mercyhurst concert choir sings around a grand piano on stage

D'Angelo Department of Music

Technical mastery and creative passion.

A small, close-knit department that offers ample individualized attention, the D'Angelo Department of Music can help you realize any musical dream you have. Immerse yourself in engaging courses and enjoy abundant performance opportunities in solo, chamber music, large and small ensembles, and operatic and musical theatre stage settings. You'll have access to expert faculty and performers, guest masterclasses, excellent music therapy clinical placements, and three exceptional performances spaces. We offer our students endless opportunities for special student-initiated projects. Gain the hands-on experience you need and receive mentoring tailor-made to you and your goals. Mercyhurst University is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. 

D'Angelo Music Programs

    The Bachelor of Arts in Music provides students with the opportunity to pursue a full major in music together with an expanded emphasis on the liberal arts. The additional elective courses built into this degree allow students to incorporate a minor in another field of study without adding overload credits. Music majors benefit from the same general departmental offerings as those in the performance and education degrees—weekly private lessons, regular participation in ensembles, opportunities for stage roles, and the full range of music core classes—with the additional flexibility to design a broader four-year liberal arts curriculum, add a minor, or even double major with another field of study. This degree provides a solid preparation for graduate study in music, and, in some cases, professional performance opportunities, along with a strong grounding in the broader humanities. Concentrations within the Bachelor of Arts in Music are available in all areas of approved study (winds, piano, percussion, strings, and composition).

    This Bachelor of Music allows students to develop the essential technical toolbox and broad aesthetic perspective needed to assume a place in the community of professional composers. Composition study offers an array of musical opportunities for graduates, including film scoring, commercial music, educational and church music publications, recording arts, and careers in higher education. The program aims to prepare each young composer for high-level graduate work and a music career. Applied composition is designed to unleash and develop the innate musical creativity of the natural composer through the active writing of music in a variety of forms and styles and for a wide range of instrumental combinations. The program provides students with the opportunity to hear live performances of every completed composition, from solo to large ensemble works and orchestral pieces. Students in the composition program are encouraged to develop their own unique musical voice and are urged to explore a broad spectrum of tonal and non-tonal musical languages in their writing.

    This Bachelor of Music Program emphasizes musical proficiency at a pre-professional level through individual instruction, mentoring, and career guidance. Performance experience includes large and small ensembles, solo performance opportunities, solo work in large-scale productions, and solo recitals in the junior and senior years.

    This Bachelor of Music program emphasizes musical proficiency at a pre-professional level through individual instruction, mentoring, and career guidance. Performance experience includes large and small ensembles, solo performance opportunities, solo work in large-scale productions, and solo recitals in the junior and senior years.

    Music Therapy is an evidence-based and credentialed health care profession that utilizes the properties of music to accomplish non-music goals in a medical, therapeutic, or special education environment. The Music Therapy curriculum focuses on music, psychology, neurology, health care, and real-world clinical experiences within a wide variety of Erie-area health care facilities. All graduates of the four-year program who also complete a six-month internship will be eligible to sit for the national board exam, which leads to the Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) credential. Students are encouraged to craft a minor or concentration in a related field to enhance their practice in a specific area of health care, such as psychology, neuroscience, or art therapy.

    This Bachelor of Music in Music Education Program stars graduates who are sought after by school districts and are currently teaching all over the country. Students learn instructional techniques and classroom management skills while performing with a variety of ensembles similar to the ones they will supervise in schools. The education program has a contemporary curriculum designed to assist future teachers in fostering a lifelong love of music in their own students. To receive the degree and certification in music education, all candidates must meet all the requirements outlined in the education department section of the university catalog. Please refer to all standards, policies, and admissions/retention criteria specified for all education majors seeking a degree from Mercyhurst University and certification by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

    The D’Angelo Department of Music welcomes any student to audition as a music minor. Continue your passion for music by taking 30-minute weekly private lessons on your instrument or voice, studying music theory, aural skills, and music history, as well as participating in one of our large ensembles. If time permits, consider participating in a small ensemble, as well.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will possess an appropriate understanding of music theory and the skills to properly read and compose music.
  • Students will be able to identify significant events, innovations, and composers in the history of music and identify pieces within each major historical period.
  • Students will exhibit a proficient level of piano performance.
  • Students will attain an acceptable level of performance proficiency on their respective major instrument.
  • Students will obtain necessary skills to properly evaluate the musical performances of others.
  • Students will grow musically and socially by participating in musical ensembles.

Fast Facts

  • Mercyhurst is the only institution in the Erie area that offers accredited Music Degree Programs. Our five programs are B.A. in music, B.M. in composition, B.M. in performance, B.M. in music therapy, and B.M. in music education.
  • Generous performance scholarships are available for music students.
  • Audition for annual musical theatre productions and plays as part of the Mercyhurst Theatre Program.
  • Participate in opera scene productions produced by our D’Angelo Opera Theatre.
  • Compose scores for live performances by our students, faculty, and ensembles. Develop your creativity through the active writing of music in a variety of forms and styles and for a wide range of instrumental combinations.
  • With the B.A. music degree, enjoy the flexibility of pursuing a minor in an outside area, or perhaps even a double major, to enhance your career options and graduate school opportunities.
  • Music therapy majors get hands-on clinical experience working with patients living with autism, brain injury, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease, among others.
  • As a music therapy major, your curriculum will focus on music, psychology, neurology, health care, and real-world clinical experiences in a wide variety of Erie-area healthcare facilities. Our program is an American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) member.
  • All majors enroll every semester in at least one large ensemble—such as Concert Choir, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, or Civic Orchestra. Choose from one of eight small ensembles. All ensembles are open to non-music majors as well.
  • As a Music Education major, your student-teaching placement will provide you with excellent hands-on classroom experience. Find professional development and networking in our chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).
State Authorization

This program may fulfill a portion of the requirements leading to licensure within this field. Please visit the State Authorization webpage to review the requirements for licensure by state or program.

Department Awards and Opportunities
  • The Mary Pellegrino Spadafor Scholarship for Excellence in Music Performance—an annual award to a rising junior or senior.
  • Concerto/Aria Competition—an annual solo competition with the winner performing in a spring concert with the Mercyhurst Civic Orchestra.
  • Woman’s Club of Erie Scholarship—an annual award to a rising senior from Erie County.
  • For an additional scholarship, join the Athletic Bands program, participating in marching band in the fall and pep band in the spring.
  • Music Education majors in NAfME (National Association for Music Education) travel to the yearly all-states conference and help run the annual Tri-State Honors Band Festival at Mercyhurst.
D'Angelo Music Alumni

Our alumni enjoy successful careers in all aspects of music education (elementary, secondary, and university), music therapy, performance, arts administration, and music industry.

“Mercyhurst University professors are the most caring, dedicated and hands on professors you will ever meet. They prioritize your needs and individually tailor your education to help you be successful. If you have a dream and want to work hard, they will do whatever they can to help you achieve it. The classes that I took at Mercyhurst prepared me not only for teaching in the classroom, but how to carry myself as a professional outside of the classroom. I was able to secure a job in my field under a month after graduation." –Paul Caram '22, B.M. Music Education, Piano

"I was admitted with full funding into the Ph.D. program in Musicology at the Eastman School of Music, my dream graduate program. As a double major—B.A. in Music and English—I took courses that sparked my interest in the field of historical musicology. The encouragement and individualized attention I received from the D'Angelo faculty have ensured that I have both the training and confidence to succeed in graduate school. The D'Angelo Department of Music prepares musicians for their next step, whatever it may be." –Lauren Ganger '20, B.A. Music, Voice; B.A. English

"The invaluable practicum placements, supportive community, dedicated faculty, and customized in-class instructions have collectively laid the groundwork for my success, resulting in internship offers immediately following graduation. Moreover, these experiences have instilled in me a profound self-assurance as I transition into the realm of professionals." –Willow Lapp ‘23, B.M. Music Therapy, Saxophone; B.A. Psychology

Student Organizations and Activities

    An organization of American music educators dedicated to advancing and preserving music education as part of the core curriculum of schools in the United States. All music education majors at Mercyhurst are required to be members of our chapter.

    The principal U.S. accreditor for higher education in music. Mercyhurst’s programs are fully accredited by NASM.

    A resource and organization dedicated to professional music therapists. Mercyhurst’s Music Therapy program is a member of AMTA.

    Our excellent facilities include the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center (850 capacity), Walker Recital Hall (250 capacity), and Taylor Little Theatre (230 capacity). Our classrooms, rehearsal spaces, and faculty offices are housed in the D’Angelo Music Building.

    Students in our Music Therapy degree program come together in this club to promote music therapy on campus and help prepare them for their internship.

    The culminating requirement for students in the Music Therapy degree program. Students have enjoyed prestigious placements throughout the country.

    For an additional scholarship, join the marching band in the fall and the pep band in the spring. Arrive to campus the week before classes start for Band Camp.

    Many of our music majors participate in the stellar Mercyhurst Theatre Program, which puts on several plays and musicals each year.

    Be a part of this group’s tradition by performing in opera scenes performances each spring.

    All music students perform a Senior Recital as their capstone, presented in the intimate and acoustically stunning Walker Recital Hall.

    Earn a master’s degree in one additional year in a program such as organizational leadership or special education.