A First-Class Music Degree in a Liberal Arts Setting

  • The University of Evansville's Music Conservatory is a community of students and artist-teachers working together to achieve artistic excellence and professional results.

  • Five music degrees and a comprehensive curriculum, combined with an emphasis on active learning, give our students extensive experience in the chosen field of study.

  • Faculty mentors nurture each student's creativity, develop their talents, and guide them to professional success.

  • Our commitment to a strong tradition of performing excellence and outstanding musicianship is evidenced by the more than 90 concerts presented each year by faculty, music majors, non-music students, and guest artists.

We invite you to experience the UE Music Conservatory!

Upcoming Music Events

  • Tuesday, October 5, 7:30 p.m. – Ensemble Showcase
  • Tuesday, October 26, 7:30 p.m. – Rebecca Salo, horn
  • Friday, October 29, 7:30 p.m. – UE Opera
  • Saturday, October 30, 7:30 p.m. – UE Opera
  • Tuesday, November 2, 7:30 p.m. – First Tuesday – Eykamp String Quartet
  • More events…

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Melanie Bacaling

As a UE freshman in the top vocal ensemble on campus, Melanie Bacaling sang a piece of music that, years later, would help inspire her to spend a memorable summer abroad.

“Mozart has always struck me as an interesting character. His short life was full of success, and he created beautiful music from a young age,” said Bacaling, a double major in music performance and psychology. “I fell in love with his music when the University Choir performed Mozart’s Requiem. I could have worked on that piece for weeks without it getting old.”

Bacaling’s curiosity about Mozart, love of performing, and interest in research led her to apply for a unique summer study abroad program: the Mozart Project at Salzburg College in Mozart’s hometown of Salzburg, Austria. During the five-week session, students take voice lessons and conduct a research project, which culminates in a combined recital and lecture at the end of the program.

Before leaving for Austria, Bacaling completed UE courses in music literature and music history, which she says prepared her well for the program’s research aspects. Both courses, taught by assistant professor of music John Jordan, focused on the stories behind some of the world’s greatest composers and pieces.

“When I wrote research papers for those classes, I discovered that I liked uncovering those stories; it’s like putting together pieces of a puzzle,” Bacaling said. “For me, the process of doing the research is just as interesting, if not more so, than the final product.”

In Austria, Bacaling had vast resources available, including original manuscripts and letters from Mozart to his father. She also took two or three voice lessons a week, where she studied Mozart’s German Lieder and several arias that she sang in her recital. She credits UE assistant professor of music Gregory Rike for teaching her not only how to perform, but how to practice.

“Being a part of Dr. Rike’s studio has taught me self-discipline and the importance of a strong work ethic,” said Bacaling. “In Salzburg, I only had five weeks to work on a great amount of difficult music, so I had to be very disciplined in my individual practice time on top of my research.”

Bacaling returned home to Gurnee, Illinois, in late June with a new clarity about her passions and her future goals. “My time in Austria and work on the Mozart Project made me really fall in love with music,” she said. “I mean, I’ve always loved music, but now I’m certain that I would like to pursue a deeper knowledge of it with a master’s degree.” She is considering returning to Salzburg for her master’s and hopes to one day become a voice scientist: a field that combines performing, researching, and teaching.

Kaitlin Gress ’12

Kaitlin arrived at the University of Evansville with plans to major in physics. Before long, the percussionist and music enthusiast realized she was spending more time in the music department, talking with faculty members and learning about the music degrees available at UE.

“I realized very quickly that a music management degree was perfect for me,” Gress said. “I loved that it could lead me down any path of employment: arts administration, artist management, music publishing, or the recording industry. It also prepared me to pursue any number of master’s degrees if I chose to do so.”

The native of Huntingburg, Indiana, now works as the ArtsVibe teen program coordinator with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. ArtsVibe’s goal is to engage Atlanta-area teens in the arts through events at four cultural institutions: the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Alliance Theatre, High Museum of Art, and Young Audiences.

With guidance from UE faculty members, Gress honed her professional skills as an undergraduate by completing internships with the National Symphony Orchestra, Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, and Evansville Symphonic Band. “I tell anyone who will listen to work as many internships as you can,” said Gress. “Each performing arts organization I’ve worked with has shaped my career path. You learn what sort of jobs you may enjoy and make important connections in your field.”

Gress credits a three-month internship at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, with sparking her passion for the work she does today. “That summer taught me all of the work that happens behind the scenes of a large symphony orchestra, from raising the funds every year to the music heard from the stage,” Gress said. “I walked into senior year knowing I wanted to be in orchestra administration when it came time to graduate in May.”

Today, as the ArtsVibe teen program coordinator, “I juggle a lot of different responsibilities and face new challenges every week,” Gress said. “UE taught me how to solve problems in creative and effective ways. A huge part of being a music major was learning to work within a team, and I still use those communication and interpersonal skills every day.”

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