Music & The Arts

Enhancing cultural education in Southwest Florida 

The Bower School of Music & the Arts brings more than 150 arts events to the region each year and educates performing artists, educators, music therapists and digital media designers who share their talent and knowledge with the community. 

Our music education students enjoy a 100 percent employment rate upon graduation. Some Bower graduates have secured tenured university posts. Approximately 30 percent of our music performance graduates go on to graduate school, young artist programs and professional training opportunities. We are an All Steinway Piano School and continue to attract students who excel in competitions regionally, nationally and internationally.

Peruvian pianist Priscila Navarro (’15, music performance) won the International Chopin Competition and the opportunity to perform a solo recital at New York’s Carnegie Hall. She and her mentor, FGCU Professor Michael Baron, recently released a CD and performed together at Carnegie Hall.

Paul Berlinsky (’19, music education) recently won the ASCAP Foundation’s Morton Gould Young Composer Award for a wind quartet composition. Four more piano students are now semifinalists in a South American competition. Other students travel the world teaching bands and music classes, sharing their considerable talents with others.

Music therapy graduates are also in great demand, working at area hospitals, senior centers and other places in which music helps people of all ages heal and thrive. The program is among the fastest growing and most popular degrees in the school and one of just three in the state – and one of two at public universities. 

Display of music and art

Photo of Krzysztof Biernacki
Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, we continue to stay true to the core of our mission. Each day we strive to make the best of this challenging situation while maintaining focus on excellent education and inspiring results in the art studio, in the music practice room, on a virtual stage or the computer screen.

Krzysztof Biernacki
Director of the Bower School


More space means more students can master the arts

Photo of FGCU theatre

The Bower School of Music & the Arts offers the broadest range of performing arts programs available at any university between Miami and Tampa. As we achieve more and more success, the demand for our curriculum grows significantly. When our stunning, LEED-certified building was completed a decade ago, it was built for 150 students. We now have 200. Far more students would like to attend. 

We are in need of more rehearsal rooms, classrooms, instructional space, faculty studios, a large choral rehearsal room and multipurpose performance space for music and theater events. Doubling the size of this program with additional space will allow us to meet demand and prepare students for impactful careers. 

There is a need for expansion of the art and theatre facilities as well. The art complex’s single gallery has limited exhibition space. More expansive galleries and exhibit space would allow us to share more of our collection and display the works of student and visiting artists on a larger scale than currently possible.