West Chester University of Pennsylvania School of Music (SOM) has a long tradition of excellence. Fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, the SOM's music education program is among the finest in the nation while performance programs have earned acclaim from reviewers.
With 450 undergraduate and 100 graduate majors, the SOM provides both comprehensive instruction and personal attention. As the only School of Music in the State System of Higher Education, and because of its excellent reputation, demand for admission is high. The incoming class has grown by 25 percent over the past five years, even though only one applicant in four is granted admission to the school.
Music faculty - more than 60 strong - are outstanding mentors with wide-ranging expertise and distinguished credentials as performers, composers, and teachers. Complementing the outstanding faculty and curriculum is an array of remarkable performance opportunities. For example, the University's 325-member marching band is among the nation's finest, while the "Criterions" are the longest continuously operating jazz ensemble in the nation.
Nearly all of the SOM's 5,000 graduates enjoy successful careers in music teaching and performance, and many assume leadership roles in the profession. WCU trains more music teachers than any other university in the Commonwealth.
WCU offers the surrounding community an extensive calendar of cultural arts performances that attract 60,000 people to campus each year. Programs range from classical symphonies and contemporary dance to noted lecturers and children's theatre. Maya Angelou, the Vienna Choir Boys, Jon Faddis from the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, and Philadanco are among recent performers.
Also, the University supports community arts by offering venues and visibility to groups such as the Brandywine Ballet Company, Kennett Symphony, and the Gilbert & Sullivan Society. Providing an affordable home to these organizations raises the region's quality of life while enhancing students' educational experiences.