As a constituent of a land-, sea-, and space-grant institution, the Music Department strives to fulfill the potential of the land-grant concept by advancing musical culture among residents of the state and region, as well as within the UNH community. The Music Department's outreach programs are many and historied. Learn more about these programs by clicking the links below.

SYMS: Summer Youth Music School

Students concentrate on a major instrument or voice part and choose electives to broaden their experience. They associate with talented young musicians who share their excitement about music, and they study with outstanding teachers and freelance artists. Enrollment for certain instruments may be limited.

In addition to concert bands, a variety of choruses, a string orchestra, and a full orchestra, we offer master classes, small ensembles, jazz groups, and other opportunities designed to improve each student's technique and musical understanding. Stimulating and challenging classes are available to students at all levels. Private lessons, at additional cost, are available to interested students.



PEP: The Piano Extension Program

For over twenty years, the PEP program has been providing quality piano lessons with performing opportunities to area children and adults at a reasonable rate on the University of New Hampshire (Durham) campus. The entire program is overseen by Dr. Hsiang Tu, a member of the piano faculty at UNH. He matches students with teachers, compiles starting “packets” for each student, and handles all registration and administrative aspects of the program.


The Clark Terry UNH Jazz Festival

The annual UNH jazz festival features guest artists, UNH jazz faculty, the UNH Jazz Band, and high- and middle-school students from throughout New England.

The UNH jazz faculty enjoyed a long-standing relationship with jazz great, Clark Terry. In his honor and name, the Music Department holds an annual jazz festival. The festival includes adjudicated performances by high- and middle-school groups, clinics and performances by guest artists and UNH students, and gala concerts by guest artists and the UNH Jazz Band.

Clark Terry UNH Jazz Festival

The New Hampshire Youth Band

The New Hampshire Youth Band provides an enrichment experience to dedicated players of concert band instruments in middle school and high school, grades 6-12. The band is conducted by Professor Mark DeTurk, Coordinator of Music Education at UNH, and Eric Kobb, Band Director at the Cooperative Middle School in Stratham, NH.  Rehearsals are Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 8:00 pm at the Paul Creative Arts Center at the University of New Hampshire.

Band members benefit from the resources and opportunities available on a college campus including excellent equipment, a beautiful concert hall, and assistance from college music students who work patiently with each student to help them perform sophisticated, age-appropriate music at a high level. Students who have enjoyed the SYMS (Summer Youth Music School) programs at UNH seem to really enjoy and benefit from the New Hampshire Youth Band experience.

NH Youth Band

UNH Youth Symphony Orchestra

The mission of the University of New Hampshire Youth Symphony Orchestra is to provide orchestral experiences of the highest possible caliber to string students in the seacoast region of New Hampshire, southern Maine, and northeastern Massachusetts. By providing quality musical instruction and high standards of rigor, the UNH-YSO seeks to help students develop in their technical capabilities and musical understanding.

Youth Symphony Orchestra

Double Reed Day

The University of New Hampshire’s Double Reed Day (UNH DR DAY) is a day-long event held each January for double-reed players of all ages and skill levels. Over 100 participants come each year sometimes braving snow storms, ice storms, power outages and floods both outside AND inside. More often than not, however, the sun does shine on this day. Janet Polk, UNH bassoon instructor and Margaret Herlehy, UNH oboe instructor organize this event with the able assistance of the music service fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi.

Double Reed Day

Choral Gala

The Choral Gala is a combined concert with the UNH Concert Choir and student vocalists from area high schools under the direction of Prof. William Kempster.

UNH invites students from the area high schools to sing with the UNH Concert Choir on a major choral work with orchestra on a designated Saturday each January. During the evening performance, high school choruses also have the opportunity to perform as individual school choirs or chamber groups. For the combined choral work, Dr. Kempster provides scores to the high school students in advance of the concert. On the day of the performance, the students participate in sectional rehearsals and hold a full dress rehearsal prior to the concert.

Choral Gala