Section 1: General Information for Music Students

Music Student Handbook

Section Contents

The Facility

The Department of Music, along with the Art and Art History, Communication Studies, and Theatre and Dance Departments, is housed in the Schaefer Fine Arts Center. This two-building complex, designed by Hammel, Green, and Abrahamson was dedicated in the fall of 1971 and provides an attractive and comfortable physical environment for classes, rehearsals, and performances. Most campus musical events are scheduled in the 475-seat Jussi Björling Recital Hall (BRH), which memorializes Sweden's famed Metropolitan Opera tenor. Also located in the Fine Arts Music (FAM) area are thirty-four individual practice rooms, a Composition-Theory Music Lab (FAM 304), general-purpose classrooms, ensemble rehearsal spaces, instrument storage areas, faculty offices and teaching studios, the Office of Fine Arts (Björling Recital Hall loft), and the Department of Music Office (FAM 318). The Kresge Room, finished in 1980, provides an area for use by dance classes. Restrooms are located on the first floor north beyond the glass doors, at the middle of the second floor near the elevator, and on the north end of the third floor near the Communication Studies Department classrooms and faculty offices. Some classrooms within the music building are kept locked because of the valuable audio, electronic, and musical equipment they contain.

Building Hours

  • Monday-Thursday: 7:00 AM – 1:00 AM
  • Friday: 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Saturday: 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Sunday: 9:00 AM – 1:00 AM

Departmental Overview

The Department of Music at Gustavus Adolphus College provides opportunities for students to study music in the context of a liberal arts education. Over a third of the students at Gustavus choose to study music through courses in theory, history, appreciation, pedagogy, and performance.

Students interested in majoring in music will receive the Bachelor of Arts degree with a Major in Music or Music Education. The core of the curriculum for the major emphasizes theoretical concepts and applications, historical perspective, aural and analytical skills, and performance techniques. In addition to the completion of the major, students may choose Departmental Honors in Performance, Composition, or History-Literature. Also, advising information is available for students with special interests in music, including Church Music, Music-Business, Music-Computer Composition, Music-Theatre, and Music Therapy. Gustavus also offers a minor in Arts Administration for students seeking internships within the arts community. A flexible music minor is available for those students who complete five courses of music study, including MUS 101, MUS 103, and MUS 111. Detailed information regarding the Music Major, Departmental Honors and special interest programs can be found in the Academic Catalog and in Section 10 of this handbook.

The musical year at Gustavus is highlighted by several events. The annual presentation of Christmas in Christ Chapel involves over 350 student musicians. Several ensembles, including the Gustavus Choir, the Choir of Christ Chapel, the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and the Gustavus Jazz Lab Band make concert tours each year. In recent years, Gustavus ensembles have performed in Eastern and Western Europe, Scandinavia, China, Japan, Canada, South Africa, the Middle East and throughout the continental United States. Each year the Gustavus Artist Series brings outstanding ensembles and recitalists to campus. In addition, music faculty, individual student performers, student ensembles, and faculty ensembles present more than 240 concerts and recitals each year. These events offer rich and varied musical opportunities for both the campus and the greater Gustavus community.

Department of Music Office (FAM 318)

Cinde Wiebusch, Administrative Assistant

The Department of Music Office is staffed by Administrative Assistant Cinde and student workers. Faculty mailboxes are located in the Music Office, monthly work-study timecards are turned in to the Music Office, and keys are rented from the Music Office. Please contact the Department of Music Office at any time with any questions or concerns.

Department of Music Office Hours, Contact Information

  • Monday-Friday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Office Telephone: 507.933.7364
  • E-Mail Address:

Research Materials

All music-related books such as composer biographies, literature surveys, and historical-theoretical research are located on the top floor of the Folke Bernadotte Library (ML and MT sections).

All music recordings can be accessed via the Gustavus Library. Our online streaming services, only available on-campus, includes the Jazz Music Library, the Naxos Music Library and Gustavus' online music archive.

Music Lab (FAM 304)

The Music Lab is a computer/electronic keyboard center staffed by student workers. Students frequently use the Music Lab to complete Music Theory assignments. Each computer in the music lab is equipped with Finale® music notation software with which students complete homework sets and composition assignments.

Music Lab Hours

Because it is staffed by student workers whose schedules vary by semester, the hours of the Music Lab are subject to frequent change. Please periodically check and note the hours of operation posted beside the door of FAM 304.

Additional Finale workstations are in the Music Student Lounge, third floor.

Student Storage Space

Keyboardists and Vocalists

Keys for music lockers (6.25” by 12.5”) are available from the Department of Music Office for a rental deposit of $5.00. This deposit is refunded with the return of the key at the end of the academic year. Music lockers are located on the second floor near the Kresge Room at the bottom of the main staircase. They provide both convenient and safe storage. When renting a key from the Department of Music Office, please bring the correct deposit amount ($5.00); money is not kept on hand within the Department for making change.


Lockers of various sizes for instrumental storage are available on the first floor. Keys and combinations for these lockers may be obtained from the Instrumental Music Assistants (IMA), a student staff under the supervision of Dr. James Patrick Miller, Director of Wind Orchestras. A $5.00 rental deposit is requested for storage in one of the large lockers. As with other Department lockers and keys, the $5.00 deposit is refunded with the return of the key to the Instrumental Music Assistants.

Instrumental Music Assistants: 2016-2017

  • Staff: Austyn Menk, Erin Oberle, Hailey Kaul, Michael McKenzie, Zach Anderson
  • Office Location: FAM 108
  • Office Hours: by appointment
  • E-Mail Address:

There is no master key or duplicate of any locker key. If you forget a locker key, your locker cannot be opened. The designated owner of a lost key will not recover the initial $5.00 deposit, which will be used toward the cost of replacing the lock and key. In addition, the student will be charged the cost for a technician or locksmith to remove materials. If at the end of the year the key is not returned, then a $100 charge will be assessed at the end of year.

Instrumental Rental Policy

In order to assist the Department of Music with the rising cost of maintaining College-owned instruments, a fee of $100.00 per semester is charged for instruments checked out to students for use various brass/string/woodwind lessons and ensembles. The total Instrument Maintenance Fee collected from any one individual per academic year will not exceed $600.00. Instruments may be checked out to more than one person at a time (classical guitars, for instance), but each individual will be assessed the fee to help maintain the collection of College-owned instruments.

Exceptions: (1) Students are not charged for use of pianos, pipe organs, harpsichords, harps, or percussion instruments. (2) Music majors enrolled in technique courses will not be charged for short-term use of instruments. (3) Students asked by a conductor to play a special-need instrument (piccolo, Eb Clarinet, flugelhorn, etc.) will not be charged a fee for use of that instrument.

Music students who request to use a College-owned instrument for the summer will also be charged a $100.00 fee. Harps are charged a higher fee for summer rental ($120). Instrument availability during the summer months may be limited, as this is when most repair and maintenance takes place.

Room Keys

Keys are also available for use of certain practice spaces and classrooms containing grand pianos, pipe organs, and harpsichords. A signed permission note from the applied instructor is required to secure a key. Students checking out a room key will need to sign a form agreeing to return the key. If it is not returned at the appropriate time, the student's account will be charged $100 for the loss of the key.

Room and Concert Hall Reservations

All regular rehearsals, sectionals, meetings, etc., should be scheduled ahead to time to avoid conflicts. The schedule posted by each classroom or studio door will list the regularly scheduled events for each space. One-time additions to that schedule should be arranged through appropriate offices or by making your request via the online scheduler. Al Behrends approves any event in the Björling Recital Hall, and Cinde Wiebusch approves events for all other classrooms and studios. Weekly room schedules will be posted on Monday mornings.


Björling Recital Hall

Use of Björling Recital Hall (BRH) is scheduled through the Office of Fine Arts, which is located on the second floor of the Björling Recital Hall lobby. Students are encouraged to use BRH for recital preparations. Reservations for practice time in BRH are made online by music faculty, subject to approval by the Fine Arts Office. Students may reserve BRH for limited hours of recital preparation time during normal hours (Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM) and an additional one to two hour period for an evening dress rehearsal. Concert lighting should be used only for a dress rehearsal.


Music Rooms Fair Use Policy

Ad hoc student music groups that do not receive academic credit but wish to rehearse in music building facilities must have a supervising faculty member reserve FAM 106 for rehearsals. It is not acceptable to simply move into and occupy rooms that appear to be vacant. A master schedule for room reservations is maintained in the Department of Music Office. To avoid conflicts, please make reservations in advance. The College drum sets and amplifiers can only be used by music students who are currently enrolled in courses in those areas of study. There is no storage space for student-owned drum sets and amplifiers. Loud volume in rehearsals can be disruptive to other individuals in the building who are at work in offices or classrooms, practicing, or studying. Please be considerate of others in the building and control volume levels for rehearsals so that it will be contained in the room with minimum overflow.

Lost and Found

The Gustavus Adolphus College Lost and Found is located in the Safety and Security Office (507.933.8888). Please check with the Department of Music Office staff with regards to items believed lost in the music building. Do not leave personal belongings in practice rooms, classrooms, or hallways. Rather, make use of available storage and locker space. Identify and label all personal belongings including books, binders, notebooks, scores, and especially instruments.

Smoking and Tobacco Use

Under no circumstances is smoking allowed in the Music Building, Björling Recital Hall, or any other campus building. Individuals must smoke at least twenty-five feet from any outside door (scent is wafted into the building by opening and closing of doors). Please do not light pipes, cigarettes, cigars, or any other tobacco product in the corridor space between an outside door and a hallway or lobby door.

Revised: November, 2016