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SU Department of Music Earns National Accreditation

SALISBURY, MD---From advanced new programs to highly regarded new faculty, Salisbury University’s Music Department has many reasons to look forward to entering new academic year. Perhaps the biggest reason, however, comes in the form of accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

SU is one of only about 610 institutions in the nation with NASM accreditation and the only one on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. With the new accreditation, SU joins institutions including the University of Maryland College Park, Northwestern University and West Virginia University.

“The department is flourishing with talented students in all music ensembles (orchestra, band, jazz, choral and musical theatre) and in music majors. The uniqueness of our degree program fits in with the mission of the Fulton School of Liberal Arts and the type of students we attract. We now offer an accredited Bachelor of Arts program in performance, music education and a broad based liberal arts music degree.”

Some highlights: Last spring, student James Gillespie created a study abroad music program as his senior project. During the five-week course, he and other students studied music by European composers before embarking on a two-week trip to Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary. While in Europe, they visited such famous music schools as the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Kodaly Institute, Eszterhazy Palace and Prague School of Music.

This semester, the department expands enrollment in its low strings major. The department also welcomes a new faculty member, operatic tenor John Wesley Wright. Coming to SU from the University of Dayton, Wright is the recipient of numerous awards, including prizes from the International MacAllister Awards and the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, and the National Federation of Music Clubs. Legendary singer William Warfield presented Wright with the gold medal first prize at the 2000 American Traditions Competition in Savannah, GA, which included a $10,000 award. He has performed abroad including a televised concert for the Belgian Royal Family at the Royal Palace of Belgium. He sang with the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra last winter as part of SU’s African-American History Month celebration.

“The music faculty is growing and with the newest additions of orchestra conductor and cellist Jeffrey Schoyen and John Welsey Wright, the full-time faculty will be the largest it has been in the history of the department,” Cockey said.

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at