Lionel Hampton School of Music

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The Lionel Hampton School of Music is the music school at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. The school is named after jazz vibraphonist Lionel Hampton.


In 1984, Lionel Hampton performed at the University of Idaho's Jazz Festival, which bills itself as America's largest education-based jazz festival. Hampton was impressed with what he saw and was pleased to see the emphasis on education. He pledged his support to the University of Idaho's jazz festival and to help support jazz education. The festival was renamed the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in 1985.[1]

Two years later, in 1987, the university's music school was also named after Hampton. Hampton considered it one of the greatest honors ever to be bestowed upon him. To this day the Lionel Hampton School of Music remains the only school of music in the United States to be named after a jazz musician.[2]

About the school[edit]

The Lionel Hampton School of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. It was founded as a department in 1893, just four years after the University of Idaho came into existence. It was elevated to school status in 1969.[3] The school's mission statement is to "serve as a professional school of choice in Idaho for undergraduate and graduate music programs and as an academic department within the College of Letters and Science offering liberal studies in music...".[4] The Lionel Hampton School of Music is part of the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences. The current director of the school is Dr. Kevin Woelfel, the assistant director is Dr. Susan Hess.

Degree programs[edit]

Undergraduate level[edit]

The Lionel Hampton School of Music offers the following undergraduate degrees.[5] Each of these are available with an optional jazz emphasis.

Bachelor of Music in:

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in:

Academic minor in music

Graduate level[edit]

The School of Music offers the following graduate degrees:

Master of Music in:

Master of Arts in music history


The Lionel Hampton School of Music offers many ensembles for students to participate in.[6] Students are also encouraged to form their own ensembles.

Audition-only ensembles:

Ensembles open to all students at the University of Idaho:

Chamber ensembles include:

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]


The Music Building is home to most faculty offices. It also holds all of the school's classrooms, including the lecture hall. There is also a recital hall, a rehearsal room, and storage facilities for most of the students' instruments.

Ridenbaugh Hall, a former women's dormitory and the oldest building on campus, contains two faculty offices, several graduate student offices, and practice rooms. The building is also used by the university's art department as a gallery.

Blake House, a former fraternity house and women's co-op. It contains more faculty offices, and a marching band storage area.


Coordinates: 46°43′32″N 117°00′28″W / 46.72556°N 117.00778°W / 46.72556; -117.00778