Welcome to the Music Department at Keene State College!

The Music program at Keene State College offers an experience like no other.  Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, we deliver a rigorous, conservatory-style curriculum that generates high placement rates in jobs, graduate programs, and performance opportunities.  Our 40+ faculty members hail from across the globe and offer a variety of classes, ensembles, and lessons that support our Music degree programs

TubaChristmas invites participation of students, faculty, and community members.

We are an active, multi-faceted program offering over 80 events per year, supporting more than 20 ensembles, and offering one-on-one lessons across all vocal and instrumental categories. We serve over 500 students in the College’s Integrative Studies Program, offering an interesting array of topics such as Listening to Brazil, The History of Jazz, Music Cultures of the World, and Avant Rock.

We love teaching in the Cheshire Academy for Lifelong Learning, collaborating with community organizations such as MoCo Arts and Apple Hill, and bringing in guest artists from around the world who work with our students in lessons and master classes.

Faculty and students are inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda

Many of our faculty, as well as our highest-achieving students, are members of the Kappa Pi chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda, the national music honor society.   We also host active student chapters of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and Music Teachers National Association (MTNA).

Students interested in becoming a music major or minor will need to pass an audition.  Prospective students interested in the Music program can join us for a Shadow Day!  We’ll match you with a current music major student who best matches your areas of expertise.  It’s a great way to spend a “day in the life” of a music student – and we think you’ll like what you see!

Keene State College has embarked on a campaign to become an All Steinway School!  This designation  reflects the high caliber of our Music program and underscores the College’s commitment to offer a superior liberal arts education.  With a top notch faculty and a competitive, conservatory-style curriculum, we are committed to achieving musical excellence.  Help us reach our goal by contributing to the All Steinway, All Together campaign.


Keene State Music in the news
  • Dr. Heather Gilligan’s Rhapsody earns a world premiere by Dr. Paul Grobey, violin and Dr. Christina Wright-Ivanova, piano.
  • Estate of former KSC Artist-in-Residence donates extensive music library collection to the Music Department.
  • Keene State College’s All-Steinway Initiative, which will allow KSC to become the first All-Steinway School in New Hampshire, continues into Year Three, with about 40% of the pianos funded! Many thanks for the generous gifts from the Kingsbury Fund, Hoffman Family Foundation, Douglas Company, Charles ’67 & Christine Zoulias, and our Anonymous donors for bringing the highest quality instruments to our campus.
  • CD Release Professional chamber pianist and coordinator of KSC’s Piano program, Christina Wright-Ivanova, recently released a CD recording on Albany Records with ‘duo au courant’ partner, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Weiss, featuring new American art song by award-winning composer, Daron Hagen.
  • Recording Equipment Review Professional recording studio engineer and co-coordinator of KSC’s Music Technology program, Christopher Swist, published this review in Sonic Scoop. 
  • Music Faculty Performance Series Kickoff KSC Classical guitarist, José Manuel Lezcano, presented From the Fandango to the Bolero: Music of Spain and Cuba through Five Centuries.
  • Percussion Performance KSC student and faculty percussionists join large-scale performance.
  • Choir Performance Outreach Keene State College Concert Choir tours Vermont.
  • Faculty TEDx talk  KSC Music faculty Dr. Rebecca Hartka and Dr. José Lezcano build bridges through powerful and moving performance.
  • Music Education Update KSC’s Music Education program holds 100% placement rate.
  • KSC’s niche program Music Department distinguished at KSC
  • Isn’t it Grand?  The Keene Sentinel announces Keene State College’s initiative to become the first in NH to earn an All Steinway Designation.   Read other press about this story:  A press release from keene.edu // Grace Kelly reports on KSC TV // Erin McNemar reports from The KSC Equinox
  • CD Review  KSC Music faculty Dr. Heather Gilligan’s new album Living in Light is “emotionally direct; filled with sweeping, lyrical gestures; and unafraid to venture into the occasionally unexpected sound world.”
  • Faculty Teaching Award  Dr. Erin Zaffini, Music Education professor, earns Keene State College Excellence in Teaching Award