credits towards graduation; a 3.50 GPA in all theatre courses and an overall GPA of 3.25; submission of an application and project proposal to the Honors Committee.

Requirements for completion of the Theatre Honors Program:

Overall GPA of 3.25; all requirements for core theatre major with GPA of 3.50 (the student may be removed from the Honors Program if the GPA drops below the required level, or in the case of excessive or unjustified incompletes in any course(s), pending the judgment of the Honors Committee); honors course or independent study or other upper level course approved by the Honors Committee in which substantial research is done in preparation for the Honors project with a grade of B+ or higher (3 credits); Honors project with a grade of B+ or higher (3 credits).