115. Music at Princeton


Though the University’s Department of Music was not founded until 1946, extracurricular musical activities have been a pervasive component of campus life since the 1870s, with such informal student groups as the Trilobites, pictured here—left to right, they are John Henry Collier ’1873, Homer Hart Hewitt ’1873 (standing), and Nathaniel Ely Goodwin ’1873.  The Princeton Glee Club was founded in 1874, “step-singing” gained popularity in the 1880s, and the formation of the Triangle Club in 1891 allowed students to experiment with writing original music and lyrics, in addition to scripts, for its productions.  Various class orchestras and student instrumental ensembles performed regularly on campus throughout the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, leading to the founding of the University Orchestra after World War I.  Today, hundreds of undergraduates participate in a wide assortment of official and student-run musical groups performing a variety of genres and styles, from chamber music to improvisational jazz.