The origin of The University of Texas at Tyler Department of Music began with the opening of Tyler State College (TSC) in 1973. Roby Kenneth Muckelroy served as Acting Chairman and Assistant Professor of Music. The department objective was "to give the student an appreciation of the role of music in our everyday lives, as well as an opportunity to develop techniques of creative expression in music," with a curriculum that emphasized music education. With five classes listed in the 1974-1975 course catalog, TSC offered a Bachelor of Arts and minor in music and teaching certification with a music specialization. Beginning with the 1975-1976 course catalog undergraduate class offerings were expanded and graduate music education courses were offered as components of the Master of Education degree. The Bachelor of Arts degree was modified to include an emphasis in instrumental or voice performance, and ensemble and recital performance requirements were added for music majors. Tyler State College became Texas Eastern University (TEU) in 1976 and with this change the Department of Music added the Master of Interdisciplinary Studies degree with a music specialization. In 1979 TEU added the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music degree. TEU became a part of the University of Texas System in 1979, changing its name to The University of Texas at Tyler. In 1988 the focus of Department of Music curriculum changed to "stress the development of sound functional musicianship and broad background in liberal arts." In 1994 Music Theory and Music History specializations were added to the Bachelor of Arts degree, and in 1996 the Bachelor of Music degree was instituted with emphases in performance, instrumental music education, vocal music education, piano pedagogy, and composition. Today the Department of Music offers over a hundred different courses meant to "prepare music majors for careers and/or advanced study in any of a number of music specializations."
Performances by Department of Music faculty and students have taken place in a variety of locations. The first Tyler State College student recital was held in the Women's Building auditorium on April 25, 1975. After moving to the current campus location performances were held in the University Center and the Business Administration Building. Beginning in 2001 performances were held in the R. Don Cowan Fine & Performing Arts Center Vaughn Auditorium and Braithwaite Recital Hall where they continue to be held today. Additionally, Concert Chorale, Patriot Singers, and other performances have been held at a variety of area churches.
Tyler State College. Tyler State College Catalog 1974-1975. Texas: Tyler State College, 1974.
The University of Texas at Tyler. The University of Texas at Tyler 1988-1990 Catalog. Texas: The University of Texas at Tyler, 1988.
The University of Texas at Tyler. The University of Texas at Tyler 2014-2015 Catalog. Texas: The University of Texas at Tyler, 2014.