Charles Castleman

Onward and Upward

Award-winning Charles Castleman brings his youthful spirit, scholarly acumen, and distinct creativity to the Frost School’s violin program.

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The Frost School of Music’s Department of Instrumental Performance has programs tailored to meet the needs and interests of students – like you – who aspire to performance careers. Graduates of these programs often pursue careers as symphony musicians, university professors, concert soloists, or band or orchestra conductors. Many graduates pursue advanced study and graduate degrees for further career preparation.

As an instrumental performance major, you will focus on developing and honing your performance skills on a selected brass, percussion, string, or woodwind instrument with assistance from faculty who have distinguished themselves as outstanding teachers and performing musicians. While the curriculum emphasizes development of tone and musicianship, as well as technical mastery of the instrument, it also includes music theory, music history and literature, orchestral literature and teaching methods. In addition, you will develop expertise in contemporary literature and chamber music performance.

All performance majors also study piano. In addition to piano study, students majoring in percussion study percussion repertoire and percussion instrument maintenance. Facility on mallet keyboard instruments is required for these majors. As a sophomore, percussion majors play one shared recital, and during their last semester they present a public recital.

Students majoring in undergraduate instrumental performance in strings, brass and winds perform one shared recital in their junior year, and a full recital in their senior year, culminating their years of training at the Frost School of Music.Graduate students have several recital/paper options from which to choose.

All undergraduate majors participate in two ensembles each semester. The instrumental ensembles include the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Winds, Contemporary Music Ensemble, Brass and Woodwind Ensembles, Percussion Ensembles, Marimba Ensembles, String Chamber Ensembles, and Guitar Ensembles. The Bergonzi String Quartet, in residence, provides a model of excellence in performance and the teaching of chamber music.

In addition to ensembles, weekly forums provide performance majors with informal performance opportunities, as well as master classes and performances by faculty and guest artists.

The Miami metropolitan area is home to the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, host to a number of resident companies including the Florida Grand Opera, the Miami City Ballet, and the New World Symphony. These, as well as numerous other professional ensembles, offer Frost School students a wide range of symphony orchestra, opera orchestra, chamber ensemble, and solo performance opportunities.

The University of Miami Frost School of Music presents Festival Miami, the annual music festival that opens the South Florida arts season, providing superior and diverse musical programming each year, while expanding academic opportunities and cultural enrichment to all of South Florida and its visitors. It’s a musical experience no one should miss. Frost School of Music Dean Shelton Berg explains, “We highlight music from various historical periods and genres drawn from around the globe. In addition to providing extraordinarily diverse music to the public, this format exposes our students to these multiple traditions.”

Department Chair:
Ross Harbaugh

Program Directors:

Orchestral Conducting (Graduate only)
Thomas Sleeper

Band Conducting (Graduate only)
Robert Carnochan

Rick Todd

Rafael Padron

Svet Stoyanov

Ross Harbaugh

Margaret Donaghue