The Gettysburg College curriculum mandates a capstone experience for every major, which will normally be completed in the senior year. The student completing the capstone is expected to:
- engage in an experience that integrates learning across the major curriculum,
- demonstrate an appropriate level of mastery over the chosen area of concentration, and
- demonstrate mastery of the communication conventions of the major.
How does your proposed capstone demonstrate these three areas of learning?
As you propose your capstone you should also address other questions such as:
- What questions, issues, or problems will you investigate in the process of your capstone?
- What courses/experiences in your major(s), minor(s), and in the Gettysburg Curriculum have led you to this topic?
- How does this project provide an appropriate “capstone” experience for your individual music concentration?
- How does this project demonstrate mastery of the conventions of communication in your major?
- What disciplines and/or methodologies will you employ?
- What texts, recordings, and other materials will provide background material for the project? Your list may include books, journal articles, recordings, videos, websites, and scores.
- Will you have any collaborators? If so, who are they, and what will be their role?
- Start planning by at least the beginning of your junior year: What do you want to accomplish with this capstone? Begin conversations with the appropriate sponsor(s) of your capstone. For a thesis project in musicology, a musicologist would be expected.
- For a performance project, the sponsor is normally the applied teacher. Your studio teacher may request that you seek a sponsor for your program notes. For a hybrid project such as a lecture recital, the student could seek co-sponsors, such as the applied teacher and another faculty member. Each capstone project will be directed by a committee of three faculty members. Your primary sponsor, in consultation with you, is responsible for forming your committee.
- Define the scope of the project. Make a proposal that describes how the project demonstrates integrated learning across the major, mastery of the concentration area, and communication conventions of the major. See proposal topics on cover sheet and reflection questions above.
- A capstone proposal must be submitted to and approved by your committee by the end of fall semester junior year for capstones to be completed in the fall of senior year and by the end of spring semester junior year for capstones to be completed in the spring of senior year.
- A Recital/Capstone Scheduling Request form must be completed by the deadline established by the Conservatory office (usually the last day of classes, spring semester) for all public presentations and/or performances
- Once the capstone proposal is approved, students will be allowed to register for the appropriate 400-level MUS capstone. Students performing a recital must complete the Recital Request Form and turn it in to the conservatory office. The student will then be notified of their assigned date for the Capstone Recital.
The student will engage in a ‘progress check’ prior to the completion of the project. In the case of a performance or combined recital, a recital hearing will occur three weeks in advance of the proposed recital date. The student will coordinate performers, schedule the recital hall, etc.
Your capstone committee will serve as the jury for both the hearing and for the final performance. The committee may or may not want to hear the entire performance and/or lecture, but all components of the recital should be prepared for presentation. The jury could approve the recital to go forward, approve conditionally (with conditions outlined) and schedule another hearing, or cancel/reschedule the recital for later. Another outcome might be that the recital would not be approved for public performance, but heard privately by the committee, with concomitant grading consequences.
A student writing a musicological thesis should adhere to the recital/program notes due dates in the contract with a polished draft of the thesis due to the capstone sponsors three weeks prior to the due date for the final draft.
The student is responsible for scheduling their hearing and booking the recital hall for rehearsals in addition to the peripherals of the presentation from invitations to posters, videotaping and recording, reception, and ushers. See the Recital Guidelines and Procedures in this student handbook.
The primary sponsor has responsibility for the final capstone grade, including coordinating committee input. The program notes advisor (who may also be your studio teacher) will give a P/F grade. If the program notes receive an F, they will not be printed with the program, and the capstone grade will be reduced. If you choose to speak the notes from the stage, you must be coached by your capstone sponsor. Members of your committee will each submit a grade for your final performance or paper; these will be averaged and count as 1/3 of your grade for capstone. Your primary sponsor is responsible for the remaining 2/3 of your capstone grade. If the project has co-sponsors, each will contribute 1/3 of your grade.
All B.A. students with a major in music must give a public summative presentation of musical performance on their primary instrument/voice (30 minutes of solo and/or chamber music) during their junior or senior year. If this presentation is not part of the senior capstone – for example, if the student is writing a musicological thesis – this performance requirement does not contribute toward the capstone grade.
Notes for Faculty
- The primary sponsor is responsible for contacting the remaining faculty members on the committee and confirming their willingness to serve. In the case of a performance project, availability for the appointed dates for the hearing and the recital should also be confirmed.
- The primary sponsor will chair the capstone committee. In the event of co-sponsors, this responsibility will be negotiated.
- A copy of the capstone proposal will be filed in the conservatory office as a part of the student’s personal file.
- The primary sponsor is responsible for submitting the final capstone grade to the registrar.