College of Humanities and Fine Arts Department of Music and Dance

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Alumni, Parents & Families

-75th Anniversary Photos
-Keeping in Touch

-Music Education Alumni Mentoring Network
Click to Make a Gift Music & Dance Dept. Giving Options

We lost two treasured professors and colleagues recently.  We thank them for building the foundations of the department in its early days, allowing us to continue their work. Rest in peace.
Charles Bestor
  Professor Charles Bestor died on Jan. 16. Professor Emeritus of Composition and Electronic Music at UMass Amherst since 1976, he was also Music Department Chair from 1977-88.
  Bestor's compositions were performed frequently by his colleagues at UMass and elsewhere. At the time of his death he was working on a double CD set of his music entitled "The Summing Up," to be released by Albany Records later in 2016. It features local artists Estela Olevsky, Nigel Coxe, Paulina Stark, Lynn Klock, Eduardo Leandro, Astrid Schween, Jon Humphrey and Dana Lynne Varga. FULL OBITUARY
Professor Miriam Whaples
  Professor Miriam Whaples, who died in early February at the age of 86, was the backbone of the Music History department. Educator, music historian, pianist/harpsichordist, and Graduate Program Director, she provided guidance and inspiration to hundreds of graduate students who passed through the program during her years at UMass, 1966-2010. She sat in on every M.M. oral exam, proofread every concert program, and taught fascinating and challenging classes. A stellar scholar wih a wealth of knowledge, she was an invaluable resource for her colleagues and the students in the Department.
   Professor Whaples held a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Indiana University. She was the author of the Bach Aria Index; several editions of medieval music; and articles on Bach, Schubert, Mahler, Ockeghem, and musical exoticism. She performed as an ensemble harpsichordist in New England, New York and Great Britain.

Read FANFARE, our Annual Magazine

DOWNLOAD: 2015 FANFARE Magazine (pdf)

Download previous FANFARES (pdf): 2008  2009  2010  2011  2012  2013  2014


75th Anniversary Photos

Thank you to all the Alumni who participated in our celebrations!
Check out photos from the events & the slideshows that were shown at the concerts:
Jazz/Sax weekend Photos
April 12 Photos

Music Slideshow    Jazz Slideshow

75th Anniversary logo

Give to the 75th Anniversary Music Scholarship Fund

Please share your email address with us so that you can get updates as well as reminders about our other concerts! Send your email address with your name to


Music Faculty from January, 2013

Music Faculty from the 1990's

Music Faculty from 1984 Music Faculty from 1984

Keeping in Touch

Download the 2014 edition of FANFARE (pdf), the newsletter of the Department of Music & Dance.

Download our Fall 2014 Concert Calendar (pdf), filled with nearly 50 events including student ensembles, faculty and guest artist recitals, dance concerts, and special events. Or, for the most up-to-date information, see our Web Calendar at

To receive our Concert Calendar, annual Fanfare newsletter, and other occasional Departmental announcements, please send your postal and/or email address to Marilyn Kushick, or Eric Roth,


Music Education Alumni Mentoring Network

The Department's Music Education Program continues to support alumni regardless of when they graduated. The "Music Education Alumni Mentoring Network" provides a way for alumni to maintain a professional connection with UMass and each other in support of their success as music teachers. General information about teaching, job notices, best teaching practices, and professional support are shared and provided via email exchanges and personal conferences. Started by retired Professor Ben Smar and currently managed by Prof. Lisa Lehmberg, the Network is only in its infancy. New initiatives are in the works to provide opportunities for alumni and current undergraduates to connect (Reality Check), as well as to improve interaction through online resources (UMass Music Education Forum).

Alumni interested in linking with the Network can send an email to Prof. Lehmberg at


Dance Department