Contemporary Music

Contemporary Music


You’ll be performing, composing, recording, and producing during your years as a music student – and your entire perspective on what makes up contemporary music, our contemporary music, will grow.Classical, jazz, rock, experimental, global cultures, they’re all included. Where do you fit into that equation? How is your world shaped by you and your music?

Then, take your music a step further: learn audio art and production to make yourself a real force in the marketplace. Our faculty of practicing artists helps prepare you for a career as a performer, composer and songwriter, producer, recording engineer and audio production designer, musical entrepreneur and business person, teacher, community organizer, arts advocate, or whatever combination of passions defines “music professional” for you.

NEWS FROM THE CMP (Spring/Summer 2016)

2016 has been a fantastic year so far in The Contemporary Music Program (CMP) at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. The spring semester started with one of our students, Rachel Dupard being included in the official Super Bowl 50 commercial of the NFL, “Super Bowl Babies”, which featured international recording artist, SEAL. The commercial was subsequently rated as the best commercial associated with the landmark, historic event. The segment in which Rachel was included pays homage to the legacy of the Dallas Cowboys.

This incredible opportunity was the first in a series on events that all took place during week one of the semester. Sophomore CMP major, Mimi “Yoshi” Diallo’s stunning music video was released the same day. Goes Well was produced by Josiah St. Lewis Noray (CMP) with the film creation, direction and editing being done by La’Charles Trask (The Film School). All three of these student-artists are sophomores at SFUAD.

Another member of our outstanding sophomore class, Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquin was a contestant in the final season of American Idol. While she did not make it to the final round, she was chosen to “go to Hollywood” and compete in the second stage of the process. Keep an eye out for this lady! Our Spring ’16 concert season featured fifteen (15) senior shows which collectively represented the culmination of our most successful group of performances by graduates from the CMP. With the addition of those performed by our Fall ‘15 graduates, that totaled 30 for the entire school year. The quality, originality and craft of these performances were of an outstanding and stellar nature and we feel that these students have raised the bar substantially for our program going forward. The spring performances represented a portion of a total of over 50 concerts that were staged by the CMP at on and off campus venues.

SFUAD student Tawanda on American Idol

Of those aforementioned graduating seniors from our Spring Class of 2016, Elise Stoffer had one of the most interesting pair of experiences as the school year ended. A few short weeks before graduation, she was accepted to begin Graduate Studies at Arizona State University in Fall, 2016. The Monday right after graduation, she was hired to sing with recording artist and Broadway sensation, Kristin Chenoweth in her Phoenix, AZ concert which took place that following weekend. Not to bad for a “first gig right out of college”.

SFUAD student Elise Stoffer

This summer, the student-run record label of the CMP, ARROYO RECORDS will release it’s second full-length compact disc, THE OASIS MOTEL: ORIGINAL FILM SOUNDTRACK. This recording corresponds to the film of the same name that was featured in the SEASON 3: SHOOT THE STARS student-film project from THE FILM SCHOOL@SFUAD. The soundtrack features a stunning collection of wonderful Country songs that will enchant all that view this film and hear this music. The songs were written by professional songwriters in collaboration with performances by CMP faculty and students. The CD/DVD double-disc set includes a film short that goes behind the scenes and features scenes from the production stages and interviews with students and SFUAD faculty who were involved. See the film, “Behind the Music: OASIS MOTEL - Shoot the Stars!™ Season 3” at:

SFUAD student run record label compact disc album cover for The Oasis Motel

Spring 2016 graduate, Nathan (Nate) Smerage’s debut EP was reviewed very favorably in the Santa Fe Reporter’s 2016 Music Issue (June). The selections on this release were recorded by CMP 2016 graduate Saqeef Ali. Congratulations to both Nate and Saqeef! Below is an excerpt from the Santa Fe Reporter review:

“The only real problem with these instrumental numbers is that there aren’t enough of them, but that’s a small price to pay. The production on Rain is spotless but deftly avoids overdoing it in favor of being unobtrusive—Smerage’s playing is the star of the show, and ain’t nothing going to take away from that.”

SFUAD student album

Stay tuned for our Fall Semester Update. There is always something going on at SFUAD. Be a part of it. Contact us today!