BYU School of Music Newsletter
May 2021
The current BYU School of Music health and safety protocols for Winter 2021.
Construction of New Music Building in Full Swing
The Brigham Young University Board of Trustees has approved plans to construct a new Music Building for the College of Fine Arts and Communications.
The myriad of ensembles we offer make it possible for every student to find a group that fits their skill, schedule, and favorite style of music.
We have more than 550 majors, 50 full-time faculty members, 50 part-time faculty members and numerous support personnel who make up the School of Music.
Our focus is on cultivating individual talents and fostering some of the most respected music ensembles in any academic setting.

BYU School of Music Welcomes New Faculty


Assistant Professor, Classical Voice

Director of Opera


MM, Rice University

BM, Brigham Young University


Baritone Shea Owens, in his final season with the Theater Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra in St. Gallen, Switzerland, was a featured soloist in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, Cimarosa’s Il maestro di cappella, and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen. He will round off the season performing as Alvaro in Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas and the Officer in Franz Schmidt’s Notre Dame.

In the 2019-2020 season, Mr. Owens performed the roles of Valentin in Gounod’s Faust, Agamemnon in Offenbach’s comedy La belle Hélène, and the Baron in Pauline Viardot’s Cendrillon. Roles that were postponed because of the pandemic include Gaveston in George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence, Prince Ottokar in Der Freischütz, and the baritone soloist in Carmina burana. In the previous season, Mr. Owens performed as Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, Ottone in L’incoronazione di PoppeaPrince Iwan and The Chamberlain in a double bill of Rimsky-Korsakov and Stravinsky’s Kaschey the Immortal and The Nightingale, and the baritone soloist in staged performances of Haydn’s The Seasons.

Other past roles include Marcello in La bohème, Charlie in Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers, Seneca in Jonathan Dawe’s Nero and the Fall of Lehman Brothers, Edward Kynaston in Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players, Colonel Ricci in Stephen Sondheim’s Passion, Junius in The Rape of Lucretia, the title role in John Musto’s Bastianello, and Pacuvio in Rossini’s The Touchstone.

In addition to operatic and concert work, Mr. Owens has sung in community outreach performances, including hundreds of shows for school children as a young artist with Utah Opera, and an especially memorable collaboration with Wolf Trap Opera and Taffety Punk Theater Company to raise awareness about violence against women.

Mr. Owens is thrilled to be returning to BYU as an Assistant Professor of Voice and the Director of Opera, and very much looks forward to working with the wonderful faculty and students.


Associate Professor of Conducting

Director of Bands


DMA, Arizona State University

MM, Louisiana State University

BM, Boise State University


Shawn Smith has served as Director of Bands at the university level for fifteen years and will now fill that position here at the BYU School of Music. He was formerly Associate Professor of Conducting and Director of Bands at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and also served the same role at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. In high demand as a band and orchestra conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, Smith has been invited to conduct professional and educational ensembles throughout the United States and internationally. His performances have been heard numerous times on American Public Media’s Performance Today, the most popular classical music radio program in the United States.


Equally at home with opera and musical theater productions, Smith has conducted pit orchestras for the Marriage of Figaro and a six-week run of Les Misérables. Smith conducts regularly in Brazil including professional and community bands from the large cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo to small towns and villages in Northern Brazil. Smith has presented numerous educational clinics and speeches, most notably at the International Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago and at state music conventions in Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. He has also presented research at national and international conferences in the United States, Europe, and South America. As a public school teacher, Smith served as Director of Bands and Orchestra at one of the largest high schools in Idaho where he successfully led a comprehensive instrumental music program.


Assistant Professor, Music Education (General)


PhD, University of Utah

MM, Brigham Young University

BM, Brigham Young University


Erin Bailey is very excited to return to Brigham Young University. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Choral Music Education from Brigham Young University and has fond memories of working with amazing mentors. She recently received her Ph.D. in Music Education from The University of Utah, where she was honored to be the Leroy J. Robertson Foundation Endowment Award Recipient.


She was fortunate to attend the Summer Voice Institute and is an NCVS-trained vocologist. Her research interests include music and mental health, music teacher education, vocology, general music education, and choral conducting. Erin taught for over a decade in middle and high schools in Utah and California. In addition, she served as director and co-founder of Cantemus Youth Chorus and Encore Community Choir in California. Erin was a member of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square but tells everyone her favorite performing experiences were right here in the BYU Choirs!

Upcoming School of Music Events

Check out the BYU Organ Workshop August 2-5. Find more information here.

Awards and Achievements

Watch the China Spectacular livestream at the link below!

May 10, 2019 7:30 p.m.
May 11, 2019 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.


The mission of the School is revealed in the daily activities of the faculty, administration, staff and students.

Featured Division This Week: String Performance


One of the lasting traditions of Brigham Young University is its strong cultural emphasis and support of the fine arts. Today the BYU School of Music continues this tradition as it leads toward a bright future.


Visit our academic advisors who are dedicated to your success, and commit their best efforts to your early major exploration, educational planning and timely graduation. To schedule an appointment, call 801-422-3777, or stop by our office in D-444 of the Harris Fine Arts Center.


The myriad of ensembles at BYU make it possible for every student to find a group that fits their skill, schedule and favorite style of music. Representing BYU across the world, many of the touring ensembles are among the most widely traveled collegiate groups and offer performers a cosmopolitan educational experience.


Thousands applauded last semester in the de Jong Concert Hall, while more than twelve thousand others cheered at the same time in fifty other countries. Thanks to BYU School of Music’s new streaming system, anyone around the world with Internet can join the audience for many of our events.

The new experience provides three high-definition cameras, each equipped with the ability to zoom in, pan out and switch angles. These effects are hand-operated to provide a personalized tour of each performance while highlighting individual performers. Read more.


Celebrate Musical Artistry

Collaboration and artistic cooperation

The School of Music celebrates musical artistry and understanding as core elements of the human experience, crucial components of a liberal education, and central aspects of a spiritual life.

In the School of Music, students learn self-expression and self-discipline through rigorous practice and passionate performance. They develop an acute sensitivity for collaboration and artistic cooperation through intensive ensemble work. In the study of music theory and history, students learn to hear and appreciate various musical languages, distinguish nuances of style, and discern the connections between musical developments and their cultural contexts.

Students learn in a variety of situations: private lessons, small seminars, multimedia labs, ensembles, recitals, and lectures. They are encouraged to participate actively in the vibrant musical environment of the School of Music by attending concerts, lectures, and workshops, and by contributing to a student culture of independently motivated artistic engagement. These experiences foster a holistic approach that embraces academic rigor, artistic intuition, creative ambition, physical grace, and expressive eloquence.

In pursuit of the University’s spiritual aims, students learn the divinity inherent in creativity and the devotion expressed by the nurturing of one’s craft.

Take a look at our calendar.

Purchase tickets for the many events featured throughout the year in the college.


The Music Dance Theatre, a nationally accredited course of study leading to a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at BYU, is an interdisciplinary, limited enrollment program designed to train young performers for a career in musical theatre and related performance disciplines.


Performing Arts Management is the managing agency for BYU’s performing companies and functions in professional as well as educational circles. The touring program typically has 400 performances each year, reaches 140 cities in 20 countries annually, and appear before millions on foreign and domestic television.


Group for New Music features student and faculty performers and conductors presenting the prominent works of our time. The concerts frequently include World and US premieres of BYU faculty compositions, and provide students with an excellent opportunity to experience music at the cutting edge.


BYU Opera Theatre is the longest continuing opera training program west of the Mississippi. Fall semester features a full opera production, with opera scenes in the winter, and a chamber opera each spring. The Opera Workshop class provides additional training in skills for performance and interpretation.

BYU School of Music On-Air at Classical 89

BYU School of Music On-Air features the BYU Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Singers, Concert Choir, Men’s and Women’s Choruses, and other select faculty and student performers.

Weekdays at 1 and 8:30 pm (MDT)
on 89.1 FM or online at

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