Music is a significant part of campus life at Bates. Every year hundreds of students take music courses, study vocal and instrumental performance privately for academic credit, and participate in our choirs, orchestra, jazz band, jazz combos, chamber ensembles, steel pan orchestra, and Indonesian gamelan. On balance, musical life at Bates is richer than at almost any other liberal arts college in the East.

Department Overview

The beautiful Olin Arts Center is home to the department, and offers sunny classrooms, an ample number of practice and rehearsal rooms — several with Steinway grand pianos — a computer music studio, and the Olin Concert Hall.

We study music from all over the world in our courses, at introductory and advanced levels. All of our courses and performance ensembles are open to general liberal arts students and music majors alike.  A secondary concentration (minor) in music is available, and many of our majors pursue interdisciplinary interests or double majors. Concentrations in performance, composition, musicology, and ethnomusicology are available. 

We are small enough to be able to give all our students individual attention as they pursue their particular interests, and our departmental philosophy is that we are interested in all the global varieties of human musical expression.

Contact Us

If you have questions about the department, or if you are coming to campus for a visit and would like to speak to a member of the department, please contact Marisa Wickersham, Academic Administrative Assistant. Her email address is and her phone number is (207) 786-8212. We look forward to having you join us at Bates.