Student jazz group in Ciminelli Recital Hall

About Music

Our Music Department is one of the most outstanding and selective in New York. To be accepted, students must audition, submit an essay, and complete a one-on-one interview with a faculty member. This is how we ensure that you will be surrounded by peers who are truly committed to the study of music. 

Music, B.A.

Music Education (Pre K-12), B.Mus.

Digital Music Production, Minor

Degree Information

Music is a notoriously competitive field—but there are many options beyond producing and performing your own music:

  • Accompanist
  • Agent 
  • Arranger (Film, TV)
  • Audio Engineer
  • Band Director (Military, Sports)
  • Choral Director
  • Composer (Film, TV)
  • Conductor
  • Cruise Ship Entertainer
  • Event Planner/Manager
  • Film Scorer
  • Instrument Builder/Repairer
  • Merchandise Manager
  • Music App/Game Developer
  • Music Critic/Reviewer
  • Music Educator
  • Music Store Owner/Manager
  • Orchestra Member
  • Radio Programmer/DJ
  • Recording Engineer
  • Recruiter/Talent Scout
  • Advertising Songwriter
  • Studio Manager
  • Tour Coordinator
  • Tour Road Manager
  • Vocal Coach/Educator

Dedicated Music Suite: A residential living experience available to music majors who would like to live and learn together. Located in the center of campus, the suite is equipped with a practice room and a digital piano. 

The Klein Digital Music Studio: Located in Rockwell, the studio houses the Digital Music Ensemble, a group that performs exclusively with computers and state-of-the-art electronic music instruments and controllers.     

Music Forum: This lecture-workshop series explores arts careers. Guests have included music alumni enrolled in graduate programs nationally and prominent music professionals.

Recital Opportunities: Students get additional performance experience during the year in solo and group recitals.   

Study Away Opportunities: Music majors have pursued study programs in Ireland and the UK, Italy, Spain, and Africa.  

Learn About Study Away

Undergraduate Research: Students have the chance to do summer research fellowships and work with faculty. Funded research topics have included global music traditions, Broadway musical theater history, and applications of music therapy to individuals with disabilities.  

All Buffalo State students have the opportunity to apply to present their original research at the SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference, held each spring at a different campus in the SUNY system.

Internships: As part of the SUNY Applied Learning framework, an extensive Music Department internship program places music students in a wide variety of sites in the vibrant Western New York arts community. Music majors may intern at multiple sites in order to sample diverse aspects of the arts industry. 

“I chose Buffalo State because it has an excellent music program, has a good sense of community."

Rigorous Preparation

Undergraduate music students complete at least four semesters of one-on-one instrumental or vocal study, six semesters of participation in a major ensemble, and a culminating capstone performance/study. 

Top-notch Faculty

All the music faculty have earned terminal degrees from well-known and respected graduate schools and many continue to perform and present at conferences across the globe.


There are more than nine scholarship opportunities, ranging in size from $500-$3,000 per academic year and renewable for a maximum of four years. 

Our Music Facilities

Buffalo State boasts state-of-the-art music facilities including two recording studios, the Performing Arts Center, the Ciminelli Recital Hall, and a large ensemble rehearsal room. 

Ensemble Options

Students can perform in one or more of 11 ensembles including BSC Philharmonia, Chorale, Digital Music, West African Drumming, Elmwood Swing (Vocal Jazz), Chamber Choir, Jazz, Wind, Percussion, Guitar, and Chamber. 

Major Change Option

Upon the completion of two full-time semesters of study and adequate grades, students in the BA program may apply or re-apply for admission in to the Music Education program. 

“I feed off energy of the students. I think of them as links in a chain that keep the music going.”

- Thomas Witakowski
Associate Professor, Music
Director, Philharmonia Orchestra

Thomas E. Witakowski
Ellen M. Barnum Lecturer
Ho Eui H. Bewlay Professor
Emily W. Boyce Associate Professor
Gabrielle A. Carlo Lecturer
Janz C. Castelo Lecturer
Ivan Docenko Jr. Accompanist
Evan E. Drummond Lecturer
Bryan M. Eckenrode Lecturer
Mark H. Filsinger Associate Professor
John F. Fleischman Lecturer
Ricky L. Fleming Professor
Katelyn C. Fridmann Lecturer
Victoria J. Furby Associate Professor
Amy M. Glidden Lecturer
Carolyn Guzski Associate Professor
Jose T. Henriques Professor
Wendy L. Higgins Administrative Assistant 1
Mark H. Hodges Lecturer
Christopher P. Jacobs Lecturer
Erin N. Keppner Lecturer
Pim E. Liebmann Lecturer
Nora T. Murnane-Robertson Lecturer
Tiffany M. Nicely Lecturer
Daniel L. Pendley Lecturer
Kerry B. Renzoni Chair and Associate Professor
Kyle B. Resnick Lecturer
Jonathan C. Rizzo Accompanist
Kahlil P. Sarikey Lecturer
Karen E. Saxon Lecturer
Karen B. Schmid Lecturer
Elliot M. Scozzaro Lecturer
David E. Sipos Instructional Support Assistant
Stephen J. Solook Lecturer
Joseph S. Spann Lecturer
Catherine E. Sutherland Lecturer
Erin E. Vander Wyst Lecturer
Thomas E. Witakowski Associate Professor