The new rankings by the MusicSchoolCentral.com website cited Kalamazoo for its ‘artistic intrigue, hip music scene’ and top-notch jazz program. See the entire list of top schools.
Kalamazoo offers one of the best college towns in the country for music school students, according to website MusicSchoolCentral.com.
The website, which is devoted to sorting through facts and information about musical higher education, earlier this month issued a top 10 college towns list. Kalamazoo ranks ninth on the list, with Ann Arbor at No. 6.
“Many of the best music scenes in America actually exist in college towns,” says publisher Bill Zuckerman.
He excluded big cities such as New York City and Austin, Texas, from his analysis in order to focus on cities that are small enough to be strongly impacted by the college presence. In addition to a well-regarded college music program, Zuckerman identified these components for a strong musical environment: music festivals, symphonic orchestras, jazz bands, independent music labels and rock ‘n’ roll scenes.
The Kalamazoo Promise, which provides free college tuition to Kalamazoo Public Schools graduates, earned a special mention.
“Kalamazoo is a college town filled with artistic intrigue, a hip music scene, and one of the finest jazz programs in the country,” Zuckerman stated, referring to Western Michigan University and the numerous awards it has snagged from Downbeat Magazine.
He also cites WMU’s classical and composition programs, and said it is increasingly becoming a destination music school for out-of-staters.
Kalamazoo’s musical soup includes the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music and the Stulberg International Strings Competition, the publisher noted. The city’s locale between Detroit and Chicago makes those big-city music scenes easily accessible as well, he noted.
WMU School of Music Director Bradley Wong found nothing to argue with in MusicSchoolCentral.com’s assessment.
“We agree with the article’s assessment that Kalamazoo is an extraordinary community for not only the WMU music students, but for all the college students in the area,” Wong told Local Spins.
“Kalamazoo is a relatively small town but with a level of cultural activity that rivals much bigger cities. We also appreciate the recognition for the WMU School of Music and particularly for the assertion that our jazz program is one of the finest in the country.”
TOP 10 COLLEGE TOWNS FOR MUSIC STUDENTS
10. Ithaca, N.Y.
9. Kalamazoo, Mich.
8. Asheville, N.C.
7. Tucson, Ariz.
6. Ann Arbor, Mich.
5. Portland, Ore.
4. Norman, Okla.
3. Madison, Wis.
2. Cambridge, Mass.
1. Denton, Texas
Copyright 2017, Spins on Music LLC