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The College of Music at Florida State University is the largest such college in the Southeast and the third largest university-based music program in the nation. We are home to approximately 700 undergraduate and 400 graduate students, who represent nearly every state in the nation and 20 foreign countries.

The College of Music’s history dates back to 1900, when music instruction began with only one teacher of vocal and instrumental music. By 1911, the teaching staff had grown to six faculty members. That same year, Ella Scoble Opperman, for whom Opperman Music Hall is named, became the director of the school, and the first bachelor of music was awarded by vote of the faculty. By 1920, Professor Opperman had become the dean of the School and served in that capacity until her retirement in 1944. The College of Music proudly celebrated its centennial during the 2010-2011 school-year with the re-opening of the completely renovated Ruby Diamond Concert Hall.

The Florida State University College of Music is proud of a long tradition of excellence. For more than eighty years FSU has offered a high level of professional education in music; it was one of the originators of the doctoral degree in music performance; and for over thirty years it has been one of the most comprehensive and most respected music schools in the nation.

The College of Music is a vital component of the Florida State University community. It serves as a center of excellence for the cultural development of the State and offers a comprehensive program of instruction for all students who expect to become professional musicians: performers, composers, scholars, educators, administrators, and therapists. For the general University student, it offers a wide spectrum of opportunities for disciplined personal growth and creative achievement.

Historical Highlights in the College of Music


Music becomes one of four original departments of renamed Florida State College


Ella Scoble Opperman becomes first Dean of the music program.
Music Library established


First Summer Music Camps start on FSU campus.


FSU begins one of first Music Therapy programs in the nation.


Premiere of faculty member Carlisle Floyd’s opera Susannah at FSU


FSU Marching Chiefs perform in Syria and Jordan for the US Department of State International Trade Fair.


Aaron Copland spends a week with the music program in a series of classes and concerts.


First Biennial Festival of New Music


Faculty member Ellen Taaffe Zwilich first woman to win Pulitzer Prize in Music for Three Movements for Orchestra.


FSU designates music program a College of Music.