News Archive

Nazareth Announces A School of Music

Published September 12, 2019

Building on a strong history of preparing world-class performing musicians, composers, music therapists, music teachers, music scholars, and entrepreneurs, Nazareth College has formed a School of Music to expand and elevate its undergraduate and graduate music programs.

The School of Music, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), is led by Director Mario Martinez, an accomplished opera singer and a seasoned arts administrator, and Associate Director Nancy Strelau, esteemed conductor of the College's orchestra and professor in charge of all auditions to the School.

"We can grow existing programs, offer new programs, and achieve greater recognition on regional, national, and international levels," said Martinez. "It means we can compete at a higher level. That will in turn keep the quality of students we get high and contribute to the expansion of our programs."

Nazareth College has 250 students across six undergraduate programs in music, music education, music performance, music therapy, music business, and music composition and three graduate programs in music performance and pedagogy, music education, and music therapy.

Martinez explains what will distinguish Nazareth's new School of Music: "Schools of music have traditionally been thought of as conservatories, where students focus largely on performance. But programs like Nazareth's offer outstanding professional musical training coupled with a vibrant liberal arts core. This strong liberal arts foundation differentiates us from conservatories because we are able to create a new path for flexible and broad-based careers in music — one useful for entrepreneurs, performing musicians, composers, therapists, educators, scholars, and business people in music-related professions."

Nazareth's music programs are flexible enough for the many students who want to double major or minor in music. "We often see double majors in music and math, or music and physical therapy," says Martinez.

Music is not limited to certain majors. Musicians who are not music majors can audition to be in Nazareth ensembles such as the wind symphony, symphonic band, jazz ensembles, symphony orchestra, chamber singers, concert choir, rock ensemble and chamber music ensembles. Ensemble scholarships are open to non-music majors as well. In fall 2019, the College has 100 non-music majors taking part in College music ensembles.

"This new School of Music reflects the College's commitment to enhancing and expanding the study, practice, and performance of music as a liberal art and a professional enterprise," said Dean Dianne Oliver, who oversees the School of Music as dean of The College of Arts and Sciences. "The nature and variety of music programs and the quality our outstanding faculty have developed in our students have continued to grow. In addition to our long history of strengths in music education and music therapy, we educate world-class performers, composers, conductors, music entrepreneurs, and scholars. We offer a unique setup of academic programs that makes this breadth of opportunities possible and sets what we do at Nazareth apart."

The fall 2018 opening of the $15.5 million Jane and Laurence Glazer Music Performance Center marked a new chapter in Nazareth College's ability to educate students in a top-notch space acoustically as well as present the best in diverse programming. Located adjacent to the Arts Center, the venue includes a 550-seat performance hall designed specifically for the acoustics of large instrumental ensembles, chamber and solo music, and a variety of performances, featuring state-of-the-art technology.

Last year, the Glazer Music Performance Center welcomed thousands of people to enjoy performances. All School of Music performances, including the Nazareth Symphony Orchestra performance on October 11, are free and open to the public all year long.

"The Glazer Music Performance Center is a vibrant and vital addition to Nazareth College and the region," said Nazareth College President Daan Braveman. "Not only will this new venue draw more visitors to campus to experience the arts, but it will also enable the School of Music to now reach its full potential and inspire our students who can perform there as they pursue their music."

The College is currently hosting select rehearsals and performances with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra that have been open to the campus and community. Other expanded community partnerships include those with the Rochester Lyric Theater; the Greater Rochester Women's Philharmonic; Nazareth alumnus Jack Allocco '72, 11-time Emmy® Award-winning composer and record producer; and more.

The Glazer stage is the same size as the stage of Carnegie Hall, enabling more musicians to perform together than in the former performance space in Linehan Chapel, and to allow richer collaborations amongst students and an unmatched listening experience for the audience. Martinez proudly refers to Glazer as "the cathedral of sound."

"The time is now," said Martinez, "to announce the Nazareth School of Music and transform the learning and performing opportunities for our students."

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Julie Long | Chief PR Officer | 585-389-2456 or

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Nazareth College’s academic strengths cross an unusually broad spectrum of 60 majors, including education, health and human services, management, the fine arts, music, theater, math and science, foreign languages, and the liberal arts. The coeducational, religiously independent, classic campus in a charming suburb of Rochester, N.Y., challenges and supports 2,300 undergrads and 700 graduate students. Nazareth is recognized nationally for its Fulbright global student scholars and commitment to civic engagement. Rigorous programs, an uncommon arts and sciences core, experiential learning, career skills, and a global focus prepare graduates for not just one job, but for their life’s work.

Nazareth's symphony orchestra practices in Beston Hall.