Music courses were first introduced as electives at Lakehead University in 1968, when Boris Brott was appointed co-ordinator of music within the Division of Fine Arts. Subsequent co-ordinators were Manuel Suarez1972-4, Dwight Bennett 1974-82, Igor Markstein 1982-4, Doug Miller 1984-5, and David Flagel 1985-8. In 1976 music was first introduced as a major within an honours BA program and in 1982 the first honours BA in music was awarded. In 1990 the department introduced an honours B MUS degree.
In 1988 a Dept of Music was formed with Glen B. Carruthers as its first chairman. Aris Carastathis was appointed as the second full-time faculty member in 1989. In 1990 the department employed 18 sessional lecturers, mostly drawn from the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. In the 1989-90 academic year 36 music majors were enrolled in the Honours BA (music) program. The department is located in Lakehead University's first off-campus facility, the former Cornwall School in downtown Thunder Bay.
In 1990 the department's principal performing groups were the Lakehead University Vocal Ensemble and the Lakehead University Wind Ensemble. In conjunction with the Lakehead Centre for Northern Studies, students and faculty ensembles undertook a tour of northwestern Ontario in Febrary 1990. The department commissioned one of its faculty members, Harold Wevers, to compose A Northern Vision to commemorate the opening of the centre.
'Music Department solos at Cornwall School,' Agora, Dec 1988