Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Music Education

Major Professor

Jere T. Humphreys, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

C. Victor Fung, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer A. Bugos, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Maria Cizmic, Ph.D.


Catholic education, education history, Liberal Arts Colleges, music education, music history, music in higher education


This study examines the music programs in liberal arts colleges through the historical lens of three Catholic Universities in the state of Florida. Although there are numerous historical dissertations and theses written about individual music schools and departments, and a few that compare music programs in similar types of institutions, none have compared music programs in Catholic universities within the same state. After teaching at Saint Leo University and experiencing the process of rebuilding a music program after it was almost completely lost in the mid-1990s, I wanted to study the histories of Saint Leo and other Florida Catholic institutions that have struggled through similar circumstances, but with very different outcomes.

I examined each music program through interviews with past and current faculty, administrators, and students; archival documents; published histories; school newspapers and yearbooks; and local newspapers and magazines. I visited each campus, photographed the physical facilities, and observed faculty and students. Gradually the stories of three music programs emerged. By comparing the data from each institution I was able to address the following research questions:

1. When and how did each music program begin?

2. How did each one develop (i.e., organization, curriculum, faculty, facilities, performing groups)?

3. What are the relationships between the Catholic affiliation of each of these institutions and the development of their respective music programs/departments?

4. What role does music play in the overall vision of the universities and their development?

5. What are the implications of this study for music education in these and other liberal arts colleges?