The old joke goes: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice. Ah, that it were that easy. Practice certainly is a part of the equation, as is talent. But the dedication and hard work to earn a college degree in music is a more likely path to professional success than a stint on American Idol. Many young people dream of a career in music as a professional performer, teacher or on the production or business side of music. At the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver, students are making their dreams a reality.
The Lamont School of Music is a renowned university music performance school offering undergraduate and master degrees as well as a certificate and an artist diploma. Areas of study include performance, jazz studies and commercial music, recording and production, composition, musicology, theory, conducting, pedagogy and Suzuki teaching, which stresses an environment saturated with music. At the Lamont School, students truly are immersed in music. Students from across the United States and over 17 countries study together, forming relationships with fellow musicians exploring all aspects of the field, integrating academy and conservatory.
Not only is the school recognized for providing students with an exceptional music education, the school also appreciated by music educators. “I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of the Lamont and DU family,” says Nancy Cochran, director of the Lamont School of Music. “The faculty and staff are dedicated and highly skilled professionals, the students are talented and eager to learn, DU is supportive and the Lamont Society members are passionate in their support of our program. I often hear my music executive colleagues from other institutions complain about their faculty, or the lack of institutional support for their program or their outdated facilities. It makes me want to pinch myself because my experience at Lamont and DU almost seems too good to be true!”
Beautiful Hall Enjoyed By the Community
Home for the Lamont School is one of the most beautiful and state-of-the-art music facilities in the world, the Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts. “When it was built a decade ago, the goal was to create a truly world-class facility with exceptional acoustics,” says Cochran. “Colleagues and visiting artists from around the world rave about our acoustics and the beauty of the building, and it is a major asset in attracting talented students and faculty to DU.” The 180,000 square-foot facility anchors the southeast corner of the university campus; its artistic stone flourishes and classic architecture make it a familiar landmark to drivers on South University Boulevard. The imposing structure actually is a series of freestanding buildings separated from one another by a two-inch acoustical joint that creates an air space that prevents sound from traveling from one space to the other. Opera performances, orchestra rehearsals, individual cello, trombone and guitar practice can occur in each of the major performance and rehearsal venues without creating a distracting cacophony of jumbled sound.
Technology is a huge part of music today, and the Newman Center is state-of-the-art. Each performance, rehearsal and practice space is wired to an on-campus recording studio that can produce multi-track professional quality recordings. Computer ports and electrical outlets are wired to every seat in every classroom in the building. Despite the latest technological developments, the piano remains central to the school’s excellence. In 2001, the Lamont School became the 27th "All-Steinway School" with Steinway pianos in all major performance spaces, piano teaching studios and piano practice rooms. The school has over 100 pianos maintained by a technician specially trained by Steinway & Sons in New York City.
You don’t have to be a music student to appreciate the Newman Center. “Our primary goal is always to provide the best educational experience for our students, but we also take great pride in presenting outstanding performances for public audiences,” says Cochran. “We present over 300 performances every year, 250 of which are free. Of course, we are especially proud of our opera and music theatre productions. Oklahoma this past fall had four sell-out performances and enthusiastic audience response. We look forward to presenting Mozart’s Don Giovanni this spring.”
Read the full story in our April/May issue...
Coming up at the Lamont School of Music
Sesquicentennial Opera - Mozart’s Don Giovanni
April 17-19, 7:30 p.m.; April 20, 2:30 p.m.
Gates Concert Hall
Sesquicentennial Concert - Lamont Symphony Orchestra, Lamont Chorale, Lamont Women’s Chorus, Lamont Men’s Choir
May 29, 7:30 p.m.
Gates Concert Hall
Newman Center Box Office
BIO: Frequent Colorado Expression contributor Kimberly Field as written on and enjoys opera and the symphony. She highly recommends the Lamont School productions at the Newman Center.