David Sanford

David Sanford

Name: David Sanford
Department: Music
Title: Elizabeth T. Kennan Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Music


  • Ph.D., M.F.A., Princeton University
  • M.M., New England Conservatory
  • B.M., University of Northern Colorado

Teaches: Theory (ear training, class harmony and advanced seminar), composition, 20th-century music history, jazz history, music in film and music of the 1970s.

“Our musicians take classes in all areas. They’re exploring music in a liberal arts context, whether they’re studying sociology or Germany during World War II.”

“I learn from my students all the time,” says David Sanford, Elizabeth T. Kennan Professor of Music and chair of the music department. “I think students are more open to what is out there because they are aware that there are numerous journeys and canons other than their own, or their families’ or friends’. In that respect I think they’re more open to new knowledge. It has been very rewarding as a professor.”

2005 Meribeth E. Cameron Faculty Award for Scholarship

In the three decades he’s been a professor at Mount Holyoke, Stanford has gotten an education of his own — about liberal arts education. He’s delighted with Mount Holyoke’s support. “The generosity of Mount Holyoke alumnae and friends is critical to the music department. Whether we are buying Sibelius music notation software or supporting faculty with grants for their research and performances, every gift keeps us moving forward.

“At Mount Holyoke, our students might write five papers in one course. They know so much about culture and their understanding is much more contextual. Music and aspects of music are seen as a part of a bigger whole.”