Unlike many study abroad programs, which involve registrations at foreign institutions and administrative hurdles to transfer courses, the COLFA Semester in Urbino offers UTSA courses taught by UTSA faculty or by University of Urbino faculty who have been vetted and approved by UTSA. The courses have been carefully selected to fit into UTSA degree plans and will appear seamlessly in ASAP. Moreover, since you will remain a full-time UTSA student during your semester abroad you will have access to UTSA services such as financial aid and library resources and will not encounter difficulties with minimum credit-hour requirements for financial aid or scholarships. Information on the student residences is now available.


Important Dates for Spring 2020

printable schedule of program trips for Spring 2020 is now available. Some dates and trip destinations may vary. A printable schedule with class meeting times is also available.

January 30students arrive at the G. Marconi Airport in Bologna (BLQ) no later than 1:30; charter bus to Urbino arrives at 2:30 and departs no later than 3:00. Anticipated arrival in Urbino at 5:30.
January 319:00: GEV orientation. GEV will collect a deposit (€100 or $100) that will be returned at the end of the program if there are no damages to the classrooms or dorms.
13:00: welcome lunch
14:00 tour of Urbino with Roberta
February 19:30: guided tour of historic Urbino (meet in Borgo Mercatale
February 29:30 guided tour of the Ducal Palace in Urbino (meet in front of palace)
February 3Classes begin. We will meet at 7:50 in front of the Collegio Internazionale and walk together to meet the teachers at 8:00
February 6guided tour of Pesaro
February 13day trip to Bologna
February 14organic farm tour
February 20-23Rome
February 27day trip to Perugia
March 5-8Siena and Florence
March 9-15Urbino Spring Break
March 19day trip to Assisi
March 26-31Verona and Venice
April 2day trip to Ravenna
April 6500th Anniversary of the Death of Raffaello: Ceremony and Concert
April 9day trip to Ferrara
April 30farewell dinner
May 1Classroom and studio cleanup and checkout
May 3Latest possible checkout from dorms
Course Information

The following 15 credit hours of courses are offered for music majors in the Spring 2020 semester. The focus will be relevant to all of the Bachelor of Music degrees. Graduate versions of these courses are also available. If you are a graduate student in Music interested in the COLFA Semester in Urbino, please contact Dr. Drew Stephen for more information. A printable

MUS 2403Conducting I
MUS 3213Music in Civilization I
MUS 3223Music in Civilization II
MUS 2542/3532/3543Private Instruction
FL 1034Elementary Italian

Supplemental art and cooking classes are also available during the semester

Course Descriptions

MUS 3213 Music in Civilization I. This course surveys the Western art music tradition from antiquity to 1750. During the semester abroad students will have rich opportunities to study the music of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras while visiting many of the locations where the music was created and first heard. We will move beyond the traditional classroom setting with course trips that include: Venice, where students will see the orphanage where Vivaldi worked and experience the Basilica of St. Mark’s where Monteverdi and Gabrieli created their polychoral works; Rome where we will visit the Sistine Chapel where Palestrina provided music for the private worship of the popes; and Bologna where we will visit the Basilica of San Petronio and view the oldest working pipe organ in the world. We will also visit music instrument museums in Florence, Rome, and Bologna to see ancient instruments including Stradivarius string instruments and Cristofori pianofortes and gain firsthand experience of original music manuscripts. The experiential approach will allow students to gain an understanding of how the early eras of music history developed within the broader contexts of Italian culture and music.

MUS 3223 Music in Civilization II. This course surveys the Western art music tradition from roughly 1730 to the present. During the semester abroad students will have rich opportunities to study the music of the Classic, Romantic, and twentieth-century eras while visiting many of the locations where the music was created and first heard. We will move beyond the traditional classroom setting with course trips that include: Pesaro to visit the birth house of Gioachino Rossini; multiple locations in Rome that are evoked in Ottorino Resphigi’s Pines of Rome, Fountains of Rome, and Roman Festivals; Verona where we will visit the Roman arena that is now the home of the famous opera festival; and Assisi where Messiaen lived for a year notating the sounds of nature for his final opera on the life of Saint Francis. While looking at trends since 1730 we will also learn about significant Italian developments such as the bel canto operas of Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti, Verdi’s role in the Risorgimento; the verismo operas of Puccini and Mascagni; the stunning sound experiments of the Italian Futurists; and the film music of Nino Rota and Ennio Moricone. The experiential approach will allow students to gain an understanding of how the more recent eras of music history developed within the broader contexts of Italian culture and music.

MUS 2403 Conducting I. This is a three-credit course for music majors that establishes and develops basic conducting skills with an emphasis on score study and gestural development. During the semester abroad students will participate in lab activities with Michele Mangani while completing online self-evaluations and observations to develop an awareness of gestural patterns and rehearsal techniques.

MUS 2542/3532/3543 Private Instruction. During the semester abroad students will continue to work with their assigned UTSA instructors while also taking private lessons with professional musicians in the Urbino area. There will be regular performance seminars during the semester and students will also have the opportunity to perform with local ensembles and choirs.

FL 1034. Beginning Language Study Abroad. Opportunity to begin developing oral and written communication skills in the Italian language, along with enhanced comprehension skills in listening and reading. Linguistic and cultural immersion.

Spring 2020 Faculty

Dr. J. Drew Stephen is an Associate Professor of Musicology in the Department of Music at UTSA and the Co-Director of the COLFA Semester in Urbino. He holds degrees from the University of Western Ontario, the University of Toronto, and a diploma in Horn Performance from the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany. From 1991 to 1995 he held the position of Alternate Solo Horn in the Orchestra of the Landesbühnen Sachsen in Dresden, Germany. Dr. Stephen’s research concerns the social and cultural significance of the hunt in European music of the nineteenth century with a particular focus on opera. He has presented papers, both nationally and internationally, on the role of the hunt in the works of Weber, Wagner, Verdi, and Brahms, on the hunt as a mediator of national identity, and on the influence of the hunting horn and hunting-horn music on the development of the orchestral horn and its repertoire. His most-recent publication addresses Jewish music and culture at the Urbino court of Federico da Montefeltro. With his extensive experience living in Europe and researching European topics, as well as his fluency in German, French, and Italian, Dr. Stephen brings enormous strengths to the COLFA Semester in Urbino. Dr. Stephen was the recipient of the 2019 Richard S. Howe Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award which recognizes teaching excellence and the development of signature learning experiences beyond the traditional classroom environment.

Conductor, composer, and clarinetist Michele Mangani was born in Urbino and studied at the Rossini Conservatory in Pesaro and the G. B. Martini Conservatory in Bologna. His compositions have been performed by soloists and ensembles around the world and he is in high demand as a guest clinician and adjudicator. He is a Professor of Chamber Music for winds at the Rossini Conservatory in Pesaro and Director of the Music Academy at the Capella Musicale SS Sacramento in Urbino. He has directed the Civic Wind Orchestra of the Cappella Musicale in Urbino for over 30 years.

The Italian language courses are taught by certified instructors at Lingua Ideale Urbino working under the auspices of the University of Urbino “Carlo Bo”. Lingua Ideale is a professional language school offering courses of Italian language and culture to foreigners. The curriculum for the COLFA Semester in Urbino has been designed to meet the requirements of the foreign language courses at UTSA while also incorporating local aspects of Italian culture.

Here are the syllabi for Spring 2020: