Skip to Main Content

Letter from the Chair

dusmanUMBC’s Music Department provides the one-on-one attention undergraduates need to flourish as young musicians within the resources of a small research university. We provide excellent large ensembles that unite musicians from across campus, regardless of major (the UMBC Symphony, the UMBC Wind Ensemble, Camerata, the Jubilee Singers, and the Jazz Ensemble), balanced with small classes in music theory, musicianship, music history, and music education. In addition, small performing ensembles such as Chamber Players, the New Music Ensemble, the Percussion Ensemble, the Vocal Arts Ensemble (opera scenes), and a number of jazz combos, allow students to hone their musical skills in a small group setting.

Our new state of the art facilities include recording studios, the Earl and Darielle Linehan Concert Hall, and The Music Box. Our music technology major is the only one in the State of Maryland, and produces professional recordings and videos of the highest quality as a training ground for our student technologists.

UMBC music faculty are renowned musicians who also love to teach. We are especially keen to build entrepreneurial skills in our students so that they are prepared to contribute as musicians to societies of the 21st-century as highly-skilled innovators. Examples of this initiative include our Arts in Education course (modeled on the Lincoln Center program in New York), a Careers in Music course, and a number of internships and side-by-side collaborations with our faculty and other professional musicians.

Our students also join faculty in their research. One exciting new interdisciplinary project undertaken is Octava – an app that enhances audience engagement at orchestral events by providing live program notes during a performance. Eric Smallwood (Assistant Professor of Visual Arts) and I, joined by student interns, have collaborated with the UMBC Imaging Research Center, the UMBC Symphony, and the National Orchestral Institute in developing and testing this app, and recently were awarded a Maryland Innovation Grant to support further work. (

UMBC Music also values international experiences for our students. The Department has established an exchange program with the Nicolini Conservatorio in Piacenza, Italy, where students can study for a semester. Sam Winnie, a composition major and Linehan Artist Scholar, recently completed a spring semester there and now is applying for a Fulbright grant to return! So, whatever your musical interest or expertise, please visit us! We look forward to meeting you—

Dr. Linda Dusman
Professor and Chair, Department of Music