Music program goes online


By Chris Perri
October 17, 2023

The music wing is located on the second floor of the Widener Center. Photo by Chris Perri.
The music wing is located on the second floor of the Widener Center. Photo by Chris Perri.

The 2023-24 school year brought major changes to Cabrini’s music program. The program lost enrollment, and some courses have moved to an online asynchronous modality.

The enrollment decline left a significant impact on the program. “The biggest change is the population of students and overall student engagement,” said professor Jeanne Komp, chair of the visual and performing arts department. “I think they go hand in hand. When there are less students, students are less engaged.” 

The program’s performing arts showcase, held annually to give students a chance to show off their

The music program also offers private lessons. Photo via Cabrini Flickr.

skills, will likely be cancelled. “I don’t believe it’s going to happen because we don’t have that many students participating. Lessons and chorus have very low enrollment because our student population is lower,” Komp said. “I don’t feel that it’s going to be a viable production to put on.” 

The program retained one full-time faculty member, Dr. Stephen Grieco, an associate professor of music. Professor Jason Hermann works on campus two days a week for several hours. 

Moving online

All of Grieco’s classes were moved only shortly before the school year began. “It was a very late decision, but we had to move all of [Grieco’s] classes online,” Komp said. “It had nothing to do with the enrollment of students.” 

According to Isaiah Reed, Grieco sent out an email announcing the change in course modality on Aug. 25, three days before the beginning of the semester. 

However, there are still music courses listed as being held in-person this semester. According to the Cabrini student portal, Concert Ensemble and Jazz and Its Heritage, both taught by Hermann, are shown with assigned meeting times and locations. University Chorus, taught by professor Perry Brisbon, is also listed as being in-person. 

The performing arts showcase was held in the Widener Lecture Hall. Photo by Chris Perri.

From the spring to fall semesters of 2023, enrollment in University Chorus fell from eight students to just two, according to the Cabrini Term Master Schedule. Jazz and Its Heritage has only five students out of the 30 available spots.

Even with the changes students and faculty are experiencing, next semester may bring a return to normalcy. Music classes offered in the spring are planned to be held entirely in-person.  “We’re streamlining and just running the necessities. We’re not going to be running extra electives,” Komp said. “We’re focusing on having all classes in-person next semester. We know the change in modality was not an ideal situation for students, so we’re making an effort to have those classes in-person.” 

The student perspective

Reed said he feels that there is no longer a sense of connection between students within the program. “Even though there weren’t many music students, there were at least classes. You still met people who had the same goals, but now it’s all online,” he said. “The opportunity to meet people who made music like yours was greater last year, because of the fact that there were in-person classes. It doesn’t really feel like there are people making music on campus.” 

Sara Abbate, a junior music industry major said, “You can definitely tell there’s less people here, but I think people are trying to make [the year] as normal as possible.” 

“I do think it’s a little weird. I get that it’s the last year and everything, but I think it’s weird to just make all your classes online,” Reed said. “At first I was mad about it, but I’m not anymore. But I did think it was weird and I didn’t appreciate that.” 


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Chris Perri

My name is Chris Perri, and I'm a sophomore digital communications and social media major from Havertown, PA. This is my first year working on the Loquitur, and I look forward to learning how to report accurately and effectively, as well as working with and learning from the editors and photographers. My main interests within reporting are sports, current events, and local news. After college, I hope to pursue a career in journalism or somewhere in the social media industry. I'm hoping to possibly intern in the field of social media marketing, which is a specific interest of mine. Outside of school, I'm passionate about listening to and writing music. I've played the guitar since 2016, and spent time in a band from 2017-2020. I also hope to get into photography and videography, which I took an interest in after taking a basic photography class in high school, as well as video production here at Cabrini.

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