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Music has always been a vital part of human existence. And although science tells us that music gives the brain pleasure, helps it form neural connections and arouses emotions, no one really knows why humans love music: they just do. Put simply, music makes us happy.

Are you passionate about music? Do you feel like sharing music is your vocational calling? Furthering your understanding of music theory and history at Holy Cross will allow you to pursue your love of music in a tangible way. Studying music can teach students to think creatively, collaborate with others, manage time effectively, and lead with confidence.


Program Focus

nd bandStudents at Holy Cross College can now explore the exciting world of music through a collaboration with the music department at Saint Mary’s College. Students are able to study music fundamentals and receive training in voice and instrumental performance at Holy Cross, leading to a major in music or music education at Saint Mary’s College’s National Association of Schools of Music accredited program.

There are is a world of options in the tri-campus area for students interested in pursuing music, including a variety of choral groups, small ensembles, individual performers and the Notre Dame Band.

For more information on the music and music education majors at Saint Mary’s, please visit

Track Requirements

Sample of Classes Required In Track

Required Courses Must take all of the following:
MUSI 115 World Classical Music
MUSI 116 American Music
MUSI 151 Music Fundamentals
MUSI 182 Diatonic Material (at Saint Mary’s College)
MUSI 182L Diatonic Materials Lab (at Saint Mary’s College)
Must take 4 hours of the following:
MUSI 200 Individual Vocal Lessons
MUSI 201 Individual Instrumental Lessons
MUSI 202 Choir
MUSI 203 Instrumental Ensembles (ND Band)
Total required for track: 16


Paula Rast Harris, M.M., M.M.E.
I have taught music for more than 30 years, but I am still always excited to see each of my students awaken and develop their God-given musical gift. I value one-on-one time with my students, and I make an effort to bond with them as they grow personally and professionally. At Holy Cross, music students will receive a personalized academic experience based on their starting ability, and how that ability is honed over the semesters. Students who are tenacious, determined and solution oriented will be able to flourish, and have a strong background for whatever way they choose to put their musical gifts to use.

Joanne Swenson-Eldridge, Ph.D.
M.A. & doctoral studies in Music Theory: University of Iowa
Ph.D. in Music—Musicology & American Music: University of Colorado at Boulder


  • The Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd edition, 2013
    Articles on: Charles Hommann, Charles Jerome Hopkins, Charles Hupfeld, Leopold Meignen, Joseph Taws, and Nancy Van de Vate
  • Charles Hommann: Surviving Orchestral Music—a volume in the series Music of the United States of America (MUSA), published for the American Musicological Society (AMS) by A-R Editions, 2007
  • Review of six recently published editions of contemporary music for solo viola or viola and piano for Notes, Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, December 2002
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians, 2nd edition, 2000
    Articles on: Charles Hommann, Charles Hupfeld, and Leopold Meignen
  • American Music 16:4 (Winter 1998)
    Book review: Olga Samaroff Stokowski: An American Virtuoso on the World Stage
    by Donna Staley Kline
  • American National Biography (1998-99), a 24-volume work published by Oxford University Press under the auspices of the American Council of Learned Societies
    Biographies and annotated bibliographies of violinists Camilla Urso, Fritz Kreisler, Mischa Elman, and Jascha Heifetz

Performance Opportunities

Holy Cross College Pep Band

music.pep band
For more information, visit HC Pep Band

Notre Dame Marching Band

hc students nd band
For more information, visit ND Marching Band

Notre Dame Folk Choir

Nov. 2, 2012; The nineteenth annual Notre Dame Folk Choir concert for the Holy Cross Missions in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Photo by Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame
For more information, visit
ND Folk Choir

Department Contact

Joanne Swenson-Eldridge, Ph.D.