Music at USF

The Music Program at the University of San Francisco

female ensemble
flutist
male-ensemble
singer piano
ensemble singers
singers perform
guitarist
violinists


The PASJ Major: Music Concentration

The Music Concentration of the PASJ major provides students with foundational studies in common practice theory and harmony, training in historiographic as well as ethnographic methods for studying music, and engagement with different styles/genres/applications of live performance. Music students at USF have access to a variety of performance opportunities that are open to all levels of music experience. Like our counterparts in the theater and dance programs, USF's music program is structured as a holistic course of study that places equal value upon the artistic development and the cultural consciousness of our students. There is no audition required to become a PASJ major.

A Music Concentration in the PASJ Major requires completion of 48 units in coursework, plus participation in our department's performance ensembles:

  • PASJ 160-series: Body & Performance: Alexander Technique (2 units)
  • PASJ 170-series: Production & Design (2 units)
  • PASJ 180-series: Music and Social History (4 units)
  • PASJ 280 Contemporary Performance Practice (4 units)
  • PASJ 380 Performing Arts & Community Exchange (SL) (4 units)
  • PASJ 480 Senior Project (4 units)
  • MUS 300 Theory I* (4 units)
  • MUS 301 History of Western Music [pre-req: MUS 300] (4 units)
  • MUS 305 Anthropology of Music (Core E/CD) (4 units)
  • MUS 392 Seminar in Western Art Music (4 units)
  • MUS 2XX Music Elective: Core Area F (4 units)
  • MUS 31X Theory/comp topics [pre-req: MUS 300] (4 units)
  • Private Lessons (4 units): all majors must take two semesters worth of directed private study in an instrument or voice.
  • MUS 11X instrumental or vocal ensembles: all majors must participate in 4 semesters of performance with one of our USF ensembles.

* Placement test for MUS 300 required. Lower placement test scores require MUS 100 before MUS 300. Also note: MUS 300 is a pre-req for most 300-level music classes.

The Music Minor

The Music Minor is open to all students. No previous experience in music required, and our minor is compatible with any major course of study.

To complete a Minor in Music requires 20 units in coursework:

  • 4-units of Musicianship/Theory (either MUS 100 or MUS 300 will fulfill this requirement)*
  • 4-units of a Western Art Music History survey class (either MUS 101 or MUS 301 will fulfill this requirement)
  • 4-units of the multicultural music appreciation class "Music and Social History" introducing students to connections between the performing arts & social justice. Contains performance labs along with reading and written work. (only MUS 180 can fulfill this requirement)**
  • 8-units worth of electives, which may be taken as surveys (MUS 200-level), theory/comp (MUS 300-level), ensembles (110-series) or private lessons (120-series). Students can mix different types of classes to fulfill the total elective units, but private lessons must be taken in 2-semester blocks.

*Placement test for MUS 300 required. AP scores 4 and 5 will exempt you from MUS 100. Also note: MUS 300 is a pre-req for most 300-level music classes.

**Students who made progress toward the music minor prior to Spring 2010 may fulfill the MUS 180 requirement through a 200-level study/CD class or by taking MUS 180; anyone joining the minor after Spring 2010 must take MUS 180.

Music Classes at USF

Most, but not all, music classes are offered each semester. Check on Banner through USFConnect to see the current semester's music course offerings, locations and times, and you can find the full description of each class in the USF General Catalog

All of our Core classes and MUS 110/111 level classes (choirs and bands) are open to any student, regardless of major or minor. 300-level classes may be open to a non-major or non-minor with permission of instructor.

Musicianship/Theory/Composition Classes

MUS 100 Musicianship & Principles of Tonal Theory
MUS 300 Western Theory I*
MUS 310 Advanced Musicianship
MUS 312 Intro to Music Technology
MUS 320 Conducting
Other rotating MUS 300-level theory/comp courses [pre-req MUS 100 or MUS 300] — may include: Songwriting, Jazz Theory, Choral Arranging

Note: MUS 100 is open to all students, regardless of experience. All other theory/comp classes have a pre-req of MUS 100 or a placement test.

Directed Music Instruction: Ensembles & Bands - 0, 1 or 2 units each

Open to any student — regardless of major or minor.

Placement auditions occur during the first class meeting of each semester. Students can enroll for 0, 1, or 2 units through Banner. For more details about each ensemble as well as contact the relevant conductor, see the Performance Opportunities at USF section below.

MUS 110 Vocal Ensemble
currently offering: USF Classical Choirs (Western Art Music), ASUSF Voices (Popular/Jazz), USF Gospel Choir, St. Ignatius Liturgical Ensemble (contemporary Christian worship music), Chorus & Community (folk music)

MUS 111 Instrumental Ensemble
currently offering: USF Jazz Band, USF Latin American Music Ensemble, USF Don's Marching Band, Chamber Music (Western Art Music), Computer Music Ensemble, Rock Band

Directed Music Instruction: Private Lessons - 2 units each

Open only to declared PASJ majors-Music and Music minors. Pre-req for lessons: MUS 100 or MUS 300.

MUS 120 through 123
currently offer lessons in: piano, guitar, violin/viola, cello, and voice (studios in Classical, Pop and Broadway styles).

Note: you have to take lessons in yearly cycles to count as electives towards the minor.

History & Culture Survey Courses - 4 units each

MUS 101 Music Appreciation (CORE F)
MUS 180 Music and Social History (PASJ Majors & Music Minors only)
MUS 195 [Fall] Opera in San Francisco (First Years only, CORE F)
MUS 195 [Spr] Symphonic Music in San Francisco (First Years only, CORE F)
MUS 200 Studies in Popular Music (CORE F)
MUS 202 Jazz, Culture and Social Justice (CORE F, CD)
MUS 203 Music and Social Protest (CORE F, CD)
MUS 210 Music of the Americas (CORE F, CD)
MUS 211 Asian Music (CORE F, CD)
MUS 212 Survey of African Music (CORE F, CD)
MUS 213 Music of Brazil (CORE F)
MUS 215 Filipino Music and Theology
MUS 230 Introduction to Opera (CORE F)
MUS 231 Music & Gender (CORE F, CD)
MUS 295 American Broadway Musical (Transfers only, CORE F)
MUS 301 History of Western Art Music [pre-req MUS 300*]
MUS 305 Anthropology of Music (CORE E-Social Sciences, CD) [no pre-req for this course]
MUS 392 Special Topics in Western Music History [pre-req MUS 101 or 301: topic rotates each year]

*MUS 300 Requires placement test. If you do not place into MUS 300, you must take MUS 100 as a pre-req.

Performance Opportunities at USF

Any performance ensemble can be taken for credit (students may enroll for 0, 1, or 2 units) or without registering at all. Anyone enrolled in an ensemble for credit can is also eligible to take private lessons in voice or instrument (for 2 units of credit). For any other information contact the conductor in charge of the ensemble.

USF Classical Choral Ensembles

Performs traditional art music (classical music) from all periods, including major works and shorter choral gems. In addition to the full University Choir and its repertoire, smaller groups perform advanced vocal music.

Rehearsals are Tuesday and Thursday at 4:35-6:25 PM in Lone Mountain 151. To enroll (for 0, 1, or 2 units) the course number is: MUS 110-01.

 For more information, or to audition for one of the Chamber or Women's choirs, contact conductor Rebecca Seeman (seeman@usfca.edu).

ASUSF Voices Choirs

A collaboration between the Associated Students of USF and the Performing Arts Department, Voices contains a variety of choral ensembles that specialize in popular and jazz vocal styles.

USF voices (SATB) rehearses on Mondays 6:30-7:30 PM in ED040, Women's Voices Mondays 7:30-8:30 PM in ED040, Men's voices Tuesdays 6:30-7:30 PM in ED040, Jazz Voices (SATB) Tuesdays 7:30-8:30 PM in ED040, and The a cappella group SIX rehearses Wednesdays 6:30-7:30 PM in UC 4th Floor. To enroll (for 0, 1, or 2 units) the course number is: MUS 110-03.

For more information, contact conductor Rick Roberts (robertsr@usfca.edu), 415-422-2862.

USF Gospel Choir ("The Spiritual Notes")

Performs African American Gospel Music and Spirituals, focusing on contemporary repertoire.

Rehearsals are Mondays from 4:45-6:25 PM, in room ED 040. To enroll (for 0, 1, or 2 units) the course number is: MUS 110-02.

For more information contact conductor Rawn Harbor (rawnharbor@yahoo.com).

St. Ignatius Liturgical Music Ensembles

Provides the vocal and instrumental music ministry for various masses every week at St. Ignatius Church. These ensembles perform both traditional and contemporary Catholic repertoire, and students may participate in one or more of the masses.

The USF Student Mass rehearsals are Sun 7 PM. Students also sometimes sing at other services such as the Reconciliation Services and Graduation Masses. To enroll (for 0, 1, or 2 units) the course number is: MUS 110-04.

For more information, contact Paul McWilliams, Associate Director for Liturgy and Music: (pmcwilliams@usfca.edu).

Chorus and Community

A non-traditional ensemble committed to sharing folk music and communal singing practices with non-USF community groups. Students learn how to lead group singing using methods from oral tradition, and how to foster a non-competitive and welcoming atmosphere for the chorus members.

Some class meetings will happen off-campus. Weekly meeting times are Wed 4:45-6:20PM in Lone Mountain 151. To enroll (for 0, 1, or 2 units) the course number is: MUS 110-05.

For more information, contact Francesca Rivera: (fmrivera@usfca.edu).

USF Latin American Music Ensemble (ULAM)

Performs famous songs in various folk and popular traditions found throughout Latin America, including samba, calypso, huayño, and son cubano. This group is open to all students regardless of musical experience.

Rehearsals are Wednesdays from 6:30-8:15 PM, in Lone Mountain 151. To enroll (for 0, 1, or 2 units) the course number is: MUS 111-01. 

For more information, contact Francesca Rivera: (fmrivera@usfca.edu).

USF Jazz Band

Students study the language and repertoire of jazz and perform in small ensembles.

Meets Tuesdays from 4:35 to 6:25 PM, in room ED 040. To enroll (for 0, 1, or 2 units) course number is: MUS 111-03. 

For more information, contact conductor Pascal Bokar Thiam (pbthiam@usfca.edu).

USF Don's Marching Band

A joint project with USF Athletics Department, the Don's band is an instrumental marching band that accompanies USF sporting events and rallies.

Rehearses evenings from 6:30-8:15 PM in Underhill 28, plus additional sectional rehearsals as needed. To enroll (for 0, 1, or 2 units) the course number is: MUS 111-02. 

For more information, contact Joe Lares: (jslares@usfca.edu).

Chamber Music

Performs traditional Western art music (classical music) from all periods, in a variety of genres (duos, trios, quartets, quintets, art song) students are teamed up with other students of similar skills and ability and learn to play with others without an external conductor.

Individual weekly rehearsal times will be set up between chamber members. To enroll (for 0, 1, or 2 units) the course number is: MUS 111-04. 

For more information, contact coordinator Daria D'Andrea (dedandrea@usfca.edu).

Computer Music Ensemble

Performs improvisatory electronic music. Students learn how to digitally create and manipulate sounds, as well as how to change those sounds in the context of live performance in a variety of locations.

Rehearses Tuesday from 6:30-8:15 in Lone Mountain 151. To enroll (for 0, 1, or 2 units) the course number is: MUS 111-05. 

For more information, contact conductor Daniel Cullen (dcullen@usfca.edu).

USF Rock Band

Performs famous songs in various styles of Rock and students are teamed up with other students of similar skills and ability and learn to play with others without an external conductor.

Individual weekly rehearsal times will be set up between chamber members. Rehearsals are Thursdays from 6:30-8:15 PM, in Lone Mountain 151. To enroll (for 0, 1, or 2 units) the course number is: MUS 111-06.

For more information, contact Mike Fiorentino: (mcfiorentino@usfca.edu).

Faculty, Music Minor Advisors, and Music Program Coordinators

Alexandra Amati-Camperi, Ph.D. (co-coordinator of the music program, advisor to students with last names A-K, Western art music history, opera, special topics). 415-422-2072, camperia@usfca.edu

Francesca Rivera (co-coordinator of the music program, advisor to students with last names L-Z, ethnomusicology and performance) 415-422-4368, fmrivera@usfca.edu

Private Lessons

Daria D'Andrea (violin and viola) dedandrea@usfca.edu
Cara Burgoyne, MFA (voice) cburgoyne@usfca.edu
Poppea Dorsam, DMA (cello) padorsam@usfca.edu
Mike Fiorentino (guitar) mcfiorentino@usfca.edu
Suzanne Garramone (piano) slgarramone@usfca.edu
Angela Hayes (voice) arhayes@usfca.edu
Judith May, MM (voice) jmay1@usfca.edu
Kit Ruscoe (guitar) cgruscoe@usfca.edu
Rebecca Seeman, DMA (voice) seeman@usfca.edu
Sigrid Sheie, MM (piano) slsheie@usfca.edu

Ensemble Directors

Pascal Bokar Thiam, Ed.D. (Jazz Band) pbthiam@usfca.edu
Rawn Harbor (Gospel Choir) rawnharbor@yahoo.com
Joe Lares (USF Don's Marching Band) jslares@usfca.edu
Paul McWilliams (St. Ignatius Liturgical & University Ministry Choirs) pmcwilliams@usfca.edu
Rick Roberts, MFA (ASUSF Voices choral groups) robertsr@usfca.edu
Francesca Rivera (Chorus & Community, and Latin American Music Ensemble) fmrivera@usfca.edu
Rebecca Seeman, DMA (University Classical Choral Ensembles) seeman@usfca.edu
Daria D'Andrea (Chamber Music) dedandrea@usfca.edu
Daniel Cullen, Ph.D. (Computer Music) dcullen@usfca.edu

Academic Classes in music history, theory, ethnomusicology

Pascal Bokar Thiam, Ed.D. (lecturer, African and African American music) pbthiam@usfca.edu
Daniel Cullen, Ph.D. (lecturer, composition, electronic music) dcullen@berkeley.edu
Kara Gardner, Ph.D. (lecturer, Women's music, American music) gardnerk@usfca.edu
Pattie Hsu, Ph.D. (lecturer, musicianship, ethnomusicology) phsu7@usfca.edu
Jono Kornfeld, M.M. (lecturer, music theory) jakornfeld@usfca.edu
Judith May, M.M., M.A. (lecturer, music appreciation, songwriting) jmay1@usfca.edu
Rick Roberts, MFA (lecturer, musical theater) robertsr@usfca.edu
Rebecca Seeman, DMA (lecturer, music appreciation, theory) seeman@usfca.edu
Anton Vishio, Ph.D. (lecturer, music appreciation, theory) anton.vishio@nyu.edu