student playing cello

Beyond the Classroom

Learning isn’t limited to the classroom at Mills. Take a look at some of the opportunities you can have while studying music.

Performances & Collaborations
  • X-Sound Festival—Graduating Mills music majors present their original compositions and sound art during this annual spring concert.
  • Thursday Night Special—This biweekly, student-run, cross-disciplinary performance event fosters experimentation, creative collaboration, and community among undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Campus Ensembles—Renowned Mills faculty lead groups of students in practicing and performing early music, chamber music, contemporary music, improvisation, jazz vocals, percussion pieces, African drumming, and gamelan.
  • Composers-in-Residence—Each year, guest artists are invited to campus to involve students in performing concerts of their work, building instruments and installations, and more.
  • Off-Campus Concerts—Discover the San Francisco Bay Area’s myriad venues for new music, including the Luggage Store Gallery, Meridian Gallery, Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley Arts Festival, and Garden of Memory Walk. Mills students, alumnae and faculty frequently perform in these venues.  
Mills College X-Sound Music Festival

Concert Series & Sound Art
  • Mills Music Now—This fall-through-spring concert series in Littlefield Concert Hall features contemporary composers and performers from around the world as well as Mills’ own faculty and campus ensembles.
  • Songlines—The Music Department brings composers, musicologists, instrumentalists, and others to campus for this series of experimental music talks and informal performances.
  • Signal Flow—Representing the cutting edge of contemporary music practices, graduating MA and MFA music students present their culminating work at this annual four-day event.

Access to Unique Facilities & Equipment

As a Mills music student, you have round-the-clock access to a wealth of facilities and unique equipment, including:

  • The 450-seat Littlefield Concert Hall in our historic Music Building
  • Individual practice rooms
  • Greek Theatre

The Music Building also contains the Center for Contemporary Music (CCM), which encourages interdisciplinary collaboration, hands-on engineering, and aesthetic risk. Among other resources, it offers:

  • Instrument-building workshop to create your own circuits and synthesizers
  • Studios for recording, editing, rehearsing, and experimenting with computer and electronic music
  • High-quality mics, an analog mixing console, tape and digital recorders, Mac Pro systems with programming and editing software, and other sophisticated equipment
  • An array of new and historic synthesizers, including the pioneering Buchla 100 built in 1963
What Can I Do with a Music Degree from Mills?

Graduates of our Music Program include distinguished composer Elinor Armer, Latin jazz band leader Rebeca Mauleón, film composer Willow Williamson, video/sound artist Betsey Biggs, and guitarist Ava Mendoza. In addition to working as independent composers, performers, and artists, our alumnae pursue careers in business, education, law, media, technology, and the music industry. Recent graduates have used skills gained at Mills in critical analysis, creative thinking, collaboration, and communication to succeed in such positions as:

Vice President, Commercial Credit
East River Bank

Musical Director and Singer
Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble

Public Information Officer
Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Operations Analyst
O’Reilly Media

Web Marketing Manager

Wealth Associate
Trilogy Financial Services

Attorney Advisor
US Copyright Office

International Contemporary Ensemble

Artistic Director
Marin Girls Chorus

Content Specialist
Nuance Communication

Program Director
Seattle Music Partners

Assistant Professor of Music
Tufts University

Assistant Professor of Music
University of New Haven