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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."

School of Music Glee 1917

1918    Central Normal Band established under U.S. Students' Army Training Corps; interest waned after WW I.

School of Music 1917 Normal Chorus

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.

School of Music Band 1928-29

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.

CMB 1938-39

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.

School of Music Madrigal Singers 1955

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.

School of Music Symphony Orchestra 1962

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.

Symphonic Wind Ensemble 1969-70 bass clarinetSymphonic Wind Ensemble 1969-70 french horn

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.

1988 Central Air Jazz

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.

School of Music 2003

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.