About

The Department of Music is a professional Fine Arts unit within a historically black private university.

Our purpose is to attract diverse students of high artistic and academic potential, and provide for them a scholarly environment and musical experience of exceptional quality in performance, research, pedagogy, technology, therapy, and composition.

Our department is dedicated to attracting and retaining faculty of the highest order who work together to inspire students, through example and leadership, to reach their full intellectual and artistic potential. The Department of Music places particular emphasis on the provision of educational and cultural opportunities for individuals of the global community, with significant focus given to the musical contributions of peoples of the African Diaspora.

Music At Howard

The music program at Howard University has a rich history which may be traced to 1870, when a few courses were offered. In 1892, the program was organized as a stable department of the Normal School, and in 1914 it was established as an independent conservatory.

The School of Music (now Department of Music), under the dynamic leadership of Dean Warner Lawson, was admitted to membership in the National Association of Schools of Music in 1942, the first music program in the Washington area to gain such membership.

In January 1974, the School of Music was reorganized as a department in the College of Fine Arts. With the merger of the College of Fine Arts into the College of Arts and Sciences in August 1998, the Department of Music became one of three departments in the Division of Fine Arts—College of Arts and Sciences. Watch the 2014 Division of Fine Arts video.

The Department celebrated its centennial in 2014.