Develop a wide range of musical skills

Why Our Program?

  • You will study with all of our prestigious full-time faculty composers.
  • You will meet numerous nationally and internationally renowned resident and visiting composers who come to campus to discuss both their own works and those of students.
  • You will benefit from a variety of opportunities to have your works performed on campus.
  • You can take advantage of global study experiences in Strasbourg, London, Los Angeles, New York City, and other amazing places.
  • When you graduate, you will belong to a global network of enthusiastic alumni, many of whom mentor students in achieving success at VPA and beyond.

Performance Honors

The performance honors program is intended for Setnor School of Music students in the B.A. music and B.M. composition, music education, and music industry degree programs who wish to maintain a level of performance at or near that required of students in one of the performance majors. The program’s purpose is to give tangible curricular and moral support to those students who see themselves as performing musicians first and foremost.

Students are eligible to apply for the program at the end of their sophomore year. Students accepted into the program take an hour of applied instrumental or vocal instruction per week and give both a junior and senior recital commensurate with the requirements for degree recitals in the performance majors. Official recognition of program participation and completion appears on student transcripts but does not appear on the diploma.


Crouse College

The Setnor School of Music has classrooms and rehearsal spaces in Crouse College and Shaffer Art Building, as well as a recording studio in the Belfer Audio Archive of Syracuse University Libraries. Most of the school's facilities are in stately Crouse College, which is the third oldest building on campus and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The composition program's facilities include an electronic music studio with both analog and state-of-the-art digital equipment. The electronic and digital music studio includes a PowerMac G-4 with a variety of audio and MIDI software and hardware. Applications include Protools, Peak, Digital Performer, Kontakt, Absynth, Reaktor, Sonic Synth, MaxMSP, and Pluggo.

Learn more about the Setnor School's facilities

Visiting Artists

Of paramount importance in any music school is ongoing contact with professionals in the field of performance, industry, conducting, composing, and education. The Setnor School offers a very active and diverse guest and visiting artist series of concerts, lectures, and presentations. 

View a list of past visiting artists

In the composition program, you will meet weekly with your fellow student and faculty composers in the Composer's Seminar to discuss current issues and to meet nationally established guest composers. Recent guests have included Samuel Adler, Claude Baker, William Bolcom, John Corigliano, Michael Daugherty, Violeta Dinescu, Patrick Doyle, Luca Francesconi, Don Freund, John Harbison, Karel Husa, Libby Larsen, David Liptak, John Musto, Gunther Schuller, Steve Stucky, Augusta Read Thomas, Joan Tower, Judith Weir, and Dana Wilson.