NDSU program spotlight: Challey School of Music

NDSU program spotlight: Challey School of Music


The NDSU Challey School of Music offers a remarkable learning experience. The program has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music since 1970 and its tradition of excellence in ensembles dates back to 1904.

NDSU has the largest variety of degree programs in the region, ranging from liberal arts degrees with emphases in music to professional music degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.

Junior music education major Brady Ritland says there are many reasons NDSU’s program is special. “Every professor in your respected field knows you on a first-name basis and always has their door open for questions, concerns or if you just need to talk. You’ll hear that the Challey School of Music feels like a family, and I couldn’t agree more,” said Ritland, who is from Grand Forks, North Dakota. “Another thing that makes the school special is the sheer number of educational opportunities we receive as undergraduate students. Every undergraduate music education major gets to conduct a full band and choir at least four times each during their time at NDSU – that’s far more time on the podium than most graduate students get at other schools of music in the country.”

NDSU music faculty members have international credentials in performance, music education and academic studies. All full-time faculty members have earned their doctorates in music.

At the Challey School of Music, participation is a key element of learning.

Ritland, for example, is a member of NDSU Concert Choir, Madrigal Singers and BisonArts Singers, and has sung in four main-stage productions through the NDSU Opera Studio and Department of Theatre Arts.

“NDSU has given me more preparation than I could have ever asked for. The list is endless: time conducting a full band or choir, experience inside of a real classroom, preparation for the professional world of music through community gigs, choir tours and main-stage productions. I could go on and on,” he said.

Ritland’s career plans are to be a choral director at the high school level, and later earn his master’s degree in choral conducting.

“Every faculty member at the Challey School of Music makes it their personal goal to prepare every one of their students for the job they’ll get after graduation,” Ritland said. “NDSU is really the place to be if you are looking for hands-on, professional-grade opportunities in music.”

Begin your own musical adventure. Apply to NDSU today.