Music doctors prescribe new program

When someone mentions the word doctor, one of two images usually pops into mind: the first being a person who takes care of your health and the second being a professor. Rarely is a musician the person that comes to mind.

But for a select group of music majors in the College of Musical Arts, the word doctor means new and exciting opportunities, such as the brand new doctoral program of contemporary music.

The University is the only school in the state of Ohio and one of the two universities in the country that offer the program to qualified applicants, according to Marilyn Shrude, program director for the doctoral of contemporary music.

This past fall was the first time the program was offered to students. About 25 musicians applied, but only five were taken, Shrude said. It is their goal to take no more than five new people each year, keeping the program a prestigious and highly selective one.

Shrude, along with five others, has been working for 10 years to develop this program to their standards. Shrude said developing this program has not been an easy task for the faculty of the College of Musical Arts.

“When you get a new degree program… you have to go through many levels of approval,” she said. In addition to the written proposals of what the program would have to offer, Shrude and her colleagues were required to travel around the United States and give presentations to various symposiums.

But after many years of dedication, their efforts have finally come to fruition. The program itself was developed on the strengths of the musicians in the College of Musical Arts, which according to Shrude, was contemporary music. Shrude defined the music as any orchestral or choral work produced post-1945.

“Not pop music!” she jokingly clarified.

To celebrate the new program and its artists, the inaugural class performed at the Manor House in the Wildwood Metropark as a part of its “BGSU Concert Series” this past Tuesday.

According to Scott Carpenter, the public relations director for the park, every Tuesday through April 10 a new group of active students in the College of Musical Arts will showcase their talents.

“Each group that comes brings its own audience,” Carpenter said. He added the concert series is successful, but attendance varies depending on the weather.

Despite deterrents, the music speaks for itself and according to Carpenter, ” [The program] brings in a nice variety of folks.”