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Defining Statements


Our Inspiration

“… that vast Something, stretching out on its own unbounded scale, unconfined … combining the real and ideal, and beautiful as dreams. I wonder indeed if the people of this continental inland West know how much of first-class art they have in these prairies …”

- Walt Whitman, on the view from KU’s Mount Oread

Our Vision

Our vision is to be the destination music school in the Heartland, sending graduates out into the world as leaders, creating a vital soundtrack of meaning and beauty for the ever-changing lives of the people in our state, our nation, and our world.

Our Mission

We endeavor

  • To teach performance, education, therapy, composition, theory, and musicology passionately and creatively, helping our students prepare for the future as outstanding practitioners of their disciplines.
  • To perform, compose, and speak about music with artistry and intelligence as we foster its greater appreciation and understanding on our campus and throughout the region.
  • To engage our community, state, nation, and world in every manner possible as a leading comprehensive music school.

We hold that

  • Music serves as a powerful constant, enriching and enlightening all societies.
  • Excellence in musical study helps prepare students for creative, collaborative work in many disciplines.
  • Close interaction with dedicated, inspiring teachers sets students on the path to success.
  • All programs at the state’s flagship university must strive for excellence and diversity, serving as a beacon for knowledge and multicultural awareness in an age of technological change and global interconnectedness.

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School of Music Events

Friends of the School of Music

Music students present hundreds of public concerts every year
Students perform in KU choirs, concert bands, pep bands, ensembles, symphony orchestra, and jazz combos
The school owns one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world
KU Wind Ensemble performed the world premiere of the symphony "In the Shadow of No Towers" at Carnegie Hall
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
KU Today