Department of Music

Uncharted Territory

The culmination of two or more years and a lifetime of experience and exploration by UC Davis students, “The Arts & Humanities Graduate Exhibition” offers new ways to understand the world, ourselves and the issues we face. We spent time with three students from art studio, music and design to learn about their journeys of creating works that are in the exhibition.

Eating and Drinking and Singing

When he was a college student, Pierpaolo Polzonetti was hired by an opera-loving cookbook author to research composer Giuseppe Verdi’s favorite recipes. There weren’t any, but it led Polzonetti to a fascination with what he dubs “gastronomic signs” in opera. Many years later, the result is the recently published book Feasting and Fasting in Opera: From Renaissance Banquets to the Callas Diet by Polzonetti, the Jan and Beta Popper Professor of Music at UC Davis.

A Musical Journey Through the Arboretum

A moving musical work with contributions from UC Davis music and Native American studies students will explore California’s complicated relationship with water, drawing on Native origin stories in which water is an important player. It will be performed in several locations in the UC Davis Arboretum along Putah Creek.

Words and More for Creative Writing Series

Award-Winning Authors, Faculty Readings, Interdisciplinary Student Works on Tap

The UC Davis Creative Writing Series kicks off 2021 with readings by acclaimed visiting writers Jess Arndt and Carmen Maria Machado, a collaboration between music and writing students, and a showcase of new works by faculty members. All events are at 4:30 p.m., free and accessible on Zoom unless otherwise noted.

The Creative Writing Program is part of the English department in the College of Letters and Science.

YouTube Interview Series Explores Music and Climate Change

Ryan Suleiman, a doctoral student in music composition at UC Davis, has long been concerned with the environment, nature and climate change. Over the past few years, Suleiman has written works titled Drought, Skies of Smoke and Burning. In the spring he reached out to other musicians to see what they had to say about music that explores the natural environment, with an emphasis on climate change, for a series of YouTube interviews.

UC Davis Celebrates 100th Birthday of Music Professor Emeritus Albert McNeil

Albert J. McNeil arrived at the UC Davis music department in 1969 and, during his 21 years as a faculty member, transformed the music program, students and the campus. McNeil celebrated his 100th birthday in February.

Concerts honoring Albert McNeil

Concerts by UC Davis, Pomona College and the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers earlier this year celebrated McNeil's 100th birthday. All can be viewed online

UC Davis Graduate Arts Programs Make Big Rankings Leap

The most recent U.S. News & World Report ranking of university graduate programs places UC Davis fine arts programs as No. 15 in the nation. This is a jump from No. 27 three years ago and ties UC Davis with UC Berkeley. Master of Fine Arts programs in the College of Letters and Science include art studio, design, dramatic arts and creative writing.