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The School of Music in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University is one of the top music schools in the nation.

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History

The ASU Herberger Institute School of Music traces its roots back 100 years to the late 1800s when ASU was the Territorial Normal School. At the time, the Normal School acquired its first piano for $1,000, and began offering singing as a student activity. The first full-time professional music teacher was hired in 1902, and the first student band and orchestra were organized 13 years later. When the Bachelor of Arts degree in music first was offered in 1946, there were 25 students majoring in the field. Master's degrees became available in the late 1940s.

During the early 1950s, the department was scattered throughout campus in 14 locations, including the home of one of its faculty members. By the time the original music building was completed in 1971, space already was at a premium. A long-awaited music building expansion was completed in 1992, which included two new state-of-the-art performance venues: Katzin Concert Hall and the Organ Hall, custom designed to house the now-famous Fritts Pipe Organ.

The Department of Music received school stature in 1980, the same year that it began to offer doctoral degrees. Today, the School of Music serves more than 800 students who are pursuing bachelor, master and doctoral degrees in music.

The School of Music's venues are unparalleled. They include the 3,000-seat ASU Gammage, which opened in 1964; the European-style Evelyn Smith Music Theatre; the acoustically perfect Katzin Concert Hall; and the beautifully designed Organ Hall.

Heather Landes has served as director of the school since 2012. Kimberly Marshall, Goldman Professor of Organ, served as director from 2006-2012. Wayne Bailey served as director from 2000-2006, Toni Marie Montgomery served from 1996-2000 and George Umberson served from 1976-1996.