ASU's School of Music is more diverse than you thought

The School of Music is trying to create more diversity in an effort to give students a new perspective

Diversity seems to be a topic of debate in the current political climate — whether it is at a local political rally or in our very own music department. Diversity is a major controversial topic among those working in the arts.

ASU's School of Music is proud of the level of diversity it has been able to incorporate and hopes to achieve in the future. 

With the current debates over Trump's decision to disband DACA, an immigration program, we seem to be straying further away from diversity. 

It is important to remember that diversity is not something that can be taken lightly. It is embedded into the "melting pot" we call home. 

ASU's incorporation of diversity into its mission is a way of teaching students about the importance of acceptance and apply it as they enter the real world.

It allows for more opportunities. The more you broaden the horizons, the more you will be able to achieve. Everyone has something to offer, so students should be open to experiencing different cultures and lifestyles.

The ASU School of Music delivers diversity in its teachings, music styles and student body. 

“The School of Music prides itself on their diversity … It is an open door for all students and all sorts of music,” ASU's School of Music professor Dale Dreyfoos said.

The school offers teachings on classical music, jazz, opera and theater. Additionally, ethnomusicologists have introduced multicultural music into the program, introducing students to music from all over the world.  

Music is a universal language and brings many people together. By incorporating music from different cultures, students are opening their eyes to new perspectives.

Even in 2017, we are struggling to level the playing field for men and women. ASU's School of Music is breaking that barrier. This is giving women the experience they need to find job opportunities after graduation — effectively building on their mission of diversity.

Dreyfoos says he sees more women participating in ASU's music program. 

“There has been a rise in women composers,” Dreyfoos said.

All students are given the opportunity to work hand in hand with composers for special events. There is no limitation as to who can participate.

The School of Music hosts events year long. One upcoming event is “The Bartered Bride” Opera, stage directed by Dale Dreyfoos.

“The Bartered Bride" is one of the most beloved operas of all time. It draws on the history of Czech language and music and tells the comedic story of a matchmaker and two young lovers. The production will be translated to English.

Faculty and students significantly contribute to these events in one way or another from composing and acting, to set production and designs. Everyone is encouraged to participate. 

These events are a way of showcasing the ASU School of Music's exemplary emphasis on diversity.

The School of Music has already made great strides in increasing diversity, but hopes to improve even more.

Dreyfoos said there has been an increasing number of enrollments from students of Latin or African American descent in the School of Music.

“I have seen the population’s diversity really grow over these 23 years. It’s a pleasure to see,” Dreyfoos said.

However, their Native American population enrollment is lower than the University would hope to see.

ASU's School of Music shows a refreshing level of diversity in its program, and thus offers equal opportunities for every student. 

Reach the columnist at or follow on Twitter @trwscuit.

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Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors. 

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