Like a crescendo in a Mozart concerto, the music and music education programs at Buffalo State College have been building in intensity. Under the talented baton of Bradley Fuster, department chair and associate professor, the programs earned full accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music in 2009.
The department has also expanded the number of students, faculty, and ensembles; established the region’s first college-community orchestra, the Buffalo State College Philharmonia; and added a minor in digital music production. Renovations to Rockwell Hall, scheduled to be unveiled next fall, will provide performance space and acoustic capabilities rivaling those of the nation’s top conservatories.
Of the three SUNY institutions offering the music education degree, Buffalo State is the only one in an urban setting. Students have access to world-class professional musicians from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and elsewhere. “If you’re studying the arts, you should do it in a place that has a vibrant arts scene,” says Fuster. “Buffalo definitely has that.”
Next Step: Recruitment
The ongoing goal of the music program at Buffalo State is to increase the size, scope, diversity, and quality of the music student population. One of the program’s immediate needs, Fuster said, is to recruit students who are proficient in key instruments. This will allow conductors of the college’s various ensembles the ability to choose from the full music repertoire, which will ultimately benefit the students. “We need double-reed players such as oboe and bassoon, for example, and string players, like viola, who are in the middle voice,” Fuster explained. “We also need more male vocalists, especially tenors.”
The best way to attract such students is scholarships. What will set Buffalo State apart for prospective students—in addition to the many strengths and amenities of the music programs—is the availability of scholarships, said Fuster.
Anyone who would like to set up a scholarship, donate to an existing scholarship fund, or explore naming opportunities for the new Music Department facilities should contact Paula Devereaux, senior major gifts officer for the School of Arts and Humanities, at (716) 878-3548 or Fuster at (716) 878-6401.
Back to top