Carleton Sound

27 May 2016

TubaWith only a few music majors in each graduating class, Carleton may not seem like a music powerhouse. But take a closer look—and a long, appreciative listen. You’ll discover that music in all its forms permeates the Carleton experience. More than one-third of all Carleton students are involved in some musical activity, including formal classes and individual lessons. The music department currently reports more than 2,200 enrollments annually in classes, lessons, and ensembles. Musical events jam the campus calendar, to the tune of 150 concerts per year.
With that high demand comes challenges, however. Physical space on campus for teaching, practicing, rehearsing, and performing music is strained to the limit, and many existing resources are outdated by today’s technology standards.

“The arts occupy a special place on our campus and in our curriculum,” says President Steve Poskanzer. “But the level of music participation among our students has strained our existing facilities for a long time. They merit our continued support and investment.”

This spring, that investment will begin to take shape as a new music and performance addition to the Weitz Center for Creativity—a dynamic expansion that will elevate both curricular and extracurricular music at Carleton. Groundbreaking is planned for May with completion targeted for August 2017.

“The music and performance commons will create high-quality learning, teaching, practicing, and performing spaces for the music department, as well as countless numbers of co-curricular groups,” says President Poskanzer. “It will create a shared artistic commons that will further embed music in and alongside the academic disciplines it already influences. We also anticipate synergy when music students and faculty members are working alongside their colleagues in other fields.”

The stories in this issue showcase drawings and details on this exciting project. As construction commences, you can also follow the project updates at

Music Tracks

Carleton students have a dizzying array of choices and resources for their musical education, expression, and enjoyment. They can:

  • Perform in any of 12 curricular music ensembles, including the orchestra, symphony band, African drum ensemble, and Carleton Singers
  • Learn through private music lessons or music department courses
  • Major in music or pursue a concentration in American music
  • Join one of Carleton’s many student-run music organizations, including six a cappella vocal groups, a wide variety of student bands, handbell choir, drum collective, or folk music society
  • Listen to live performances by world-class visiting artists and up-and-coming new bands, at venues ranging from the Bald Spot to the Cave to the Concert Hall
  • Borrow instruments free of charge from the Instrument Lending Library (while participating in music courses)
  • Record in the Weitz Center for Creativity’s audio recording studio
  • Research at the Music Resource Center, a computer/listening lab with reference books, scores, and audiovisual materials
  • DJ a show on campus radio station KRLX