The Willamette University music department offers students a program of rigorous and intensive training in specialized music disciplines combined with music core courses in theory, history and literature all within a broad spectrum of courses in other liberal arts disciplines. For the major and non-major alike, the department offers music study and performance through individual instruction, chamber music, large ensembles and general music courses, many of which meet the fine arts requirement of Willamette University's general education program.
The Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center houses the 450-seat Jerry E. Hudson Concert Hall, a rehearsal hall, percussion studio, keyboard lab, faculty teaching studios, practice rooms and the music department administrative offices. The adjoining Smith Fine Arts Building houses rehearsal rooms, music classrooms, faculty studios and offices, practice rooms, and the 1250-seat G. Herbert Smith Auditorium. A tracker-action organ is housed in the Cone Chapel located in Waller Hall while Hudson Hall features a Hamburg Steinway concert grand piano and a digital electronic organ. The music section of the University library contains a comprehensive and up-to-date collection of music scores, books, microfilm, CDs, videotapes, DVD's and archival recordings. Ford Hall houses a 15 workstation Digital Music Studio and a recording studio.
Admission, Scholarships and Financial Aid
Music scholarships, and other forms of institutional financial aid are available to entering students. Music students applying for admission are encouraged to audition before members of the music faculty for a music scholarship. If an applicant is unable to appear in person, a compact disc recording of a performance may be sent instead of the personal audition and interview.
Student employment opportunities under the Federal Work-Study program also are available to music students. These opportunities include working in the Music Office and various secretarial and clerical jobs for music faculty. Information regarding employment may be obtained from the Music Department Chair or the Director of Student Financial Aid.
Concerts and Recitals
The Music Department presents a regular series of concerts and recitals performed by university ensembles, students and faculty. Music students and faculty engage in extensive concert activities both on and off campus. The major performing ensembles of the department tour regularly throughout the Northwest, California and Canada.
Guest artists with the Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series perform and present master classes on campus. The New Music at Willamette Series offers concerts organized by the Swindells Composer-in-Residence. In addition, the Music Department sponsors a weekly student recital to provide students with an opportunity to perform before faculty and peers and to experience repertoire from various media and music history periods. All music majors are encouraged to perform in these recitals. All performance majors are required to do so at least once each semester except for the first semester. All music events are open to the public and music majors are required to attend 15 performances per semester.
Applied music lessons are available in all band and orchestral instruments as well as in piano, voice and guitar. Prior to the beginning of classes in the fall semester, students may audition for placement in the studios of the various applied music teachers. There are special instructional and studio fees for this individual instruction billed to the student account for each semester of study (Fee info here). For more information on lessons and the applied lesson faculty, see the music department web pages.
The following music ensembles are open by audition to all Willamette students regardless of major:
- Chamber Choir
- Chamber Music Ensembles
- Dramatic Vocal Arts Ensemble
- Willamette Jazz Collective
- Small Jazz Ensembles
- Male Ensemble Willamette
- University Chamber Orchestra
- Voce Femminile
- Waller String Quartet
- Willamette Singers (Vocal Jazz Ensemble)
- Wind Ensemble
Music majors are required to participate in an ensemble every semester. Policies and specific requirements for the B.M. degree (Performance, Composition) or the B.A. degree are outlined in the Music Student Handbook. This handbook is distributed to all music students at the beginning of every year. Any student contemplating a major in music is strongly urged to read the handbook thoroughly and contact the Music Department Chair before registering. Students may also contact the Music Department directly to obtain a copy of the music handbook.
For Music majors the following degree programs are available:
Bachelor of Music in Performance
The Bachelor of Music in Performance is a professional program for those students who are preparing for careers as performers, scholars, private teachers and as teachers at the college level. Majors are offered in voice, piano, organ, harp, guitar, strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion instruments.
Bachelor of Music in Composition
The Bachelor of Music in Composition is designed for those students choosing careers as professional composers or music theorists. The program emphasizes creativity while at the same time preparing the student with a solid foundation in compositional technique. A significant component of the curriculum includes the investigation of musical structure and meaning in a wide range of styles and epochs.
Bachelor of Music in Contemporary Improvisation
The Bachelor of Music degree emphasis in Improvisation at Willamette University combines the finest in traditional jazz education with in-depth study of its contemporary offshoots, along with interdisciplinary courses in digital music production and private studio instruction designed to give students the tools and creative knowledge they need to succeed in today's eclectic musical environment. In addition to the basic music major core courses required of all music majors, students enroll in a two-year improvisation/jazz harmony sequence, study privately each semester with the area's finest jazz musicians, and take hands-on creative technology courses in our digital music studio. Final senior projects involve the production of a digital representation (compact discs, websites, film scores, etc.) of each student's work in addition to a recital requirement.
Bachelor of Arts in Music
The Bachelor of Arts degree for music majors is designed for those students wishing to major in music while simultaneously taking a broader spectrum of elective and general courses in the College of Liberal Arts. See the catalog section which describes the B.A. degree and its requirements. For this degree at least 20 credits other than music must be earned for graduation. Music requirements for this degree appear later in the music section.
Double Degrees in Music and Liberal Arts
Some students may wish to earn a B.A. degree in music as well as a second B.A. in another discipline. It is important for such a student to consult the catalog section on double degrees and the Registrar's Office for information regarding the specific requirements which must be met to earn both degrees.
Instrumental Proficiency Requirement for Music Majors
No later than the end of the junior year all candidates for music degrees (other than performance) must demonstrate instrumental, or vocal proficiency equivalent to that normally expected after three or four years of advanced private study. A minimum of one year of study at Willamette on that instrument must precede the satisfaction of this requirement. (Performance majors should see "Performance Related Requirements" section in the music handbook.) Proficiency requirements are satisfied by a performance for a faculty jury or in a student recital. Memory and repertoire requirements for each degree program are outlined in the Music Student Handbook.
Senior Projects and Senior Recitals
During the senior year, each music major must satisfactorily complete a Senior Project, a Senior Seminar or present a Senior Recital, depending upon the degree sought.
The various majors satisfy this requirement as follows: Performance Majors - a Senior Recital; Composition Majors - a Senior Composition Project. Each student majoring in Music under the Bachelor of Arts program must complete either a Senior Recital or a Senior Research Paper.
All music majors must satisfy a set of basic music requirements as well as an additional set of requirements specific to each degree program. In addition, all degree candidates must satisfy the University's General Education Program. Bachelor of Music degree candidates are exempted from the portion of the General Education Program requiring study in a language other than English except as noted in the Voice Performance degree. Bachelor of Arts in Music degree candidates must fulfill the language requirement.
Note: Variable credit is given for Music 170, 270, 370 and 470: Applied Instrumental and Vocal Instruction (.25, .5, or 1). Performance majors take a one-hour lesson each week and are required to practice a greater number of hours weekly. Performance majors receive .5 credit for a one-hour lesson for the first two years of study. Upon passing the Qualifying Recital (by the end of the sophomore year) performance majors receive 1 credit for a one-hour lesson during the last two years of study. Non-performance majors who take a one-hour lesson per week earn .5 credit. Those non-performance majors who take a one-half hour lesson per week earn .25 credit.