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If music be the food of love, play on! The greatest playwright of all time knew the significance of music to the human story.

Today, we understand the deeper value of music. The talents of musicians are used in countless ways, from entertaining an audience with a live performance to invoking emotion in film and other media. Music is positively therapeutic, and accomplished musicians are vital and needed in all areas of the profession.

Members of the Parkside music faculty know the thrill of live performances. They are experienced performers, teachers, and researchers and are dedicated to helping you explore your love of music and discovering the best career path. 

Whether your passion is singing, playing an orchestral string instrument, band instrument, classical guitar, or jazz, there's an ensemble for you. As a music student (full and part time) you will become a member of an ensemble, where you'll benefit from growth and creativity sparked by playing with your peers, led by professionals.

Learn more about the Music Department at Parkside. 

Auditions are required for entry into the Music major and minor. The UW-Parkside Music Department will be accepting virtual auditions for program entry and scholarship opportunities from January 1 through March 1, 2021.

Read more about auditions  Get started with your audition

All music majors complete the requirements of the bachelor of arts with a major in music degree. Students who want to prepare for careers in music education, performance, or jazz studies should complete the appropriate concentration.


  • Music Performance
  • Jazz Studies and Performance 
  • Contemporary Commercial Music 
  • Music Education
  • Liberal Arts

Learn more about each concentration in the academic catalog.

You'll gain valuable experience as a music major by playing alongside your peers with expert guidance by acclaimed faculty. 


As a music major at Parkside, you'll benefit from:


  • Personal and individual attention by a faculty of dedicated, first-class musicians and educators
  • Career oriented curriculum
  • Unique Music Education Program (all courses in music)
  • Performance opportunities with over 60 concerts per academic year
  • Professional experience by guest artists and master classes
  • State of the art facilities
  • Large ensembles open to all campus students

Parkside has many great academic and talent scholarships for music students, and your initial application serves as an application for general Parkside scholarships and grants.

Even more scholarships are available to music majors, minors, and ensemble members. Music Department scholarships are competitive and valuable. In fact, the value of these scholarships may be awarded up to the full cost of tuition for exceptional student musicians. 

Read more about scholarships on the Music Department page.

Career opportunities for teaching music include instruction at the elementary, secondary, and university levels and independently with the opportunity to establish privately owned music studios. Many musicians who perform professionally can do so on a part-time basis opening up fields beyond teaching and performing. 

Opportunities exist in many related areas such as music publishing, radio and television, arts management, recording engineering, and various other aspects of the music industry.


Laura Rexroth | rexroth@uwp.edu

Faculty Highlights

  • Parkside Music Faculty James Crowley

    James Crowley

    James Crowley is an American composer whose works have been performed throughout the USA, as well as in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Denmark, South Africa, South Korea, and India. His 2010 work 'Tableaux Vivants' was commissioned by the east coast ‘Duo Montagnard’, who toured the piece throughout the USA, Canada and Europe, and feature it on their most recent CD release entitled 'Messengers'. Crowley's 2008 composition 'From The Earth' was a prize winner in the Ravinia Music Festival’s first composition competition, and was toured on an east coast tour and throughout Illinois in 2009. Read more.

  • Alvaro Garcia

    Alvaro Garcia
    Professor of Music and Director of Orchestras
    Associate Dean, College of Arts and Humanities

    Alvaro Garcia, native of Spain, studied conducting with Delta David Gier and Professors Lawrence Leighton Smith and Gustav Meier. He earned two Master of Music degrees from Yale University in viola and orchestral conducting in 1999 and 2001. Mr. Garcia has held positions as Assistant Conductor for the Yale Symphony Orchestra, the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra in Connecticut, and the Greater Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he has also collaborated with conductors Ransom Wilson, Jesse Levine, Dante Anzolini, Lawrence Leighton Smith, Gustav Meier and Shinik Hahm. Read more.

  • Russel Johnson
    Associate Professor and Director of Jazz Band

    Trumpeter Russ Johnson is a recent Midwest transplant after spending 23 years as an important member of New York City’s jazz community. He has 7 recordings as a leader or co-leader and performed on more than 75 recordings as a sideman. Russ has worked alongside many of the legendary figures in jazz including Lee Konitz, Steve Swallow, Bill Frisell, and Joe Lovano. In addition, he has recorded and/or performed with a long list of the most prominent musicians currently on the international jazz scene, including Myra Melford, Ken Vandermark, and Tony Malaby. Russ has performed in more than 40 countries across the globe. Read more.

  • Parkside Music Faculty James Kinchen

    James Kinchen
    Professor of Music and Director of Choral Arts

    James Benjamin Kinchen, Jr., is a Jacksonville native who has studied at Jacksonville University, Southern Illinois University, and the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Before coming to UW-Parkside, he has taught and conducted music in Florida, Illinois, Virginia, and North Carolina. Since 1989, Dr. Kinchen has served Parkside as Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities. He is driven by his passion for music and for people, and for bringing people together to experience excellence in the choral art. He has conducted on the stages of Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York’s Lincoln Center. Read more.

  • Music Faculty Laura Rexroth

    Laura Rexroth
    Assistant Professor and Director of Bands

    Laura Rexroth joined the music faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in 2014. In addition to her duties as conductor of the UW-Parkside Wind Ensemble and UW-Parkside Community Band, she teaches courses in world music, music education, music history, and conducting. Prior to her appointment at Parkside, Rexroth held conducting posts at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Central College in Iowa, and The College of William and Mary in Virginia. Her university bands have been selected to perform at several College Band Directors National Association and National Association for Music Education conferences. Read more.

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