GHC is phasing out its music pathways


Abby Chesnut

College enrollment has been decreasing which can be seen in the Music and Music business programs with only 15 students enrolling this fall. Current music majors are encouraged to complete their degrees, but GHC will not be accepting any more students in the program due to financial reasons.

Julia Haynes, News Editor

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents met on Sept. 8 to discuss terminating 215 degree programs from USG institutions, including many language, journalism, landscaping and education programs that have faced decreased enrollment in the past three years. GHC will be ending several of its pathways as a result.

GHC will phase out the Music and Music Business pathways from its listed programs within the next academic year. Some pathways, such as philosophy and physics, have already been dropped for a lack of interested students.

“There have been several contributing factors over the last few years which have led to this decision, the No. 1 factor being the pandemic,” Robert Adams, professor of music at the Cartersville campus, said. “It simply was not safe for musicians to gather for rehearsals or performances.”

When asked how he felt about GHC terminating the music programs, Adams said, “I am very saddened by this development. Some students in our Northwest Georgia corridor will not have the opportunity to pursue music in college.”

Many students, regardless of their major, flock to GHC because it is less expensive than other schools. Future students will not have the opportunity to receive their Music or Music Business degree at GHC with the music programs being terminated.

However, the Humanity School Chair, Allen Dutch, said that GHC “will continue to provide any courses current students must take in order to finish their degree.”

Current music majors will not have to transfer to another school to continue their education, as is the case in other USG institutions. However, new students will not be accepted into the music program and may have to look elsewhere.

“Some students may change pathways, and others will probably transfer to a school where they can continue their music studies,” Dr. Sam Baltzer, music professor at the Floyd and Cartersville campuses, said.

While music majors are impacted by the termination of the music pathways, music professors are affected more.

“Upon completion of this academic year, I will retire from teaching,” Adams said. “I became the first full-time music instructor for [GHC] in fall 2004. Over the past 19 years, I earned tenure and the rank of professor.”

“Creating these music pathways with just two full-time faculty, few accommodations and no budget has truly been nothing short of a miracle,” Adams said.

Though the Music and Music Business pathways are being phased out at GHC, there are still plenty of opportunities for students to become engaged in local music programs, including the Northwest Georgia WINDS and the Highlanders, both directed by Dr. Baltzer.