History of Music at UCD 1914-2019

Wolfgang Marx

When University College Dublin became a constituent college of the newly founded National University of Ireland (NUI) in 1908, it did not immediately establish taught programmes in Music or appoint a professor for the subject. In that respect, University College Cork stole a march on UCD as it promoted its (until then) lecturer Frederick St. John Lacy (1862-1935) to the position of Chair of Music in 1908. In 1910 Lacy was appointed examiner for degrees in Music across the entire NUI, including UCD. While music was not taught at UCD, an entry in the minutes of the NUI Senate shows that examinations were taken on the basis of tuition received elsewhere. On 27 February 1913, the Senate determined the expected level students had to have reached in first year: “In the year 1913, students of the College may present themselves for the First University Examination in Music on the Course and Programme of the First University Examination in Music for Royal University Students.”

      Other musical activities in UCD’s earliest years can be deduced from payments; on 15 March 1913, the Academic Council approved a payment of £10 to a Miss O’Brien “in connection with the Evening Musical lectures”; sadly, the topics of those lectures are not mentioned.

      The establishment of the first positions in Music and ultimately a department dedicated to this subject goes back to an initiative of the Dublin Corporation (which in turn reacted to a suggestion on the part of UCD). At its meeting on 6 February 1912, Dublin City Council’s Scholarships’ Committee discussed establishing a number of Scholarships at UCD. To facilitate this debate, UCD’s first President Denis J. Coffey had provided a report outlining a possible distribution and evaluation of scholarships. At its end, he indicated that if the after the implementation of this scheme there would still be money available, the Corporation might consider funding three special lectureships in Chemistry, Commercial Law and Engineering (with special reference to Electrical Engineering) which would “relate to departments in which the city is specially interested. The College, too, aims at a great development of the Faculties of Science and Commerce.” He proposed a remuneration of £150 per position (or £450 in total). The Committee’s subsequent debate resulted in the following recommendation to the City Council:

(2) That lectureships in I. Irish Music and II. Municipal History: the origin and growth of Municipalities, with special reference to Ireland, be founded for three years at £100 per annum each; and,
(3) That a Committee consisting of representatives of the Corporation, University College, and the National University be formed to appoint the Lecturers.

It is interesting to note that the university had pushed for an expansion mainly in the area of sciences, yet the Committee (and ultimately the Council) instead chose to fund lectureships in the humanities. These lectureships should be endowed with £100 each and thus be cheaper than Coffey’s three positions à £150. At a later meeting in May, the Scholarships’ Committee proposed

that the following outlines as to the necessary qualifications for Lectureship […] in Irish Music […] be adopted:

A. IRISH MUSIC

(i) A general knowledge of the Theory and Art and Practice of Music;

(ii) Irish Music: historical account:

(a) The earliest forms, its growth, characteristics, and present state of development;
(b) Irish Musical Instruments: historical account; ancient, medieval, and modern instruments;
(c) The essential characteristics of Irish musical forms;
(d) A special study of the development of Irish Music in the 19th

It is expected that the Professor, in addition to general musical accomplishments, should have a practical acquaintance with the Harp, or, at least, one distinctively Irish instrument.

      So this really was meant to be a position dedicated to traditional music, rather than to art music in Ireland. Dublin City Council endorsed all these recommendations at its meeting on 31 December 2012 and passed them on to UCD. At its meeting on 25 February 2013, UCD’s Governing Body (the predecessor of today’s Governing Authority) reacted to this as follows:

Proposed Professorship of Music

In view of the Dublin Corporation Professorship of Music, the Governing Body had under consideration the proposal to establish a Professorship of Music in the College endowment, and the following resolution was proposed by Professor Donovan and seconded by Professor MacNeil:

‘That a Professorship of Music with a stipend of one hundred pounds per annum be established in the College, and the Draft Statute III, be amended so as to include this additional Professorship.’ The resolution was passed.

      From this it is clear that the Chair of Music was created in reaction to the Corporation’s initiative; it appears almost as if the Corporation “shamed” UCD into establishing its own Professorship (which – as indicated by its salary of £100 which matched that for what had now become a Professorship of Irish Music – would be a 33% part-time position). The required change of the Draft Statute caused further delay, yet eventually both positions were advertised, resulting in eight applications for the Professorship of Irish Music and seven for the Professorship of Music:

Applicants 1914

Professorship of Irish Music

Professorship of Music
Mr. O’Brien Butler The Rev. Heinrich Bewerunge
Mr. W.H. Grattan Flood, Mus.D. Madame Bonfils
Mr. P. J. Griffith Mr. C. H. Kitson, M.A., Mus.D.
Mr. Carl G. Hardebeck Mr. Robert O’Dwyer
Mr. Robert O'Dwyer
Miss Annie W. Patterson, B.A., Mus.D.
Mr. Geoffrey Molyneaux Palmer Mr. Brendan J. Rogers, I.S.M.
Miss Annie W. Patterson, B.A., Mus.D. Mr. J. B. Van Craen
Mr. Brendan J. Rogers, I.S.M.  

      These applicants had to face several ballots at ever-higher levels of UCD and the NUI, of which most represented mere recommendations while only the last one really mattered. To start with the Professorship of Music, the Academic Council’s “final vote” (the only recorded one) endorsed O’Dwyer (11 votes) with Kitson (7) and Bewerunge (7) trailing him; despite not receiving any votes, Brendan Rogers’s name was also forwarded to the GB for consideration. In a “preliminary voting”, the GB also endorsed O’Dwyer (8 votes), with Kitson (7) and Bewerunge (7) hard on his heels, followed by Bonfils (2) and Patterson (1). The NUI Senate held a “first vote” in which each member voted for two applicants. Here O’Dwyer won again with 21 votes, ahead of Bewerunge (17) and Kitson (16). The second and final vote between the two highest scorers of the first round (now each Senator had only one vote) saw Bewerunge coming out on top with 14 votes against O’Dwyer’s 13.

      It is notable that of the five ballots reported here O’Dwyer won the first four – in part by a large margin – while only losing the final one at NUI level by a single vote. Thus it seems safe to conclude that UCD did not want Bewerunge as its first Professor of Music; only at NUI level where UCD representatives did not have a majority was O’Dwyer’s lead overturned by the slightest of margins.

      The preferences for the Professorship of Irish Music are equally interesting. The Academic Council recommended Hardebeck, O’Dwyer and Rogers for consideration (no voting patterns are recorded) while the Dublin Corporation (which as the funding institution also had a say in this process) recommended Hardebeck, O’Dwyer and Griffith. The GB’s own vote endorsed Hardebeck (16 votes) ahead of O’Dwyer (6) and Grattan Flood (1).

      The NUI Senate’s first vote saw O’Dwyer (20 votes) coming out on top, with Hardebeck (19) following in second place and Grattan Flood (13) ranked third. The second vote resembled that for the Professorship of Music as O’Dwyer (14) edged out Hardebeck (13) by a single vote. Again, UCD’s own preference (Hardebeck) had been overturned at NUI level – maybe the Professorship of Irish Music was by some regarded as a consolation price for Robert O’Dwyer who had just lost out on the Professorship of Music (which had been decided earlier during the same meeting). The NUI Senate then appointed Bewerunge and O’Dwyer to their respective positions with effect from 27 February 1914; this date can be regarded as the official birthday of Music at UCD.

      Heinrich Bewerunge was a German priest who had been Professor of Church Chant and Organ at St Patrick’s College Maynooth since 1888. He had extensive plans for the development of Music in UCD, yet events conspired against their implementation: having taught just one term in spring 1914 he travelled to Germany over the summer and was there surprised by the outbreak of the First World War which made his return to Ireland impossible until 1919. UCD appointed Robert O’Dwyer as acting Professor of Music; he simultaneously retained his position as Professor of Irish Music. The latter position was temporary as its funding basis had to be confirmed and extended by the Dublin Corporation in regular intervals. However, the Corporation did this regularly until O’Dwyer retired from this Professorship (which has been dormant ever since) in 1938.

      Meanwhile UCD tried to solve the crisis caused by the absence of its first Chair of Music. There was some public interest in this matter; on 12th June 1915 The Irish Times published a letter in which one D. McDonald criticised that “at a crisis like the present” an Irish university was “paying a German alien a salary.” However, declaring a Professorship vacant was no easy matter, requiring the involvement of many different institutions and bodies including the Attorney General for Ireland, so that UCD’s Governing Body found itself in a position to formally declare the Chair vacant only on 26 September 1915. Now the position could be advertised again; this time only three people applied for it. The AC minutes record the first ballot as follows.

The Academic Council consider that the tree applicants of this chair: C.H. Kitson, M.A., Mus. D, Robert O’Dwyer and Irene O’Hanlon, B.Mus are all qualified for the position.

A vote was taken in the order of preference in which the candidates were held. The result of this voting was as follows:

KITSON,              21 votes

O’ DWYER          11 votes

O’ HANLON         1 vote

      Kitson and O’Dwyer had already applied for the Chair in 1914 while O’Dwyer had been acting Professor of Music during Bewerunge’s absence alongside his duties as Professor of Irish Music. The GB voted in a similar way: the results of its first vote were Kitson (14), O’Dwyer (11) and O’Hanlon (1), its second vote between the two highest-ranking candidates ended Kitson (14) and O’Dwyer (12). The NUI Senate conducted its decisive vote as follows.

It was proposed by Dr. Coffey, and seconded by Dr. Senier, that Dr. C. H. Kitson should be appointed Professor of Music in University College, Dublin.

It was proposed by Miss O’Farrelly that Professor O’Dwyer should be appointed Professor of Music in University College, Dublin.

The Vice-Chancellor decided that there was no necessity to move and second any of the names sent up by the Governing Bodies.

The Vice-Chancellor elicited that no member desired to vote for Miss O’Hanlon, and accordingly directed that a vote should be taken as between Dr. Kitson and Professor O’Dwyer.

This was done with the following result:

Professorship of Music, University College, Dublin

For Dr. Kitson                                               19

For Professor O’Dwyer                                     7

Four members did not vote.

The Vice-Chancellor accordingly declared Dr. H. C. Kitson elected as Professor of Music, University College, Dublin, the appointment to date from November 1st, 1916.

      Kitson had been organist of Christ Church Cathedral since 1913; so far he has been the only Protestant to occupy the Chair of Music in UCD. During his term in UCD, he also took up a Professorship in Theory at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in 1918. In 1920, Kitson decided to accept the Professorship of Music at Trinity College Dublin. This move must have been a relatively late and surprising one as indicated by the minutes of UCD’s Governing Body from 20 July 1920 (well into the summer break, leaving little time to find a replacement before the beginning of the next academic year):

With reference to the resignation of the Professor of Music Dr. C.H. Kitson and his offer to continue with partial attendance for one year further, the Academic Council recommended that Professor Kitson should continue to hold the Professorship for session 1920-21, giving his courses in Trinity Term, with the appointment of an Assistant for tutorial work in Michaelmas and Hilary Terms.

      As the Professorship of Music in Trinity College Dublin was just becoming a non-residential one, Kitson moved to London to work at the Royal College of Music. This is the reason that all his teaching in 1920/21 was meant to be concentrated in one term. However, this arrangement was not enacted as the Governing Body decided in December to terminate Kitson’s contract by the end of the year. It was April until the process to find his replacement reached the voting stage. This time there were four applications:

  • The Rev. Heinrich Bewerunge
  • John F. Larchet, Mus.D.
  • Annie Patterson, B.A. D.Mus.
  • Brendan J. Rogers

      Three of these applicants we already known from previous appointment processes. Heinrich Bewerunge had returned to his old professorship in Maynooth after the war; Patterson and Rogers had already applied for the position in 1914. However, it turned out that neither of the repeat candidates stood a chance. UCD’s Faculty of Arts (whose vote is recorded for the first time on this occasion) favoured Larchet (16 votes) over Bewerunge (1); similarly the Academic Council saw Larchet (21) well ahead of Bewerunge (1). The Governing Body followed these recommendations in both of its votes (first vote: Larchet 21, Patterson 1, Bewerunge 1; second vote: Larchet 19, Patterson 1, Rogers 1). It appears that Larchet was then unanimously elected by the NUI Senate.

      During the early years of his tenure, John F. Larchet – a noted composer – complemented his 33% position in UCD with lecturing at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and being music director at the Abbey Theatre. In Earlsfort Terrace, he complemented the existing bachelor degree programmes in music with two successful, long-running additional programmes, namely the “Diploma in Music Teaching” (initially called “Certificate for Teaching of Ear Training”; featuring in the UCD Calendar from 1931-77) and the “Certificate for Organ Music” (1932-73). The latter is introduced on 4 February 1932 in the minutes of the Academic Council as follows.

The object of this course is to provide for the Training of Choirmasters and Organists in Catholic Churches.

The Course of Study is intended to educate Catholic Choirmasters and Organists in the ideals of the Church, as laid down in the “motu proprio” of Pope Pius X, and the Apostolic constitution of the present Pope.

It is assumed that those entering for the course already possess a certain degree of musical culture, would be able to show a reasonable standard of proficiency as Organists, have some knowledge of the Chant, and at least a theoretical knowledge equal to that required for the Senior Teaching Qualification.

Students had to sit exams on harmony, counterpoint and music history (which for them ended around 1750), face oral examinations including analysing a given piece, sing passages from the “Liber usualis”, demonstrate knowledge with regard to vocal technique and choir training, and finish with a practical exam at the organ (including old and modern repertoire, playing at sight, improvisation and transposition). The programme covered one academic year (later two years) and involved several priests and theologians teaching on aspects related to plain chant liturgy and liturgy; over the years the UCD Calendar mentions in this regard Rev. Michael L. Dempsey, Hubert Rooney, Rev. C. H. O’Callaghan, and Rev. Francis MacNamara. The Diploma in Music Teaching was a three-year programme, leading initially to a “Junior Qualification” which was followed by a “Senior Qualification”; several of the aforementioned theologians were involved in teaching this programme as well. In 1935, the regulations related to the award of a DMus feature for the first time in the UCD Calendar; they included the submission of either a four-movement symphony or a work for voices and full orchestra, as well as examinations in compositional techniques, orchestration and “critical and historical questions”.

      During the first decades of its existence, the Department was based in Earlsfort Terrace. Student numbers were very small (prior to 1945, often just one BMus student would graduate per year), and around 1940 the Department moved to 86 St Stephen’s Green (Newman House) where it stayed until moving to the Newman Building on the new Belfield campus in 1970. During the 1960s and 70s, student numbers began to grow, a development significantly increased in the 1990s and 2000s when the total number of first-year students (BMus and BA) would on occasion reach 125.

      Coinciding with Larchet’s 60th birthday in 1944, the Chair of Music was transformed into a full-time position. On 30 October 1945, the minutes of the Governing Body record the receipt of a letter from George D. Fottrell and Sons, executor of the will of John Count McCormack (who had died on 16 September), in which the “[b]equest of edition of Bach Gesellschaft (ca. 46 vols), Handel printed for Empress Frederic Association (ca. 64 vols), Denkmaler Deutscher Tonkunst (ca. 60 vols)” to UCD is announced (the volumes are now held in the UCD Library). McCormack had received an Honorary Doctorate from UCD in 1927; later Honorary Doctorates in Music would be awarded to Vincent O’Brien (1932), Arnold Bax (1947) and Sir John Barbirolli (1952), as well as to John F. Larchet himself and his wife Madeleine (1953). Much later, Alfred Brendel (2007) and Cecilia Bartoli (2010) would become the latest recipients of this honour.

      After Robert O’Dwyer’s retirement, Larchet (now representing the Music Department on his own) began to look for assistant lecturers to ease his teaching burden. In May 1943 the Academic Council minutes record for the first time the appointment of Margaret Piggott to teach courses on “Irish Folk Music” (for a remuneration of £50); she would continue doing so for many years to come. From 1950, Margaret M. Broderick is listed as “Assistant in Music” in the UCD Calendar (later she would feature as “lecturer”). From then on the number of permanent or long-time assistants and lecturers slowly began to rise; in 1957, Anthony Hughes is for the first time mentioned as an “Assistant”; after his elevation to Larchet’s successor Seóirse Bodley took over this position. While Larchet was UCD’s longest-serving Chair of Music (37 years), Bodley lectured in the School even longer, retiring after 39 years (from 1959 until his retirement in 1998; if one takes into account that he continued to teach courses on orchestration and electro-acoustic music until 2004, he even reaches a staggering 45 years – a record that will surely remain unsurpassed). In 1969 Gerard Gillen was to become a fourth staff member. Alongside these long-term members of staff, others names make fleeting appearances; in 1969/70 Kitty Eu Fadlu-Deen features as part-time lecturer (hailing from Singapore, she had just finished her BMus and now taught Formal Analysis; later she moved to Sierra Leone where she was director of a Music Academy in Freetown until her retirement). In 1970/71 her place in the UCD Calendar is occupied for one year by Jean-Jacques Hassold. During this period, Máire Egan-Buffet joined the staff for a UCD career that was to last 33 years and let her become the first female musicologist in Ireland to reach the rank of Associate Professor.

      When John F. Larchet retired in 1958 at the age of 74, there were only four candidates to succeed him (just like in 1921):

  • Anthony G. Hughes, D.Mus., F.R.I.A.M.
  • David J. Lumsden, Mus.B., M.A., F.R.C.O., F.R.I.A.M.
  • Lyndon J. Marguerie, D.Mus. (Durham)
  • James J. O’Reilly, D.Mus. (N.U.I.), Mus.D. (Dublin Univ.), F.R.I.A.M.

Of these four, Anthony Hughes had already been working at the Department as Assistant Lecturer since 1957 and had been groomed by Larchet as his successor. He won the faculty vote with 18 votes (ahead of O’Reilly (4), with no votes for the other two candidates). UCD’s other bodies voted in a similar way.

  • Academic Council vote: Hughes (43), O’Reilly (1), no votes for Lumsden and Marguerie.
  • Governing Body first vote: Hughes (15), O’Reilly (6), Lumsden (0), Marguerie (1)
  • Governing Body second vote: Hughes (16), O’Reilly (6), Lumsden (0), Marguerie (0)

The NUI Senate went along with this order in its single ballot (Hughes 28, O’Reilly 3, no votes for the other two candidates). Hughes was appointed with effect from 23 October 1958.

      While Larchet had been best known as a composer, Hughes was a first-rate pianist. Many of today’s finest musicians in Ireland studied and taught under him, including composers like Seóirse Bodley, Gerard Barry, Raymond Deane and Rhona Clarke or performers like Míceál O’Rourke, Gerald Gillen and Colman Pearce. Alongside these practicians, leading future musicologists and ethnomusicologists such as Patrick Devine, Thérèse Smith and Harry White pursued their studies as well. Hughes also supervised the first two PhD students in the Department’s history (Marian Deasy and Patrick Devine); so far, 21 more have completed their studies and another three will defend their dissertations shortly. In 1963, the MA programme in Music featured in the UCD Calendar for the first time. During the Hughes years, Seóirse Bodley established himself as one of Ireland’s leading composers. This had an impact on the curriculum as he introduced an optional Composition School for third- and fourth-year students who wished to specialise in composition (first listed in the UCD Calendar in 1977/78).

      Anthony Hughes retired in 1991, triggering the so far last appointment of a Chair of Music. This time, 41 applications for the position were received, of which seven were selected for an interview. After the assessors, the faculty, the Academic Council and the Governing Body had unanimously recommended the appointment of Harry White (no ballot results were recorded on this occasion), the NUI Senate appointed him as Chair of Music on 28 January 1993. He is only UCD’s fifth Chair of Music, a fact even more astonishing if one takes into account the that first two covered only six of the one-hundred years between them.

      White set out to strengthen the academic study of music, making the Department a centre of musicological and ethnomusicological research in Ireland. As the number of students increased, staff numbers grew as well – from four academic full-time positions in 1993 to eight in 2014 (including five historical musicologists, two ethnomusicologists and two performance lecturers of whom on is currently on secondment). These numbers are still not large even in a national context, yet in terms of national and international impact Music at UCD clearly punches above its weight. In 2002, the former MA programme was converted into a Master in Musicology programme, still the only dedicated taught Master’s programme in Musicology in Ireland. Between 2001 and 2013, Julian Horton established a strong, well-structured curriculum strand in analysis and theory. In 2005, members of the just re-structured School of Music were in a position to launch five books at the same time. In 2005, a second position in ethnomusicology alongside the one held by Thérèse Smith since 1991 was created; initially held by Hwee-San Tan, it is occupied by Jaime Jones since 2008. In 2019 the School was successful in being awarded one of the first newly created Ad Astra Fellowships, (initially) five-year lectureships for promising young researchers. Dr Tomas McAuley will occupy this position from the academic year 2019-20. The School provided the inaugural Presidents/Chairpersons of both the Society for Musicology in Ireland (Harry White) and the Irish Committee of the International Council for Traditional Music (Thérèse Smith, with Jaime Jones taking over the role at a later stage). Two of the School’s former staff members have accepted Chairs of Music elsewhere (Robin Elliott in Toronto and Julian Horton in Durham) while several of its more recent graduates are also pursuing promising academic careers: Anne Hyland just accepted a permanent lectureship in Manchester while John Cunningham did the same in Bangor; David Larkin in Sidney and Helen Lawlor (née Lyons) in Dundalk also hold permanent lectureships. But among UCD’s Music graduates since 2000 are also composers like Peter Moran and Seán Clancy, as well as performers such as Maria Ryan, winner of the Heineken Violin Competition 2010. Finally, several graduates are active in the area of arts administration, including Ruth Mulholland (Administrative Producer, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden), Úna-Frances Clarke (sub-editor, BBC Proms) and Aoife Daly (founder & director, Ériu Artist Management). In 1995, the first of so far ten John F. Larchet Memorial Lectures took place; in this series internationally renowned musicologists and ethnomusicologists address issues of major relevance to Irish and international musical research. The School has been quite successful in attracting external funding; over the last fifteen years, one IRCHSS Senior Fellowship and one Fellowship were awarded to the School, alongside two President’s Research Fellowships, seven IRCHSS Postdoctoral Fellowships and a Marie Curie FP7 Fellowship. Since 2002, the Department/School has hosted 19 national and international conferences. Graduate students contribute significantly to the School’s research output: in 2003, Úna-Frances Clarke and Blathnaid Healy (who had just finished their undergraduate studies) suggested the introduction of a yearbook to publish outstanding work by graduate and occasionally undergraduate students. This marked the birth of The Musicology Review, a publication edited by changing teams of graduate students (Clarke and Healy were to become the first editors) and peer-reviewed by members of staff. After the publication of so far eight issues, The Musicology Review has acquired an international reputation, with contributions from South Africa, China and the US.

      Over the course of the last century, all Chairs of Music organised concerts, conducted choirs and orchestras and contributed to UCD’s and Dublin’s musical life in many other ways as well. Keeping an ensemble going for a long time in a university environment can be a daunting task, and some of them were shut down and revived several times, but over the years the Department was home to many high-quality ensembles, including award-winning chamber choirs like the St. Stephen’s Singers (established by Audrey Corbett [née Carr]) in the late 1960s and 70s), or the UCD Choral Scholars under Desmond Earley since 1998. Meanwhile, the UCD Symphony Orchestra (since 2002 under the baton of Ciarán Crilly) regularly presents ambitious programmes in the National Concert Hall while the UCD Philharmonic Choir is currently led by Amy Ryan. The UCD Gamelan Ensemble (the first of its kind in Dublin) was established in 2012 with Peter Moran as its artistic director; all four ensembles can be taken for credit as modules and unite students from all faculties and subjects. Most recently a Chamber Ensemble und a Composition Workshop have been established. There are several music scholars among the Performing Arts strand of the UCD Ad Astra Academy; their progress is also directed from within the School, with many of them acting as soloists or section leaders in concerts of some of the other ensembles.

      In recent years, restructuring exercises, modularisation and the general financial pressure on the third-level sector have resulted in constant revisions of the syllabus. In 2005, the BMus degree was reduced from four to three years (however, the option for BA students to acquire a BMus degree by adding a fourth year of studies after their BA graduation still exists). Former extra-curricular activities such as guest seminars, research colloquia or performing in ensembles were converted into modules that can be taken for credit. The School was at the forefront of developing general elective modules designed for non-music students such as “Music in Ireland”, “Popular Music and Culture”, or “Post-Truth, Politics and Music”. Distinctive module groupings and strands in historical musicology and ethnomusicology were developed at undergraduate and graduate level. Staff members contribute significantly to the activities of the UCD Humanities Institute and the Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute for the Study of Irish History and Civilisation, serve on the boards of several national and international journals and learned societies, act as peer reviewers and organise School Trips during which staff and students visit European centres of cultural life such as Paris, Berlin, Prague or Vienna. At the same time, the School’s performing ensembles keep expanding in scope and ambition, presenting highly successful concerts while acting as cultural ambassadors for UCD at national and international level. Times are difficult and no one in higher education can be certain about the future, but in the early years of its second century, the UCD School of Music is well positioned to face the challenges of the future.