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Department of Music
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Students at Kansas Wesleyan University are encouraged to take part in all facets of the music program, with the opportunity to perform in KWU vocal and instrumental ensembles. They may participate in large scale musicals, operas and concerts through partnerships with theatre companies and a regional symphony. Additionally, students are able to tailor their course of study to match their specific interest or goals, such as instrumental conducting, composition or operatic solo singing. Private voice and instrument lessons are also offered to our students. Because of these unique small-school advantages, graduates from KWU enter the community as well-rounded citizens and musicians, possessing the skills needed to be successful in their careers.
Why Study Music at KWU? Internationally-renowned faculty!
Students have first-hand opportunities to receive instruction from world-class faculty, such as internationally-acclaimed concert pianist, Tatiana Tessman, and Broadway-credited actress/dancer, Karen Babcock Brassea. Each faculty member, in addition to stressing quality performances, emphasizes the day-to-day basic music education techniques that lend themselves to preparing students to become marketable, well-prepared educators and performers.
Students can participate in these ensembles:
- Wind Ensemble
- Jazz Band
- Percussion Ensemble
- Pep Band
- Philharmonic Choir
- Wesleyan Chorale
- Philharmonic Orchestra
- String Orchestra
What can I do with this degree?
Anita (Gleason) Cyrier ’65 has enjoyed a robust career as a teacher, conductor, soloist, and lyricist, and her journey began in the music room at KWU. Read More.
Performing and teaching are the two most common careers in music: professional performance and teaching. Musicians typically combine multiple jobs with multiple income streams. Performance and non-performance work do not have to be mutually exclusive; many fields allow musicians to do both. Some careers require graduate education—such as college-level teaching and conducting—or additional training beyond what you’ll find in an undergraduate program. Opportunities include: accompanist, adjudicator, arranger, artist management, arts administrator, band director, clinician, choral director, composer, conductor, copyist, educator, historian, librarian, lyricist, music agent, reviewer, musicologist, orchestrator, performer, piano tuner, private instructor, radio producer, sacred music minister and vocal coach.
For more information, please contact Bill Backlin, Interim Chair of the Department of Music, or call (785) 833-4511.
Through partnerships with the Salina Symphony and Salina Community Theatre, KWU is able to provide students with many opportunities to rehearse and perform with professional musicians. All string music majors are invited to participate in a large regional symphonic orchestra and learn about its operation. Wind/Percussion majors may be invited based on available openings.
Students may also work for the Salina Youth Education Program as assistants to the directors of the Youth Symphony and Youth Choir, attending all rehearsals, sitting with the young players, leading sectionals and providing private lessons. This allows for hands-on experience working with elementary through high school students in an ensemble setting. In the Students Teaching Students music lesson program, KWU students may also give private lessons to young area musicians while being mentored and advised by faculty.
Close ties the community also enable students to perform in musical theatre and opera productions, community concerts, and local or regional tours. The Kansas Wesleyan University Philharmonic Choir and its select-voice ensemble, the Wesleyan Chorale, tour regionally, nationally, and international (every four years). Past tours include China, California, England, and the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary.