Department of Music and Theatre

The Department of Music and Theatre houses distinct Programs in Music and Theatre. Each Program offers a General major and related minors. Each Program has its own Director.

Music Faculty

Professors Emeriti
Robert J. Gluck, M.F.A., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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 (Chair) 
Max Lifchitz, M.M., Harvard University

Associate Professors Emeriti/Emerita
R. Findlay Cockrell, M.S., Juilliard School of Music (Collins Fellow)       
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

Michael Lister, D.A., Ball State University

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

Adjuncts (estimated): 9

Theatre Faculty

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

Full-time Lecturers
Anne Croteau, M.F.A, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Ryan Garbayo, M.F.A., New York University
Chad Larabee, M.F.A., Florida State University

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

Adjuncts (estimated): 10


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 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 39-credit 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. The Music Program also offers minors in Music, Instrumental Performance, Music Performance, and Vocal Performance. For details, consult the Minors section of the Undergraduate Bulletin.

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, 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 major with majors in STEM, humanities, and business, among others. 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 39 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 (12 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)


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.: 43 credits from the following:

Section 1 (25 credits core): A THR 121, 135, 330, 221, 331, 235, 240, 300
Section 2 (3 credits of practicum): from A THR 101, 201, and 301
Section 3 (9 credits): 1 course 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  319, 380, 421, 456
Section 4 (3 credits): 1 course from A THR 403Z, 450, 460, 465, 475, 481
Section 5 (3 credits): 1 elective course on the 300/400 level or above with the ATHR prefix (3 credits). Select from courses offered within Sections 3 or 4 of the major requirements, or offered outside the major as Theatre electives. No single course can be double counted to fulfill two requirements within the major.