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Music Department's Inaugural Class at FGCU Exceeds Enrollment Expectations
8/23/2006

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University announced the inaugural class of music majors has 27 students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in music this fall, twice more than expected.

To teach these students, three new full-time faculty, Michael Baron, Rod Chesnutt, and Jeanie Darnell, were hired. In addition, six professional musicians from Southwest Florida were hired as adjuncts to accommodate the students.

Students are predominately from Southwest Florida. Students also come from Miami, Sarasota and Fort Lauderdale. Two students are from Colorado.

"The music program at FGCU has produced a symphonic band with 24 pieces, a choir with 32 voices, and a chamber orchestra with 10 string players," founding director of music Nancy Cobb Lippens said. "Around 40 non-music majors will participate in these ensembles."

Some non-music majors were so excited that they rehearsed together over the summer to be ready for the beginning of the fall semester. The music department will sponsor upcoming campus recitals, ensemble concerts and music to accompany campus events.

"Music makes ceremonial events special," said Cobb Lippens. "The importance of music in the fabric of the university has already been noted because ceremonial events on campus have included music since the beginning. I'm delighted that very soon this music provided will be by our own students."

The music program at FGCU offers two concentrations. The performance concentration prepares students to pursue further study at the graduate level.

The performance/teaching concentration prepares students to teach music in public and private schools through the State of Florida alternative certification program.

For more information, media representatives should contact Cobb Lippens at (239) 590-7374.

A photograph of the inaugural music class is available for download at
http://opal.fgcu.edu/transit/musicfall2006.htm

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