Welcome to the Department of Music at the University of Tennessee at Martin (UT Martin) where the study of music has been a time honored tradition since 1962. Our faculty and staff are committed to helping students and music enthusiasts alike to expand their sense of self and possibilities within music. At UT Martin you will find a wide variety of opportunities to grow your knowledge and love of music.
This website is designed to help you gain a greater understanding of all that our department has to offer through our degrees, events, outreach programs and more. It is our sincere hope that you will find UT Martin Music, a special place in which one may seek education, inspiration, and make memories of a lifetime.
Julie Hill, DMA
Chair, Department of Music
Professor of Music
Campus Coordinator, Faculty Evaluation
University of Tennessee at Martin
Past-President, International Percussive Arts Society
University of Tennessee System President's Inaugural Educate Award Winner
Cunningham Outstanding Scholar/Educator
Hardy Graham Distinguished Professorship
UT Alumni Association Outstanding Teacher
The Department of Music offers a wide variety of opportunities and extra curricular activities for you to enjoy including events, travel studies, outreach programs, student organizations, competitions and extra curricular ensembles. It is our hope that every person can experience the music within.
The Department of Music is proud to offer over 100 events each year which range from performances of world renowned guest artists through our Allison Nelson Guest Artist Series, interactive workshops, conferences, guest lecturers, recruiting events, and student performances. Many of our performances are streamed live on Facebook at our UTM Music page.
For information about dates, registrations, tickets and more, please visit our Events page.
The Department of Music is committed to investing in our community and offers several programs designed to benefit the residents of Martin, surrounding areas, and beyond. Our signature programs include, Community Music Academy, Roots of Rhythm tour, Martin Community Band, After School Arts Program, and so much more.
A complete list of all our outreach programs and more information can be found on our Community Members page.
There are lots of activities for music students that are designed to develop leadership skills, offer expanded performance opportunities, make friends, and connect with the campus. Students can choose from approximately twenty different ensembles to play in, take private lessons, join one of our music student organizations, and participate in fun studio activities throughout the year. Many of these activities are open to music majors, minors, and campus musicians.
Check out some of our ensembles and student organizations on our Current Students page.
Learn about music from around the world by joining us on one of our travel studies. The Department of Music has orchestrated over thirty travel studies in sixteen different countries. Travel studies are open to students, parents, and community members. Travel studies are announced at the beginning of the academic year.
Opened in August of 2013, the renovated and expanded Fine Arts Building on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Martin serves as the home for the Departments of Music and Visual and Theater Arts. The 112,000 square foot facility was completed at a cost of $14 million and includes 16 classrooms, 24 studio rooms, 35 offices, 23 practice rooms, a music computer lab, choral/recital hall, band rehearsal hall, percussion rehearsal room, labs for graphic arts, ceramics, fabrics, and sculpture, a costume shop, scene shop and a state-of-the-art black-box theater. Plans are under way for phase two of the project, which will include a renovation of the Harriet Fulton Theatre and a new state of art large seat capacity performance hall.
UTM flute performance major, Lilah Senibaldi was among a select group of students from across the country chosen to perform in the Mark Sparks Flute Masterclass in New York this past October.
The Orchestral Excerpts Masterclass, part of the Flute Center of New York Salon Series, included a performance by Sparks, the principal flute of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, followed by commentary on each of the presentations by the five flutists.
The senior from Nashville found out about the class four days prior via an email forwarded by UTM flute professor Charles Lewis. After inquiring regarding openings, she discovered one of the performers selected had to drop out and they were considering other applicants for the spot. She secured that spot, flew out on Sunday, and performed on Monday afternoon.
Students were asked to select one piece from Sparks’ orchestral excerpts book with the second up to the flutist. Senibaldi chose Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 and Beethoven’s Lenore Overture No. 3.
Sparks praised her performance. “I have the sense you’ve played it in an orchestra before,” he told her, after she concluded the Brahms. “You sound like a soloist in an orchestra.”
He applauded the confidence evident in her playing. “Isn’t it so much about confidence, believing that your sound is good, believing that you understand the piece?” he commented.
In the 20 minutes devoted to Senibaldi’s work, Sparks offered observations he described as a “picky” critique to enhance her later auditions.
“I enjoyed his teaching style. He opened my eyes to some things in my playing that I had not recognized before and helped me find more confidence that I will tap into,” Senibaldi noted in a post-performance interview.
After the class, Sparks offered a spot in his and Sergio Pallottelli’s master class in Tuscany this summer.
Senibaldi plans on being there and is ready to fulfill his prediction, offered after he asked if she had played in an orchestra before. “You have a solo presence. I think the day will come for you,” he told her.
Sparks is a frequent soloist with the SLSO and other orchestras. He has performed in Europe, Scandinavia, South America, and Asia and appeared as Guest Principal Flutist with many ensembles, including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Detroit Symphony, and the Bergen (Norway) Philharmonic. Sparks is an enthusiastic teacher and maintains a private studio in St. Louis. s also an avid writer about flute playing, and is a regular contributor to Flute Talk magazine's feature "From the Principal's Chair."