New music minor to launch at LEC


Beginning in the fall of 2018, students will not need to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree to continue their musical training at Lake Erie College.

“Lake Erie College is delighted to offer a new minor in music,” said Dr. Jennifer Swartz-Levine, dean of the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. “This minor was primarily developed under the extraordinary leadership of our voice instructor, Ms. Lauren Feola. One of the minor's distinctive features is its focus on music performance, of both the vocal and instrumental variety. Moreover, students who choose to pursue this minor will have the opportunity to study with our entire gifted music faculty.”

Members of the music faculty include Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer Bryan DePoy, DM (trumpet); Ms. Sanni Tenkku Kearns (piano); Ms. Mary Crow (choir); and Ms. Feola ’04 (voice).

The 17-credit minor will require fundamental courses along with three semesters of applied lessons and two semesters of ensemble or performance workshops, in line with demands for flexible, interdisciplinary learning.

“When I was asked to create the music minor, my first thought was, ‘What would benefit the students?’” said Feola. She holds a Master of Music degree from The University of Akron, has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and studied with Claudia Pinza Bozzolla and Canadian opera singer Victor Micaleff of The Tenors.

“Both Dr. DePoy and I agreed the answer was a performance-based curriculum that included fundamental, core aspects of music, like theory and music history,” she said. “The coursework provides an extraordinary opportunity for current and future students to simultaneously work toward their major degree while refining their musical skills as a vocalist and/or instrumentalist.”

The new music minor offers a built-in outlet for creative expression that also enriches students’ personal and social experiences at college, accommodating diverse interests, perspectives and career goals. Students will design active links between fields of knowledge by applying an elective from an alternate subject such as science, language, theater, graphic arts, dance, entrepreneurship, business or marketing.

Feola said, “I am honored to be included in the new program and look forward to integrating old musical traditions of LEC with contemporary musical visions.”

Newly hired graduate assistant Amir Jones will also be involved in the minor as the director of a student wind ensemble. Jones is currently the High School Band Director at Thomas W. Harvey High School and holds a Bachelor of Music degree in music education from Cleveland State University.

Dr. DePoy holds a Doctor of Music degree from Florida State University, a Master of Music degree from the University of New Mexico, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Indiana University School of Music. He has performed professionally with ensembles such as the Memphis Symphony, Calvary Choir, Louisiana Philharmonic, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Arkansas Symphony and New Mexico Brass Quintet.

Dr. Swartz-Levine added, “Students will also have the opportunity to work with Lake Erie College's Organist-in-Residence, the renowned artist Todd Wilson.”

For more information about the minor, contact Dr. Jennifer Swartz-Levine, dean of the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, at or 440-375-7456.

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