Study music performance, history, theory, composition and ethnomusicology, and participate in solo and ensemble performance opportunities, all while working with critically acclaimed musical mentors.

Embracing the beauty, form, history and creation of sound, our music major and minor is a study of Western and non-Western music, broadly designed and rigorously focused.

Our instruction is designed to develop skills that include attention to detail, teamwork, creativity, problem-solving, and precise and self-assured communication.

Representative courses include History of Jazz, History of Black Song, Seven Musical Wonders of the Western World and Introduction to World Music.

Many students go on to prestigious graduate programs in music and become performers, professors, arts managers, critics and more; others enter professional fields like medicine, law and finance. 

  • Pomona College Music Department: Why Music?
    Video: Why Music?
  • Jazz Ensemble at Pomona College
    Jazz ensemble rehearsal
  • Glee Club rehearsal
    Glee Club rehearsal
  • In class with Professor Joti Rockwell
    In class with Professor Joti Rockwell
  • Gamelan rehearsal
    Gamelan rehearsal

What You'll Study

  • History and theory of Western art music
  • Solo and ensemble performance
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Senior colloquium and project
All of the music department’s 40 pianos are Steinways: three in Bridges Hall of Music and 37 in Thatcher Music Building.

Learning at Pomona

  • Johnny Wang '17
    Johnny Wang ’17 and the Pomona College Orchestra

    Johnny Wang ’17 was the winner of the 2013 Concerto Competition and performed Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the orchestra in 2014.

  • Eron Smith
    Tension in 19th-Century Piano Music

    Eron Smith ’16 is investigating musical tension’s meanings and manifestations, its relation to form and harmony, and ways to use it as an analytical/theoretical tool. 

Julia Austenfeld
Julia Austenfeld ’15

My experience has encompassed historical musicology, theory, composition and voice at Pomona, and I’ve been able to explore work in depth, doing summer research with Professor Donna Di Grazia (“Put Me In, Coach!: Music’s Changing Role in the Cultural Experience of Baseball”), performing a voice recital and premiering new music.

Faculty & Teaching

Professors who are globally renowned for their musical excellence and innovation will guide you. They are performers, composers and music historians—and proven mentors who will give you individualized attention and both inspire and collaborate with you. 

Professor Donna M. Di Grazia

The opportunities to perform at Pomona College are among the most extraordinary for any liberal arts college. We have a wide range of ensembles for music majors and for non-majors. They collaborate together, regardless of their area of study. The involvement in music ensembles and in coursework here in the music department is open to everyone.