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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Music

Maestro of many voicings

Danh Pham.A hush falls over the crowd as symphony orchestra conductor Danh Pham takes the podium and slowly lifts his baton. With the down stroke, he leads the performers through a seemingly effortless musical journey that enchants the audience and clearly brings Pham great joy.

A native of Honolulu’s “ethnic mixing pot,” Pham delights in sharing music with all people, whether that’s conducting the score of The Force Awakens at Spokane’s Fox Theater or teaching a » More …

Student-produced video celebrates Veterans Day

The WSU Veterans Memorial on the Pullman campus.With the usual in-person gatherings unable to take place this year, faculty, staff, and students across the WSU system celebrated Veterans Day a little differently. Student-veteran Chris Mann produced a special video to share the traditional wreath placement at the WSU Pullman Veterans Memorial and to honor and thank veterans throughout the WSU community.

Mann, a senior majoring in psychology and criminal justice who spent eight years on active duty in the Marines fighting in both Iraq and Afghanistan, is president of the » More …

War songs and lullabies behind origins of music

Horns in a marching band.Love is not the reason why we sing and create symphonies—at least not the primary reason, according to a new evolutionary theory of the origins of music.

“Sex and mating are a part of the story, but music seems to expand far beyond that particular domain,” said Ed Hagen, WSU evolutionary anthropologist and a co-author of a study recently published in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

“The sexual selection hypothesis doesn’t really explain » More …

Can’t stop the music

Joel Lininger wears a mask while playing piano.A combination of innovative technology and careful use of practice and performance spaces will enable Washington State University musicians to play together virtually this fall.

The University’s music groups, including jazz bands, choir, orchestra and of course, the Cougar Marching Band, all plan on recording and sharing virtual performances with the Cougar community in place of live concerts and halftime shows. » More …

Undergraduate fellowships support research, creative work

College of Arts and Sciences - Washington State University.The WSU Office of Undergraduate Research named 12 CAS students as recipients of four different fellowships for 2020-21. Each will receive funding to support of mentored research, scholarship and creative activities for the 2020-21 academic year.

“In addition to the long-established Auvil and Carson undergraduate research awards and the NSF-funded Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), we received additional support this year from an anonymous donor. This made it possible to support » More …

Meet the new faculty of fall 2020

College of Arts and Sciences - Washington State University.Meet the college’s newest faculty, whose disciplinary expertise—from origin of life and supermassive black holes to political psychology, ancient economics, and interdisciplinary art—enriches and expands the arts and sciences at WSU. » More …

Enhancing research, creative activity in arts and humanities

title textEleven of WSUs most innovative scholars and artists have been selected for faculty fellowships and mini-grants from the Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH) and the Office of Research.

Representing seven academic units and totaling nearly $78,000 in direct support, the funded projects include the creation of new international musical collaborations, investigations of interracial marriage in the historical American West, sustaining arts-based » More …

Flattening the curve with jazz

A screenshot of jazz musicians in a Zoom meeting.The WSU Jazz Big Band isn’t letting the global pandemic get in the way of delivering excellent big band entertainment. The award-winning group, directed by Regents Professor Greg Yasinitsky, put technology to the test to produce a video of the aptly titled composition, “Flatten That Curve.”

In addition to the quality of the music, what makes the performance fascinating to watch is » More …

Music student earns national honors

Timothy Schrader.Timothy Schrader, a first-year student majoring in tuba performance and music education,  placed second in the 2020 Music Teachers National Association Senior Brass Division Competition in April.

He was one of five finalists from a national pool of applicants for the online competition. Timothy performed an impressive program of » More …