Department of Music and Theatre

The Department of Music and Theatre consists of several major programs in music and a major in theatre, with a Department Chair and Program Directors in each area. Both areas offer a minor.

Music Faculty

Professors Emeriti
Joel A. Chadabe, M.M.
Yale University
James R. Morris, D.M.A.
University of Southern California

Robert J. Gluck, M.F.A.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Max Lifchitz, M.M.
Harvard University
Albin J. Zak III, Ph.D.
City University of New York

Associate Professors Emeriti
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

Associate Professors
Duncan Cumming, D.M.A.
Boston University        
Nancy Newman, Ph.D. (Chair)
Brown University
Victoria von Arx, Ph.D.
City University of New York

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

Full-time Lecturer
Michael Pfitzer, M.M.
University of Wisconsin-Madison

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.
City University of New York

Associate Professors Emeriti
Robert J. Donnelly, M.F.A.
Yale University
Jerome Hanley, M.F.A.
Yale University

Associate Professor
Karla Kash, M.F.A (Program Director and Producer)
Brandeis University

Assistant 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

Adjuncts (estimated): 6


The major undergraduate programs offered by the Music Department provide students with the fundamental knowledge and technical capabilities necessary for the pursuit of graduate studies or professional activities. These programs are also components of a liberal arts education and provide preparation for a variety of careers.

Course offerings include a variety of introductory and advanced lecture and studio courses in composition, electronic music, musicology, theory, and performance. Seminars, independent study, and internships are also available for majors. Students intending to pursue graduate study in musicology or theory are urged to enroll in foreign language study.

Opportunities for participation in various performance ensembles are provided for majors and nonmajors. The department sponsors concerts by its ensembles, faculty, students, and guest artists each semester.

The facilities include housing for musical instruments, practice rooms, a department library and listening room, an electronic music studio and three concert halls.

Degree Requirements for the Major in Music

All majors must:

  • be able to read music and
  • satisfactorily pass a departmental theory examination which will be administered during the first scheduled class in the fall semester. A MUS 110 may serve as preparation for the major. In addition a noncredit competency exam in piano is given at that time. Those deficient in this area will be required to enroll in A MUS 265 (Keyboard Harmony and Performance). A grade of C- or higher in A MUS 265 will be needed to satisfy this requirement. Credit for A MUS 265 will not apply toward major or minor requirements

General Program B.A.: 36 credits:

1. Core: 27 credits to include: A MUS 100, 245, 247, 300, 301 (formerly 231), 345, 347, and 2 ensemble credits (2 semesters) chosen from A MUS 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, or 287 (as appropriate).
2. Electives: 9 credits at the 300 level or above in courses intended for music majors and minors (except A MUS 378, 379, 478, and 479) to include at least 3 credits in musicology; and at least 3 credits in composition (which includes electronic music and media) or theory (except A MUS 345 and 347).

Departmental Programs in Composition, Musicology, Theory, Conducting, Performance

Admission to these programs requires permission of the appropriate departmental committee.
Departmental Program, B.A.: 54 credits minimum:

1. Core: 27 credits (same as General Program).
2. Concentrations:
Composition, Musicology, or Theory: 18 credits to include 15 at the 300 and 400 levels in courses appropriate to the concentration and approved by the department chair; 3 semesters in ensemble beyond the Core (5 altogether).
Conducting: 18 to include 6 credits of A MUS 270; A MUS 360, 361, and 461; 3 semesters in ensemble beyond the Core (5 altogether).
Performance: 12-18 credits (4-6 semesters) A MUS 178 (or proficiency), 278 (or proficiency), 378, 379, 478, 479; 3 credits/semesters in ensemble (A MUS 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 287) beyond the Core (5 altogether); 3 credits as advised.
Voice Performance: 22 credits to include 12 credits of A MUS 378, 379, 478, 479 (private instruction); 3 credits/semesters in A MUS 187 or 287 (ensemble) in addition to the Core (5 altogether); 3 credits from A THR 140, 240, 339, or 345; 4 credits from A FRE101/102, A GER101/102, or A ITA100/101. Electives: 6 credits (vs. 9 in all other programs) to include 3 credits of A MUS 398 (Diction) and 3 credits at the 300 level or above in Musicology, Theory, or Composition (which includes electronic music).
3. Electives: Same as General Program (except for Voice Performance). Elected courses may not duplicate those required for the concentration.
4. Additional Requirements:
Composition: Compositions performed in approved recitals or the equivalent.
Performance: Admission to the program by audition. Performance examinations held at the end of each semester but the first, or unless the student is presenting a graduation recital that semester. Participation in approved recitals.


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).