1892 Central Michigan Normal School and Business Institute opens: focus on teacher training
1893 Dropped "and Business Institute" from the name
1896 Second Annual Announcement of the Central Michigan State Normal School:
Vocal music offered as a teacher training elective in the first 2 years.
1897 Catalog lists Public School Music faculty positions separately from Conservatory of Music faculty teaching "Piano, organ, violin, mandolin, voice, harmony, musical history, theory, chorus, orchestra, elementary and public school music."
1899 Year Book and Circular of Information:
Vocal music offered at all teacher training levels, first as reading and "voice culture" then teaching methods; conservatory enrollment approaches 100.
1900 Bulletin, Volume 1 Number 1 first lists a Department of Music with a purpose "to prepare teachers to teach music in the primary and grammar grades of the public schools of the State." Offerings include Elements of Vocal Music I and II for "sight-reading and the cultivation of the voice and ear," 12-week Rural School Course with same purpose, 12-week Teachers' Course In Music focused on knowledge of music and teaching of singing in grades 1-8, and Chorus "for morning exercises, special occasions, etc."
1918 Central Normal Band established under U.S. Students' Army Training Corps; interest waned after WW I.
1923 Listed as Music Organizations are The Normal Chorus of about 100 singing oratorio, operatic, and operetta works, 16-voice Girls' and Men's Glee Clubs, and The Normal Orchestra of "Every students…who can play some orchestral instrument" to appear in Chorus and other programs. Listed under Student Organizations are a first-ever 22-member Normal Band organized by J. H. Powers, head of the Music Department, to be "one of the colorful features" of football and other athletic events.
1926 Women are allowed to join the band
1927 Name change to Central State Teachers College
1934 Ensembles are listed as student organizations. The Band (Band Club in subsequent years) reorganizes to serve a social function and to cooperate with other extra-curricular organizations. The Choral Union comprises a 50-voice A cappella Choir, Girls' Glee Club, Men's Glee Club, quartets, and a newly-formed Madrigal Singers. Orchestra "of symphonic proportions” (40+) is divided into string orchestra and woodwind and brass ensembles.
1939 Graduate courses offered as an extension of the University of Michigan;
1941 Name change to Central Michigan College of Education
1951 Installation of a new electric Baldwin organ in Warriner Auditorium.
1952 Organ is first listed for private study along with voice and orchestra and band instruments.
1954 First Graduate Bulletin and launch of "independent graduate programs" in elementary education. Madrigal Singers reformed, and accompany the Concert Choir on tour.
1955 Name change to Central Michigan College with diversified programs; Men's Glee Club renamed the "Singing Chippewas."
1957 Dixieland band "The Beavers" forms.
1959 Name change to Central Michigan University suggesting a more "universal" education
1960 Graduate music courses in composition, research project in music education, voice, oboe, clarinet, cornet or trumpet, French horn, trombone or baritone. The Music Department moves into Keeler Union (later
renamed Powers Hall, after J. Harold Powers). Prior to this time, classes and rehearsals were held in Old Main, Warriner Hall, and in military barracks-style "Sheep Sheds," located where the Northwest Quad now stands. Music education classes and faculty
moved to Ronan Hall with education. "Swingin' Chips" dance band forms.
1961 Graduate music courses in functional music, music reading, form analysis, composition, symphonic literature, contemporary composers and styles; music for children, junior high school music, musical growth through listening activities, choral conducting, instrumental conducting, philosophy/history of music education, organization of school music, individual research in music materials, research project in music education, voice and instrumental lessons including strings.
1963 CMU became an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). Dance band "Swinging Chips" becomes Jazz Lab 1, soon followed by brass, percussion, trombone and other small
"choirs" and ensembles.
1964 Master of Music in Music Education and Supervision with a separate list of music courses available to other graduate students based on semester hours in music.
1970 Degrees expand to music minor, BM (in orchestral instruments, organ, piano, voice, theory/composition), BME, BS, BSE, BA, BSEd with music concentration, MA, and MM.
1970s Music annexes portions of Barnes Hall, which also housed music record and tape collections; music education classes and faculty remain in Ronan Hall with education.
1972 Masters of Music degree in performance added to music education and supervision; jazz studies, string performance, and music literature minors added to the BME. Kney organ build for Powers Recital Hall.
1973 First annual Jazz Festival (Jazz Weekend) begins.
1975 Vocal Jazz Ensemble first appears in a Jazz Weekend concert and then with University Chorale. Vocal Jazz Ensemble lasts a decade, is rejuvenated briefly in 1992 and again from 2009-2013.
1976 "Studio Twelve" jazz orchestra is featured at campus and community events for over a decade, focusing on stylistic jazz, new works, and improvisation skills.
1981 Central Air Jazz Band joins Jazz Lab 1 and Studio Twelve to meet growing student interests, lasting 19 years.
1986 Barbershop chorus "Central Harmony" forms with membership open to university and community, out of which quartets also form, lasting over a decade.
1988 Bulletin lists BM in orchestral instruments, piano, organ, voice, theory/composition, church music; BA/BS in instrumental, keyboard, and vocal performance, music literature, and theory; minors in instrumental, keyboard, vocal, theory, music history; BME with instrumental, choral, keyboard/instrumental, keyboard/choral concentrations; BS in Education with instrumental, choral, and general music majors and choral or general music minor.
1990 Instrumental jazz studies and keyboard/voice church music concentrations added to the BA/BS; String Sinfonia offers Saturday morning classes for pre-college students.
1995 CMU Department of Music changed to School of Music.
1997 New music building opens, includes windows to illuminate maple against concrete and limestone, a chamber music hall, and a concert hall with Casavant pipe organ as its central feature.
1999 Interdisciplinary music theatre degree implemented.
2000 Jazz Central becomes CMU's second large jazz ensemble with Jazz Lab 1.
2003 Vocal a cappella groups form as campus-wide student organizations: all-male "Fish 'n' Chips" and all-female "On the Rox," and co-ed "Central Harmony" two years later.
2004 Masters of Music offered in performance, music education, composition, conducting, & piano pedagogy
2005 Barbershop chorus returns to campus, renamed "MountainTown Singers," and wins first place in international competition within four years.
2009 General Music Option on the Music Education Major elevates previous general music minor to equal status with Choral Option and Instrumental Option.