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Conventional wisdom has it that economic chaos prompts students to seek college programs that are highly practical and that yield sure job offers. But music programs are experiencing a surge in applications, the Chicago Tribune reported, even as jobs with orchestras and arts groups are increasingly hard to come by. The Tribune reported that applications are way up for music programs at Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern University, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Indiana University at Bloomington, and DePaul University. Applications have been going up steadily for five years at many of the institutions, with no slowing down this year.