Story by Matthew Wilson
Photos by Emily Huynh
Music is in the air at The University of Alabama. As well as being the site for an unstoppable sports program and a center for academic excellence, Alabama boasts a dedicated, well-performing Music Department that features many guest artists and performances over the course of a typical year. For Ben Carrasquillo, a junior majoring in Trombone Performance, music runs in the family. His sister previously attended The University of Alabama as a Music major and saxophone player. Carrasquillo chose to attend Alabama because the Music Department was historically very competitive.
“In terms of the entire school, I was interested in the Jazz band. I was interested in the wind ensemble,” Carrasquillo said. “We have an orchestra that’s getting better and better every year. We just got a new director for that. It is a well-rounded music program.”
Within the Music Department, there are a variety of programs and majors for students to develop their own paths and futures. One of the faces of the Music Department is The Million Dollar Band that performs in front of thousands of people at football games and other events. Under Doctor Whitaker, the Trombone Chair hosts several concerts a year with guest artists from around the country.
As for after college, there are several job possibilities for those involved in the Music Department. According to Carrasquillo, military bands post openings every few years, and there are several commercial job prospects especially in the Los Angeles area. For Jimmy Johnson, a senior majoring in Music Education, there are several possibilities to teach others about music.
According to Johnson, Law and Medical schools love to see students who have dabbled in a musical background.
“My friends have used the General Music major for their medical track, and Law schools actually love to see music students coming in. It’s actually a huge bonus for them,” Johnson said.
For Carrasquillo, the Music Department is unique in that it allows people to build a brotherhood through interactions and simply playing music with each other.