History of the Department
In 1980, Xavier University purchased Edgecliff College, a small Liberal Arts College founded and administrated by the Religious Sisters of Mercy. This acquisition included all academic programs as well as the property and buildings. Historic Maxwellton Hall, a converted private home replete with a beautifully paneled ballroom, pipe organ, and a stunning overlook of the Ohio River, served as the Department of Music's home during the Edgecliff College years and for the first four years that the department was part of Xavier University.
Under the leadership of Dr. Helmut Roehrig, Professor Emeritus, Xavier University approved the Department of Music as a free standing and integral part of the College of Arts and Sciences. Under Roehrig's vision, the department developed and offered two undergraduate degrees: the Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance and the Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education. By the late 1980s, all academic departments on the Edgecliff campus were moved to the Xavier campus into Alumni Hall.
In 1998, Alumni Hall was renovated and renamed Edgecliff Hall under the leadership of the late Dr. Dona Buel, a concert pianist, who was department chair. At that time, it housed most of the Department of Music facilities, including a recital hall, rehearsal rooms, classrooms, and practice modules.
In 2008, all full-time faculty offices and several studios located in the Music Center, a 1920s home on Dana Avenue, were moved into Edgecliff Hall. For the first time in the 180-year history of the university, the Department of Music had a home that housed all of its components.
Since then the department has added two minors in music and increased course offerings that meet fine arts core requirements for all majors at the university. At present, over nine-hundred students per semester participate in music courses offered by the Department of Music.