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Crane School of Music

Listen. Create. Inspire.

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is SUNY’s only All-Steinway institution and in 2021 was named one of only ten Yamaha Institution of Excellence programs nationally.

The Crane School of Music offers rigorous undergraduate and graduate programs with a strong emphasis on performance and practice, in a tightknit atmosphere. You’ll benefit from working closely with our distinguished and dedicated full-time faculty artists, teachers and scholars.

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A Longstanding Tradition

A holiday tradition that began 100 years ago, the Candlelight Concert continues to be a time-honored celebration of music and the holiday season at Crane. 

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Finding Her Way Home

Crane alumna Emily Wiggett ’14 brings skill and passion to the Danville School music program, earning a solid place in the hearts of students and the community.

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A Universe of Sound

Raquel Acevedo Klein ’16, graduate of The Crane School of Music, taps creative wells ranging from the cosmic to the familial to constantly push her creative frontiers, bringing the five senses together in new and compelling works that are catching widespread attention.

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Tuned for Success

Hustling past a rack of ukuleles and a row of cymbals, Holland Goddard '25 restocks music books at Brick & Mortar Music in downtown Potsdam. As customers enter the store, walking past a beautifully exposed brick wall featuring a mix of acoustic and electric guitars, she greets them with a smile, answers questions, and restrings instruments at the beloved local music shop. The SUNY Potsdam junior, who is pursuing a double major in music business and music performance at Crane, is gaining valuable real-world experience this semester at the community-centric music store, owned and operated by SUNY Potsdam alumni Jeremy '99 and Allison Carney '99.

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Aligning Music and Movement

To address the pain and discomfort that musicians often deal with from long hours of performance, Assistant Professor Tracy Lipke-Perry has responded with a new research project to analyze the posture and ergonomics of more than 20 musicians in a cutting-edge motion capture study at The Crane School of Music.

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Music Educator Turned TikTok Influencer

With nearly 65,000 followers on TikTok, Laura Beth Wendelin ’17 & ’19—a self-proclaimed orchestra dork teacher—has become a surprise influencer overnight, sharing witty videos about instrument repair and providing advice to other teachers in the field as she launches her career as an elementary school music teacher. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s degree in music education from Crane, Wendelin landed a job as an orchestra director at a middle school in eastern Connecticut, now inspiring students in the classroom and music teachers and students around the world through her social media presence.

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Putting it All Together

Elira Mavraj ’22 & ’24 and a dozen other graduate students, many of whom are already working as music teachers around the state, are mastering technical instrument repair skills this summer at Crane. Taught by Musical Instrument Technician Miles DeCastro, the hands-on class offers students a unique opportunity to learn how to fix everything from flutes and clarinets to trumpets and trombones—invaluable knowledge to help them launch their careers as elementary, middle and high school music teachers.

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A Musical Feast

After getting his degree in music education from Crane, Kyle Peters ’15 has continued to excel as a composer, educator and professional percussionist. He now holds the position of percussion instructor at the Eastman Community Music School where he leads a studio of 45 students, while staying sharp in his free time as a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Every summer he returns to SUNY Potsdam as a leader and instructor at Crane Youth Music.

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The Shape of Music

Fifty years of Crane Youth Music has left a lasting imprint on the lives of many young musicians. From the first note to the latest camp, this enduring symbol of passion and purpose has shaped countless futures. Led by the talented faculty and alumni educators, campers have learned valued skills and forged lifelong friendships—many choosing to return to Crane to pursue their undergraduate degrees after high school.

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Compositions for Nature

When the Wild Center was looking for a new music installation for their Forest Music Trail, they turned to three students at the Crane School of Music. Katherine McAuliffe ’23, Cole Fortier ’23, and Amanda Rizzo ’22 were commissioned by the center to create unique, original music, which is now being amplified through a series of 24 speakers along the peaceful trail, to enhance the experience of visitors to the Adirondack museum.

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Windows to the World

With their woodwinds in hand, a quintet of Crane students recently traveled to New York City with Assistant Professor Dr. Brian Dunbar to connect with Crane alumni, meet with prospective music students interested in pursuing a degree at SUNY Potsdam, and attended a concert by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra— a trip that put them at the center of an arc linking accomplished alumni to students of the present and future.

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