Wishing You a Joyous Holiday Season in 2017

Together, we celebrate the warmth and unifying power music brings to our lives.

Dear Friends,

As each year comes to a close, I look back at the amazing accomplishments of our community of faculty, students, alumni, and generous donors. It is clear to me that 2017 has been an extraordinary year. I take joy not only in the amazing musicianship, scholarship and performances we have grown accustomed to, but also in the difference through music that we make in the lives of individuals and communities we touch.

In the past six months alone, the power and reach of music from MSU has been felt widely. It is seen in the success of faculty like Associate Professor of Composition Zhou Tian whose “Concerto for Orchestra” has been nominated for a GRAMMY award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition, and MSU Young Alumni Award winner Jonathan Kirkland who is bringing joy to so many through his excellent work in Hamilton. It is felt in a very meaningful way during the annual “Celebrating the Spectrum” week, a one-of-a-kind summer program for advanced music students on the autism spectrum. Powerful indeed is the experience of students in the MSU Percussion Ensemble who earned a trip to the winner’s circle at the prominent Percussive Arts Society International Convention. And finally, the performances, with their excellence in so many areas—from our esteemed faculty and guest artist recitals, student ensembles and opera, to our wonderful Showcase and West Circle concert series—we are thankful for the patrons who share their time with us and the dedicated concert sponsors for their continued support.

And of course, in support of all of this amazing work we continue our efforts to fund a major new addition and significant facility renovations to the College of Music building. Nearly $10 million has been committed from several donors toward our goal of $17.5 million needed in private support to complete the 35,000-square-foot expansion and 8,500 square feet of renovated space. It will be a state-of-the-art addition and renovation as well as an important and strategic piece of our vision for the future.

For everything I’ve mentioned here and more, I am grateful to each and every one of you. It would not be possible without the superb faculty of the MSU College of Music, the dedicated students, and our alumni, patrons, and donors. Working together makes us a powerful part of the Spartan community with influence felt around the globe.

With that, I leave you with this message of joy and music by Randy Napoleon, assistant professor of jazz guitar. Wishing you a happy and healthy new year!


James Forger
Dean, MSU College of Music

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