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David Garcia
Professor and Chair David Garcia

The Department of Music at UNC-Chapel Hill is back in person! Classes, lessons, rehearsals, and performances are filling our department’s spaces with the wonderful sounds of music teaching and music making. We are doing so safely, however, knowing that the pandemic continues. This past year, students, faculty, and staff have worked together to innovate so that our core mission in music studies could forge ahead whether online, in person, or both. There is much to celebrate for the department community’s accomplishments this year.

Faculty have won national and international fellowships and awards for their performances, recordings, research, and scholarship. New faculty have joined the department to teach in horn, jazz, music education, music history, recording production, trumpet, and viola. After leading exceptional careers in musicology and music education, two faculty—David G. Frey Distinguished Professorship Tim Carter and Clinical Associate Professor in Music Education Dan Huff—announced their retirements.

Because music is a special part of campus life, including beyond the classroom, faculty and students participated in bringing music to campus community events to include Pride Week at Carolina. The department presented a pre-recorded performance of John Adams’ The Wound Dresser by Marc Callahan and the UNC Symphony Orchestra. This performance was presented in memory of Matthew Shepherd and all of the LGBTQIA+ lives lost to senseless violence.

To help with studies in the classroom and performance halls, our staff have also innovated to enable our students and faculty to continue to study and make music safely. Their work included installing technology to allow for safe music making during the height of the pandemic involving singers, brass and wind players, and to stream student and faculty performances via the department’s YouTube channel.

To further our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, music resource pages in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion were created on our website for our community at large, our mission statement was updated to incorporate our statement on diversity at the core, and the department became a member of the National Instrumentalist Mentoring and Advancement Network (NIMAN). NIMAN emphasizes sharing of information, best practices, and resources across its membership to raise up BIPOC classical musicians across the country, throughout the span of their artistic and professional development. For its efforts, Study International selected the Department of Music at Carolina as one of their three recommended places to get a music degree with a global perspective.

Commencement has also looked a little different during the pandemic. The department hosted its second virtual graduation ceremony on May 16, 2021. The prerecorded ceremony included speeches from faculty and students, a roll call of seniors and award winners, plus musical performances. This event live streamed on and is archived in the department’s YouTube channel. Following the ceremony, a Zoom social hour provided graduates, faculty, and staff an opportunity to visit and celebrate. The department was especially pleased to host UNC Music’s Class of 2020 for a long-awaited reception following their commencement ceremony in October 2021 in Kenan Stadium.

Our donors’ support continues to make a significant difference as we navigate university budgetary planning to assure Carolina students receive the best liberal arts education in music. New gifts have established exciting initiatives such as the Marcia J. Citron Graduate Research in Musicology Fund, which will begin supporting students in 2022. We are grateful for your continued generosity and hope you will remember Music during this year’s GiveUNC Day on March 29, 2022!

We are excited about the 2021-2022 academic year and look forward to you joining us as we continue to innovate and expand our reach in educating Carolina students in the rich and diverse field of music. Some highlights to look for in the coming year are the launching of new degree programs in the B.A., B.Mus., and Minor in Music and a new Musical Theatre Minor. As faculty, staff, and students in Music forge ahead toward a new calendar year, we do so with safety and care as our priorities.

David Garcia's signature

David F. Garcia

Professor and Chair