Sometimes to understand who we are as a College, we need to look carefully at our history, and our origins!
Dr. Ernest E. Schuyten, a violinist and former conductor of the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra, founded the New Orleans Conservatory of Music and Dramatic Art in 1919. Dr. Schuyten was a graduate of the Athénée Royal, in Antwerp, and the Conservatoire Royal in Brussels. The New Orleans Conservatory, whose faculty members came from the New Orleans Symphony and other artistic institutions in the city, eventually merged with Loyola University, and in September of 1932 became the College of Music of Loyola University. After Hurricane Katrina, two departments previously housed in Loyola’s College of Arts and Sciences, Theatre and Visual Arts, were added to the College of Music, creating the current College of Music and Fine Arts at Loyola University.
In an effort to better define the nature of the College in March of 2012 President Kevin Wildes approved the creation of a School of Music, a Department in Music Industry Studies, and re-named the Department of Visual Arts the Department of Art and Design. The College employs over 70 full-time faculty and a large number of part-time faculty (including a number of current or former members of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra), and includes more than 200 BM/BA music majors, nearly 300 BS in Music Industry majors, and nearly 200 majors in visual arts and theatre.
The School of Music and Department of Music Industry Studies offer a wide range of programs, including baccalaureate and master’s programs in music performance (vocal, instrumental, and keyboard), programs in music education, and the third-oldest program in music therapy in the United States. Loyola graduates work in the major orchestras, opera houses, ballet companies, recording and publishing companies, theatres and art galleries throughout the world and continue to make important contributions to the artistic life of the United States and beyond.
I mention all of these things in this, my first blog entry, to introduce our school and to highlight some of the exciting qualities of Loyola’s programs which many may not be aware of. In coming blogs I will talk more about who we are, but also about what we are and strive to be as a College, but also individually as artists!