Signature and Special Events in Music
Music has always played a central role at Mount Holyoke College. All incoming students learn to sing the Alma Mater with the Glee Club, the Family and Friends concerts are a highlight for visitors each Fall, and no commencement is complete without the Baccalaureate Concert. Over our almost two centuries of history, the music department has developed unique musical traditions that are now central to campus life.
These signature events are the highlight of an ensemble's annual calendar and celebrate through music, the many facets of life at the college.
Family and Friends Weekend Concert
Each October, the Music Department contributes two concerts to the festivities surrounding the Annual Family and Friends Weekend.
Friday night kicks off the fun with a free Jazz Ensembles concert at Chapin Auditorium, followed by a dessert reception.
On Saturday the Choral Ensembles and the Symphony Orchestra join forces to present a diverse selection of repertoire at Abbey Chapel, culminating with a combined work featuring the Family and Friends Choir. All family members and friends are invited to participate in a fun and engaging rehearsal to sing together and learn the combined piece the morning of the concert.
Monster’s Ball is Mount Holyoke College's annual Halloween dance party! The concept is simple: come costumed and dance to waltzes and polkas by the Waltz King himself, Johann Strauss Jr. In between, enjoy featured film scores that are a part of each year's theme. The event is held in our own Abbey Memorial Chapel, artfully decorated in cobwebs and other creepy objects!
Mary Lyon Concert
Instrumental music has been at the core of Mount Holyoke College since our founding. Mary Lyon moved a piano into Seminary Hall almost as quickly as she shelved the library’s first books. She believed instrumental music taught young women discipline, provided students with language in a different chord, and — most importantly — she understood that music has the power to console a troubled heart and uplift the human spirit.
The Mary Lyon Concert commemorates the central role of music in Mount Holyoke College's history by celebrating the contributions of women musicians and women in general, through music. The programming gives voice to the often under-represented work of women in music.
African Opera Series
Mount Holyoke College and Five College students collaborate with professional musicians and choreographers in operatic adaptations of African Mythology.
Mellon NAIS Series
This series of panel discussions explore the performance practice issues regarding the performance of the world’s first opera fully sung in Chickasaw, Jerod Impichchaachaacha’ Tate’s Shell Shaker.