The Department of Composition and Theory offers undergraduate and graduate courses in composition. It continues to produce the country's major composers who have ventured into uncharted domains in music creation. While it is charged with the responsibility of providing basic theoretical instruction to all music students, its major contribution to the training of composers in the college lies in the inculcation techniques of music creation that are sensitive and relevant to historical and geographical contexts. The Department also maintains the Sound Laboratory.
The Keyboard Department of the UP College of Music takes pride in its pool of gifted and accomplished pianists among its faculty and students. During its many years of existence, it has produced pianists and pedagogues that the country can be proud of. These include Angelina Reyes (a famous child prodigy before WW II), Jose Ma. Contreras, Raul Sunico, Jovianney Cruz, Aima Labra-Makk, and Albert Tiu, the last five having won prizes at international competitions. The pianist-pedagogues par excellence include Rosario Lopez-Garcia, Lucia Francisco, Serafin Magracia, Benedicta Macaisa, Jose Balingit, Perla Suaco, Aida Sanz Gonzales, Asuncion Laureola, Regalado Jose, Nita Quinto, Avelina Manalo, Mauricia Borromeo, and others.
The Department of Musicology provides training in Musicology with three degree programs in the undergraduate and graduate levels. These programs are: DCPMA in Asian Music; B.M. in Musicology; and M.M. in Musicology. The department supervises courses in Western and world music literature as well as solo and ensemble performance in world music (with a strong emphasis on Asia) that are part of the curriculum of various degree programs in the college. It also offers general education courses in Philippine and world music for the non-music majors.
to foster independent, critical thinking in music, the department also initiates MusiKolokya (a weekly music colloquia) at the College of Music Museum of instruments.
The Voice, Music Theater, and Dance Department provides a substantial three-pronged approach to the education of performers in the vocal and dance arts. Through the guidance and mentorship of performer-scholar faculty members who are accomplished and renowned in their fields both nationally and internationally, individualized courses in voice and dance technique provide a solid foundation in performance. Within optimum class sizes, literature courses delving into performance practice, style, and historical knowledge support and frame artistic expression. Finally, in classes which provide ample performance opportunities, both technical and expressive capabilities are demonstrated. The department boasts of two National Artists (Jovita Fuentes and Andrea Veneracion) who have been on the faculty, as well as alumni who have made and continue to make names in the world's stages.
The Department of Conducting and Choral Ensemble Department provides professional instruction to leaders of numerous local choruses, bands, and orchestras. The department also services the college by handling chorus classes that are required of all music majors.
The Music Education Department is in charged with the task of training and preparing music teachers for the elementary and secondary levels. Its comprehensive undergraduate curriculum trains future music teachers not only in classroom music methodologies but also in related areas like conducting, performance in piano, voice and other instruments, as well as in research. These rich music experience and studies prepare the students for the many competencies after they graduate from college, thus assuming roles as bonafide music educators.
The Master of Music major in Music Education offers a more extensive curriculum focused on such areas as administration and supervision of music schools, measurement and evaluation in music, and music education research.
In addition, the department of Music Education has its own performing groups involving not only majors in music education but in other fields as well.
The Strings and Chamber Music Department principally trains violinists, violists, cellists, bassists and guitarists, most of who will continue to become professional orchestra members in the country.
The department aims to continue hone the skills of gifted, competent, and innovative chamber musicians and string pedagogues in the Philippines and in the neighboring Asia and the Pacific regions . The exceptionally gifted are selected for intensive training as soloists.
The Winds and Percussion Department professionalizes the playing standards of woodwind and brass instrumentalists, as well as percussionists. They are not only trained for solo performances but are also given the opportunity to play in chamber music, band, symphonic, and jazz ensembles.
The Winds and Percussion Department became a part of the College of Music in the year 1970. The first instructors were the principal winds and percussion players of the Manila Symphony Orchestra, which was founded by former director of UP Conservatory of Music, Dr. Alexander Lippay (1924-1930).
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