Department of Music

A History: 1994-2019

By Dr. Mary Wischusen

The Department of Music is hosting a yearlong celebration starting this fall and ending next fall to celebrate the 100 years of the department. Major events and concerts will culminate in a final centennial musical extravaganza featuring works and performances by alumni, faculty and students. This is an opportunity for alumni and friends to see how celebrated traditions continue today, to attend concerts and special events, and to demonstrate belief in the value of music in society by pledging financial support.

To this end, the Department of Music has created a "Centennial Club" for alumni and friends who are willing to contribute to one or more of four important initiatives. The goal, which the department hopes to surpass, is to raise $100,000 through 100 individuals who offer to contribute $1,000 each.

The four initiatives are:


One of the fondest memories for many alumni is student travel. Past events include the Men's Glee Club and Chamber Singers competitions and international tours, Summer Opera internship opportunities for vocal performance students, and Jazz Band performances in Europe, South America and Italy. The Concert Chorale and Women's Chorale performed in Toronto, Canada during the winter 2018 and just this past Summer, the WSU Camerata performed several concerts throughout Italy.


The escalating cost of higher education is making it impossible for many students to afford post-secondary education. The average yearly cost is about $19,000 for a music major, and this does not include room and board. Any assistance in this area will lessen the dependency on costly student loans.


The Community Arts Auditorium organ, a three-manual Aeolian Skinner, sits quietly in the auditorium and is in need of re-leathering and a new console. The cost of this project exceeds $90,000. Graduates from the organ program fill many prestigious posts throughout Metropolitan Detroit and beyond.


This fund supports academic programs, including the cost for equipment purchases, software, concert promotion, program design and printing, publicity, recruitment activities, departmental branding and guest artists. Additionally, it provides funding for faculty travel to conferences around the world.

Visit https://giving.wayne.edu/donate/cfpca to learn more about supporting the Department of Music at Wayne State University.