Bard envisions the liberal arts institution as the hub of a network, rather than a single, self-contained campus. Numerous institutes for special study are available on and off campus, connecting Bard students to the greater community.
The Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College embodies the fundamental belief that education and civil society are inextricably linked. In an age of information overload, it is more important than ever that citizens be educated and trained to think critically and be actively engaged with issues affecting public life.
The Bard College Conservatory of Music offers two graduate programs, one in conducting and one in vocal arts.
The Graduate Conducting Program is a two-year master of music degree curriculum with tracks in orchestral and choral conducting, designed and directed by composer and conductor Harold Farberman; James Bagwell, director of Bard’s undergraduate Music Program, academic director of The Orchestra Now, and principal guest conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra; and Leon Botstein, president of Bard College, music director of the American Symphony Orchestra and The Orchestra Now, and conductor laureate of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. In addition to instruction in conducting, the curriculum includes a four-semester music history sequence; voice and diction lessons for choral conductors; instrument lessons for orchestral conductors; and foreign language study, ear training, and composition for all students. The program, which began in 2010, provides students access to the resources of the Bard Music Festival and other Bard-related musical institutions.
The Graduate Vocal Arts Program, launched in 2006, is a unique master of music program in vocal arts conceived, designed, and led by renowned American soprano Dawn Upshaw. In addition to individual private voice lessons and vocal coachings, students delve into the study of art song, chamber music, new music, and operatic repertoire throughout their course work and give public performances each semester. In alternate years, a fully staged opera is presented at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. The innovative curriculum also includes workshops in professional development, movement improvisation, diction, language, and acting, and a special course focusing on preparation of the final degree recital. The core teaching faculty includes Associate Director Kayo Iwama, pianist and vocal coach, and is supplemented by guest artists from the professional music world.