Auburn University named Yamaha Institution of Excellence for music prowess

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Yamaha Corporation of America has named Auburn University as one of just 10 honorees in its inaugural Institution of Excellence program, acknowledging the school’s extraordinary commitment to innovation in the study of music.

Yamaha is committed to working with Auburn in substantive ways for the long-term growth and benefit of its music students and faculty. The Institution of Excellence program is tailored to respond to each honoree’s unique mission, and the designation unlocks benefits for the institution, its faculty and its students.

“For more than a century, Yamaha has focused on defining and elevating the quality of musical performance,” said Dan Rodowicz, senior director of institutional sales at Yamaha. “We chose Auburn University for its outstanding fortitude in building a strong, relevant program that fosters all facets of student identity: performer, educator, conductor and researcher. From inclusion of music in core curriculum for all students to outreach programs targeting local, national and international audiences, Auburn takes a leadership role in creating a musical society.

“Its emphasis on recruitment of a wide spectrum of students and faculty further underscores its commitment to addressing the needs of students in its school of music, holistically and with real-world impact. All of this is why we are pleased to invite Auburn to become part of a program that demonstrates our commitment to finding, celebrating and collaborating with institutions who share our vision for music’s crucial role in society.”

Auburn was one of just two Southeastern Conference schools—along with the University of Kentucky—to make the exclusive list. Rick Good, Department of Music chair and director of bands, was thrilled by the distinction.

“Being named an Institution of Excellence program by the Yamaha Corporation is quite an honor,” Good said. “The department has worked very hard the last few years to improve our facilities and equipment and create new degree programs to better prepare our students for the future. We look forward to this partnership and the national recognition it brings to the Auburn University music department.”

An accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music, the Department of Music in Auburn's College of Liberal Arts offers Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts degree tracks. Bachelor’s degrees in instrumental and choral music education are offered in the College of Education.

In fall 2020, an innovative degree track in composition and technology debuted, and a new degree in commercial music is forthcoming through the College of Liberal Arts. The department provides an opportunity for the musically talented to develop as performers, music educators, composers and research scholars in today’s fast paced and ever-changing music industry.

This year’s 10 schools were selected by Yamaha following a rigorous, nationwide nomination and review process. Honorees are chosen for their dedication to providing unique and challenging experiences to their music students through diversity of thought and curriculum, exposure to a wider variety of voices and opportunities and an emphasis on preparing students for the modern world of music. Each year, new institutions will be selected for recognition and added to the roster.

“I’m extremely proud of our faculty and students in the Department of Music,” said Joseph Aistrup, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “With Yamaha as a partner, we can provide them with the most innovative resources to be successful in today’s music industry.”

For more information about the Yamaha Institution of Excellence program, visit

2021 Yamaha Institutions of Excellence

  • Auburn University
  • Berklee College of Music
  • Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester
  • Southeast Missouri State University, Holland College of Arts and Media
  • SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music
  • The New School – The College of Performing Arts
  • University of Alabama in Huntsville
  • University of Kentucky School of Music
  • University of North Texas
  • University of Southern California – Thornton School of Music

About Yamaha
Yamaha Corporation of America, or YCA, is the largest subsidiary of Yamaha Corporation, Japan, and offers a full line of award-winning musical instruments, sound reinforcement, commercial installation and home entertainment products to the U.S. market. Products include: Yamaha acoustic, digital and hybrid pianos, portable keyboards, guitars, acoustic and electronic drums, band and orchestral instruments, marching percussion products, synthesizers, professional digital and analog audio equipment, Steinberg recording products and NEXO commercial audio products, as well as AV receivers, amplifiers, MusicCast wireless multiroom audio systems, Blu-ray/CD players, earphones, headphones, home-theater-in-a-box systems, sound bars and its exclusive line of Digital Sound Projectors. YCA markets innovative, finely crafted technology and entertainment products and musical instruments targeted to the hobbyist, education, worship, music, professional audio installation and consumer markets.

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Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.