About the Department

The Department of Music fully supports the COFAC Statement of Solidarity and Purpose. In this same spirit of solidarity and commitment the department offers this discipline specific Statement of Solidarity.

Department of Music Statement of Solidarity

The Department of Music acknowledges

  • the racialized valuation of knowledge and musical expression that has shaped music education in the United States;

  • the underrepresentation of black artists and black music in received histories of US musical life;

  • historical limitations of access to music education that black artists and students have had to overcome;

  • the privileging of ways of discussing music and musical expression that presume a culturally specific set of musical values;

  • the privileging of white voices that continues to marginalize non-white artists and scholars in institutions of higher learning;

  • the challenge and necessity of not just acknowledging, but intentionally redressing these legacies;

  • the power of music to galvanize, unite, and inform;

  • music’s potential for stimulating progressive social change;

  • the urgency and opportunity of the present moment.

The Department of Music affirms

  • the humanity and citizenship of black Americans as members of our national intellectual and artistic community;

  • the integrity of black American music as an expression of black American experience;

  • the centrality of black music to American musical life and cultural identity;

  • the diversity of identity and cultural orientation within black communities;

  • the right of students, artists, and scholars to mobilize cultural and institutional resources in service of social justice initiatives.

The Department of Music commits

  • to program the music of black artists on our stages and in our classrooms;

  • to nurture scholarly and creative conversations that include a range of black musical expression;

  • to assess musical effort and achievement with respect for the diversity of cultural identity and orientation that defines our intellectual and artistic community;

  • to listen and respond to the experience and concerns of black students, faculty, and staff as members of our artistic and intellectual community;

  • to continue our broader mission as an equitable and accessible community of music- centered learning;

  • to model socially responsible and responsive cultural leadership in the context of the current discussion of race and racism in the US;

  • to stand in solidarity with scholars, artists, activists, and students working for social justice.

From the Chair

Phillip Collister

Welcome to the Department of Music at Towson University.  Our dynamic department is dedicated to providing music students pathways to success even as we serve the broader University community through liberal arts classes and performance opportunities. We are proud to foster an inclusive environment where small class sizes and experiential learning are the norm, where excellence in pedagogy and practical application is central, and where meaningful relationships are formed through the dedicated mentorship of our excellent faculty and staff.

I encourage you to visit the Department of Music and experience firsthand the good work that is happening here.  Prospective students can find more information here. If you are a patron, please consider attending one of our many events.  You might also wish to make a difference in the lives of our students though financial support.  I invite you to learn more about how you can contribute to our ongoing excellence.

Whatever your reason for visiting us today, we are glad you are here.  Please feel contact me directly at with any questions you may have.


Dr. Phillip Collister-Murray
Chairperson and Professor of Voice

About the Department of Music

The Department of Music is one of seven departments in the College of Fine Arts and Communication.  The department has been in existence since Towson’s founding in 1866 and has a strong history of excellence among students, faculty and staff.  Our world class faculty are strongly committed in helping our students succeed even as they continue their active engagement in research, scholarly and creative endeavors regionally, nationally and internationally.  The department is committed to fostering a learning community that mirrors the face of the population surrounding the campus, regionally and statewide. We enroll a diverse student population of approximately 325 students, served by 27 full-time and over 50 part-time faculty. The Department of Music offers comprehensive screened degree programs in Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science in Music Education, Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts, a dual degree in Music Education and Performance, Master of Music and Master of Science in Music Education as well as minors in Music and Music Industry. Learn more about our programs.  Towson University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

Each year the Department of Music presents nearly 200 concerts, recitals, guest artists and other special events in our state-of-the art performance venues.  In addition to on-campus performance and creative activities, Towson music majors have many opportunities to present their work in the Baltimore metropolitan area as well.  Our facilities in the Center for the Arts include a state-of-the art recording studio, rehearsal rooms, classrooms, teaching studios, computer labs, and practice rooms equipped with up-to-date instruments and technological resources.  Resources for music in Towson’s Cook Library are excellent and readily available to students, faculty and staff.   

Prospective students have an impressive array of opportunities to visit the Department of Music at one of our recruitment days, festivals or by scheduling a shadow day.

Our alumni are an important testament to the education and opportunities they received at Towson in the multiple ways they are making a difference in the world today.  We are proud of our alumni and all they have accomplished.   Learn more about our alumni.

Department of Music Mission Statement

The Towson University Department of Music offers a comprehensive, nimble, and transformative musical education to a diverse student body of undergraduate, graduate and non-degree students.  It is rooted in academic and artistic excellence with the primary goal of student success.  The Department promotes a student-focused learning environment with innovative pedagogies and technologies, intellectual curiosity, dedicated mentorship, collaboration, and experiential education. The Department affirms its identity as a dynamic center for the cultivation of performers, scholars, composers, music educators, and those seeking to enrich their lives through music.  Its forward-thinking curriculum stresses student growth delivered by a faculty comprised of internationally recognized performers, composers, educators, scholars, teacher-trainers, and artistic collaborators.

The Department enriches the cultural life of the region through its scholarship, concerts by students, faculty, and distinguished guests; and lectures and other public presentations. It is one of seven departments in the College of Fine Arts and Communication within an excellent comprehensive public liberal arts institution. Our state-of-the-art facilities are in close proximity to a thriving metropolitan area, boasting an impressive array of skilled practitioners and musical artists, leadership, internship and performance opportunities, and access to an exceptional variety of cultural experiences.

The Department of Music is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the Maryland State Department of Education.

Vision Statement

The Department of Music seeks to be a community that affirms the intrinsic value of creativity, musical studies, and intellectual inquiry as part of our shared humanity.

Strategic Plan

The Department of Music launched its TU Music 2024: A Vision for the Department of Music in Fall 2019.  This comprehensive five-year strategic plan aligns with key components of initiatives within the College of Fine Arts and Communication and the University. For more information on the Department’s strategic goals contact , chairperson.