Students discover untold opportunities in the music department

[Photo by Jordan Greenwall] Newman Center for Performing Arts at the University of Denver

[Photo by Jordan Greenwall]
Newman Center for Performing Arts at the University of Denver

DENVER- The Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver is widely recognized for its premier education in music performance. However, students who do not study music at the university are often naïve as to the opportunities offered to them by the music department.

The Newman Center for Performing Arts houses the Lamont School and boasts beautifully built facilities that are separate from the main campus, making it less known the majority of the university’s student body.

Isa Alcaraz, and third-year accounting major, admits to not having spent any time at the Newman Center until the start of her junior year.

“The building is remarkable, I couldn’t believe I had been missing out on something so close to me for two years”, she states.

The building wasn’t the only aspect of Lamont that Alcaraz mentioned missing out on in her first few collegiate years.

“I met some new music students and they invited me to attend one of their performances at the Newman Center, which turned out to be free for all students. It’s so awesome that we are able to experience different music styles from so many different sources for free”, said Alcaraz.

The Lamont School hosts nearly 300 performances a year, and the majority are absolutely free. Varieties of performances occur daily at the Newman Center. Students can join the audience of a master class or enjoy hearing the work of a guest artist. Senior recitals are also open for students to attend to support their fellow classmates.

The schedule of performances is updated frequently and is easily accessible to the public. Anna Bernhardt, a junior at the University of Denver speaks to the excitement of the performances.

“I love that I can just grab a few friends and enjoy some great, professional level music for free. There’s so many performances that I can basically go any night a week,” said Bernhardt.

[Photo by Jordan Greenwall] Practice room located in the Newman Center

[Photo by Jordan Greenwall]
Practice room located in the Newman Center

Attending a variety of performances isn’t the only opportunity given to students on campus. Many of the facilities within Newman Center are available to students across all academic departments. The individual practice rooms can be utilized by all University of Denver students with a student identification card.

Some practice rooms contain instruments that cannot be transported easily, such as pianos or a pipe organ. For music students who have smaller, more mobile instruments, lockers are provided throughout multiple hallways. However, non-music majors must find other places to store their instruments because lockers are not available to the public.

The students in the music department are on a priority list for the practice rooms since that is where they conduct most of their performance homework. However, the numerous amount of rooms available usually makes it easy for non-music majors to practice as well.

Erin Agee, a freshman Communication Studies major, stated, “I can usually find a room once or twice a week in Newman to practice playing the flute, which is perfect to keep up my hobby”.

Amidst the classrooms found in the Newman Center, there is also a music library available to all students and faculty during open hours. A listening lab is located within the library where students can pull tapes from past composers to study or enjoy. For students who are simply looking to expand their study environments, the music library acts as a quiet space away from the typical college hustle to sit down and read.

Other opportunities offered by Lamont include music lessons for beginners that are taught by graduate students within the department. These lessons are offered to students across campus as well as to families in the surrounding Denver area.

[Photo by Jordan Greenwall] Hannig preparing to teach a guitar lesson

[Photo by Jordan Greenwall]
Hannig preparing to teach a guitar lesson

“Teaching guitar lessons is one of my favorite jobs as student because others get so much joy out of music and I get to fine tune my basic guitar skills on a regular basis”, said graduate student, Mary Hannig, who focused her studies on jazz guitar.

Prices and times for the lessons vary and are determined by the student teaching them. Students teach at a variety of levels as well, so that people wanting to go beyond the beginner phase have the opportunity to do so.

The opportunities provided by the Lamont School are vast and easily accessible explains University of Denver sophomore, Kassandra Lopez.

“When I started as a freshman I was constantly looking for exciting things to fill my time and expand my knowledge. The Lamont School exceeded my expectations of what college would offer, and now I have a new piano hobby that I see myself keeping for the rest of my life”.

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