Information for New Students

FAQ for students interested in the A.S. in Music Degree Program:

  1. Do I need to audition to become a music major at QCC?

No. Our program is open to all students. However, the music department does administer both a Basic Musicianship Aptitude Test (BMAT) and the Music Theory Placement Exam (MTPE) to better advise and place students in the appropriate studio and theory class level. 

  1. When are these ‘placement’ sessions offered?

Both the BMAT and MTPE are offered together on the following days only:

  • March 27, 2024, Wednesday 12:30-2:00 PM, Room H 144
  • April 17, 2024, Wednesday 12:30 – 2:00 PM, Room H 144
  • May 15, 2024, from 4:00-6:00 PM, Room H 144
  1. Who should take the BMAT and the MTPE?

Any student wishing to pursue the A.S. in Music Degree Program is required to attend one of the above placement session dates. Please come to the March 27 session if you wish to take advantage of early registration.

  1. What is expected of me for the BMAT and the MTPE?

First off, do not stress or worry about taking either the BMAT or MTPE. This is just a chance for the music department to observe your level of theory knowledge and your musical skills. You may have extensive and well-developed set of musical skills, or you may feel like you are a beginner. Many of our student begin the program without reading music. This is fine, but we need to know that.

During the session, you will be given a quick preliminary questionnaire and theory assessment to see if you have any prior music theory knowledge, including basic note reading skills. If you do, you will be given the more extensive Music Theory Placement Exam (MTPE) to see how far your music theory knowledge goes.

After this, you will be given a quick assessment of your basic musical aptitude (BMAT). This includes seeing if your musical ear can match pitch, if you have a basic sense of rhythm, and if you have a sense of musical phrase and gesture. The BMAT also gives you a chance to show us, the music faculty, your skill on an instrument of your choice.

You can sing for us or play something on an instrument you feel best represents your musical abilities, whether it be piano, guitar (acoustic or electric), drums, violin, trumpet, or anything you wish. We will provide a piano, drum set, mallet instrument such as a marimba, and an amplifier for electric guitar or bass. Any other instrument is your responsibility to bring.

You can play for us for just a minute, or if you have more to show, we can allow more time. If you feel you are an advanced student on an instrument, we would like you to perform two contrasting works to show us your stylistic diversity.

If you do not yet play an instrument, that is fine too. We would assess you to see if either piano, percussion or voice is the best instrument to have you start on.

When it is all done, you will receive a combined score on both the BMAT and MTPE representing the current level of your musical skills. Based on these results, an advisement sheet will be prepared by the department and given to you that can assist you and your advisor in choosing the best set of music courses to take given your current abilities.

back to top

Programs of Study

Music (A.S. Degree Program)

For students interested in completing an Associate's Degree in Music and for transferring to a Bachelor's degree program in Music.

Music Production (A.A.S. Degree Program)

For students interested in Sound Engineering and Digital Music Technology.

Classes are also open to community members and learners of all musical backgrounds and levels of experience, who are not enrolled in degree programs.


back to top


Pop Choir • Queensborough Chorus • Queens Symphonic Band • Jazz Ensemble • Percussion Ensemble • Chamber Music and Piano Ensembles • Instrumental and Vocal Ensemble • Periodic musical theatre collaborations with the Department of Speech, Communication, and Theater Arts

back to top


Two fully equipped recording studios featuring a Solid State Logic (SSL) mixing board • ATMOS 3D sound lab • 3 state-of-the art computer labs • Classrooms equipped with electronic keyboards • Two lecture halls with grand pianos • A large rehearsal room • Several performance spaces (including access to a newly renovated 875-seat theater) • Significant collection of music books and scores at the Kurt Schmeller Library

back to top

Faculty & Staff

Dr. Bjorn Berkhout, Professor and Chairperson (composition/theory, cello)

Prof. Robert Anderson, Lecturer (music production)

Prof. Svjetlana Bukvich, Assistant Professor (music production/technology)

Dr. Joanne Chang, Professor (piano, chamber music)

Dr. Steven Dahlke, Professor (choral and vocal music, sight-singing and ear-training)

Prof. Ernie Jackson, Lecturer (music production)

Dr. Mirna Lekic, Associate Professor (piano, chamber music)

Dr. Scott Litroff, Associate Professor (woodwinds, jazz)

Dr. Neeraj Mehta, Associate Professor (percussion, world music)

Dr. Kip Montgomery, Associate Professor (music history/theory)

Distinguished Adjunct Faculty

Ronaldo Carter, Senior College Laboratory Technician
Silvia Loza, Office Assistant

Professors Emeriti: Raoul Camus, Martin Canellakis, Myron Rosenblum, R. John Specht

back to top

Scholarships & Awards

The following scholarships are available to current students at the recommendation of faculty:

The Julius Pomann Memorial Award • The Matthew Barbiere Memorial Music Scholarship Award • The Kurzweil Memorial Scholarship Award • The Tatyana Shvartsblat Memorial Scholarship Award • The Abbey Passariello Endowed Music Scholarship

back to top

Transfer Information for Graduates

The Music Department prepares students for continuation of their music studies at a four-year institution of higher learning by providing a solid foundation in the areas of musicianship, performance, and music production. Requirements for baccalaureate programs vary by institution and discipline. Students should be prepared to take placement exams in music theory, ear training, and piano skills (including sight-reading), and to audition on their primary instrument/voice. Below are links to application/audition requirements of four-year programs frequently chosen by our graduates:


Bachelor of Arts in Music

Queens College, CUNY

Hunter College, CUNY

Brooklyn College, CUNY

City College, CUNY

Stony Brook University, SUNY

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Music in Music Education

Queens College, CUNY

Brooklyn College, CUNY

Hunter College, CUNY

New York University

Bachelor of Music in Performance/Composition

Queens College, CUNY

Brooklyn College, CUNY

New York University

Music Production

Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Technology programs in Audio/Music Technology

Sonic Arts Center, City College, CUNY

New York City College of Technology, CUNY

New York University

back to top


Professor Ernie Jackson

Jackson is an expert on 19th-century African-American guitarist Justin Holland. Hear Jackson play and discuss the music of Holland for American Public Media.


Dr. Mirna Lekic

In March 2024, Dr. Mirna Lekić and Dr. André Brégégère were the featured guest artists at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago where they presented Mirage, a multimedia project combining live piano performance and live video projection. Mirage, which was released in 2023 as a solo piano album, explores sonic illusions, allusions, and transformations that celebrate the piano’s unique capability to imitate, echo and morph into other instruments. Critics have lauded the album as "a captivating listen that truly celebrates the versatility of the piano" with "a wealth of talent and imagination".

Mirage solo recording


Pianist Mirna Lekić regularly collaborates with master shadow puppeteers Caroline and Suzanne Borderies and narrator David McCorkle on unique productions that fuse live piano music and shadow puppetry. In December 2023, they showcased a new adaptation of The Nutcracker and an original production of The Tale of the Radiant Princess at the Charles B. Wang Center in Stony Brook. Commissioned by the Wang Center, the program earned acclaim from the Long Island Press which described it as "spellbinding and captivating". 

back to top

Upcoming Events -- free admission!



Guest Artist Nic Cowles: freelance composer, producer, arranger, audio engineer and multi instrumentalist

Date and Time: Wednesday, April 10th 12:10 PM

Location: QPAC

Nic Cowles, freelance composer, producer, arranger, audio engineer and multi instrumentalist, will present a lecture/performance and Q & A.



Date and Time: Thursday, April 18th 7:00 PM

Location: QPAC

an evening of electroacoustic works by QCC faculty member Svjetlana Bukvich
ETHEL, string quartet - Corin Lee and Lavinia Pavlish, violin, Ralph Farris, viola, Dorothy Lawson, cello
Susan Aquila, electric violin-viper
Michiyo Suzuki, clarinet
Philip Hamilton, voice
Dan Cooper, electric bass guitar
Svjetlana Bukvich, synthesizers and voice

* video featuring Carolyn Dorfman Dance and the Sarajevo National Ballet 


Student Performance Convocation II

Location: H 144

Date and Time: Wednesday, May 8th 12:30 PM

Music department students will perform solo and chamber works.


QCC Ensembles Showcase I: Queensborough Chorus & Instrumental Vocal Ensemble

Date and Time: Wednesday, May 15th 6:30 PM

Location: QPAC

The Queensborough Chorus and QCC Instrumental Vocal Ensemble will perform works under the direction of Dr. Steven Dahlke and Dr. Joanne Chang.

QCC Ensembles Showcase II: Jazz Ensemble & Percussion Ensemble

Date and Time: Thursday, May 16th 7:00 PM

Location: QPAC

The QCC Jazz and Percussion Ensembles perform under the direction of Dr. Scott Litroff and Dr. Neeraj Mehta.

back to top

Campus Cultural Centers

Kupferberg Holocaust Center exterior lit up at nightOpens in a new window
Kupferberg Holocaust Center Opens in a new window

The KHC uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

Russian Ballet performing at the Queensborough Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window
QPAC: Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

Queensborough Art Gallery exterior in the afternoonOpens in a new window
QCC Art Gallery

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.