FB Pixel Skip to Main Content
Western Music Program

Music

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Type

Major, Minor, K-12 Licensure

Department

Music Department

Music transcends all language and cultural boundaries. The study and practice of music turns students into sophisticated artists who are well-prepared to apply their knowledge to a variety of fields and industries.

Program Overview

Students perform at the music department's annual Holiday Gala Concert in the George Kincaid concert hall located in Quigley Hall

Immerse yourself in the universal language of music.

Music is an interdisciplinary art that combines theory, history, composition and performance. To master these disciplines also requires the integration of technical skills, creativity and analytical thinking. At Western, you can take advantage of our low student-teacher ratio and work closely with faculty musicians in classes, ensembles and private lessons.

In the program, you’ll train in a welcoming and supportive environment and master your own techniques through diverse performance opportunities. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn about the role of music’s history and how it impacts past and present cultures. Through the dynamic blend of music theory, history, mentorship and performance skills, you’ll acquire the tools needed for a creative career as a teacher, professional musician or music director. Students in Western’s music programs will also be afforded the opportunity to garner group and solo performance experience in the Kincaid Concert Hall, which offers a schedule of annual concerts open to student, faculty, staff and community member attendance.

The WCU Department of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

A passion for music

Music students work closely with faculty musicians in classes, ensembles and private lessons to acquire musicianship skills, develop performance abilities, learn about music’s role in past and present cultures, and gain the tools needed for lifelong teaching and learning.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 58 credits is required, including the 28-credit Musicianship Core:

All Music majors require the 28-credit Musicianship Core, 14  or 21 credits from the Performance Curriculum (depending upon  the  emphasis), the six credits (or the equivalent) of foreign language (not required for the Music Education Emphasis), and Concert and Convocation Attendance Course (must be taken each semester of residence with a “Satisfactory” grade a minimum of six semesters). A minimum grade of “C” is required in all Music courses counted toward the major. To qualify for graduation all Music majors must meet performance requirements and piano proficiency.

Students enrolled in the Music Education K-12 Licensure professional degree emphasis will receive a 60 minute (One Hour) weekly lesson on their principal instrument/voice. This is in fulfillment of guidelines recommended for the professional degree (Music Education K-12 Licensure). 

Course List
Code Title Credits
Musicianship Core
MUS 128Theory of Music Laboratory I1
MUS 129Theory of Music I3
MUS 130Theory of Music Laboratory II1
MUS 131Theory of Music II3
MUS 140Introduction to Music (GT-AH1)3
MUS 212Introduction to Music Technology1
MUS 253Theory of Music Laboratory III1
MUS 254Theory of Music III3
MUS 340Theory of Music Lab IV1
MUS 341Theory of Music IV3
MUS 352History of Music I: Ancient to Baroque3
MUS 353History of Music II: Classical to Modern3
MUS 400SENIOR RECITAL/SENIOR PROJECT2
Total Credits28

21 credits from the Performance Curriculum (seven credits in Major Performance Organizations, four credits in Small Ensembles, eight credits in Private Lessons, the two-credit MUS 250 Beginning Conducting: Choral and Instrumental, the one-credit MUS 212 Introduction to Music Technology; students must be registered for a major performing organization every semester in residence), three credits of Music electives, Concert and Convocation Attendance, six credits of foreign language, Performance Requirement (MUS 400 SENIOR RECITAL/SENIOR PROJECT, or MUS 499 Internship in Music), and Piano Proficiency.

The Performance Curriculum consists of courses in Conducting, Major Performing Organizations, Small Ensembles, and Private Lessons.

The specific major performing organization required is determined by major instrument or voice.

Course List
Code Title Credits
Conducting
MUS 250Beginning Conducting: Choral and Instrumental2
Major Performance Organizations
courses may be repeated
MUS 101Orchestra1
MUS 102Symphonic Band1
MUS 104Concert Choir1
MUS 301Orchestra1
MUS 302Symphonic Band1
MUS 304Concert Choir1
Small Ensembles
courses may be repeated
MUS 121Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Music0.5-1
MUS 321Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Music1
MUS 105Opera1
MUS 305Opera1
Private Lessons
courses may be repeated
MUS 180Private Lessons (30 min)1
MUS 181Private Lessons (60 min)2
MUS 380Private Lessons (30 min)1
MUS 381Private Lessons (60 min)2

Foreign Language

Six credits of foreign language are required in the Music Emphasis. This requirement may be fulfilled by passing the appropriate CLEP test if sufficient skill has been attained.

Concert and Convocation Attendance

All Music majors must take MUS 000 Concert and Convocation Attendance each semester in residence. Six semesters of MUS 000 Concert and Convocation Attendance with a grade of “satisfactory” are required of all Music majors prior to graduation.

Performance Requirements for Majors

In order to qualify for graduation, all Music majors must pass specific levels of performance as judged by a jury of Music faculty. All Music Education majors must also present a senior recital (MUS 400 SENIOR RECITAL/SENIOR PROJECT). Majors in the Music Emphasis and the Business Emphasis may elect MUS 400 SENIOR RECITAL/SENIOR PROJECT, or MUS 499 Internship in Music. Please contact the Music Department for exact requirements.

Piano Proficiency

All students with a Music Major or Minor, with the exception of the Music Technology Minor, must pass the piano proficiency examination by the end of the required theory sequence. The two-semester sequence of  MUS 173 Piano class and MUS 174 Piano Class may be taken for elective credits to prepare for the exam. The specific courses are not required courses and student assessed to have sufficient piano background may prepare for the exam independently. Please contact the Music Department for exact requirements.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
ENG 102 Writing and Rhetoric I (GT-CO1) 3
HWTR 100 First Year Seminar 1
MATH 105 Mathematics for the Liberal Arts (GT-MA1) (or higher, pre-requisite determined with Advisor)) 3
MUS 000 Concert and Convocation Attendance 0
MUS 100 Fundamentals of Music (GT-AH1) 3
MUS 101
or MUS 102
or MUS 104
Orchestra
or Symphonic Band
or Concert Choir
1
MUS 121 Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Music 0.5-1
MUS 173 Piano class 1
MUS 180 Private Lessons (30 min) 1
 Credits13.5-14
Spring
ENG 103 Writing and Rhetoric II (GT-CO2) 3
MUS 000 Concert and Convocation Attendance 0
MUS 101
or MUS 102
or MUS 104
Orchestra
or Symphonic Band
or Concert Choir
1
MUS 121 Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Music 0.5-1
MUS 128 Theory of Music Laboratory I 1
MUS 129 Theory of Music I 3
MUS 140 Introduction to Music (GT-AH1) 3
MUS 174 Piano Class 1
MUS 180 Private Lessons (30 min) 1
Gen Ed Social Sciences 3
 Credits16.5-17
Year Two
Fall
Gen Ed Natural Sciences 3
Gen Ed Social Sciences 3
Elective MUS Elective 2
MUS 000 Concert and Convocation Attendance 0
MUS 101
or MUS 102
or MUS 104
Orchestra
or Symphonic Band
or Concert Choir
1
MUS 121 Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Music 0.5-1
MUS 130 Theory of Music Laboratory II 1
MUS 131 Theory of Music II 3
MUS 180 Private Lessons (30 min) 1
 Credits14.5-15
Spring
Gen Ed Arts & Humanities 3
Gen Ed Natural Sciences w/lab 4
Gen Ed Social Sciences 3
MUS 000 Concert and Convocation Attendance 0
MUS 101
or MUS 102
or MUS 104
Orchestra
or Symphonic Band
or Concert Choir
1
MUS 121 Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Music 0.5-1
MUS 180 Private Lessons (30 min) 1
MUS 253 Theory of Music Laboratory III 1
MUS 254 Theory of Music III 3
 Credits16.5-17
Year Three
Fall
Gen Ed Arts & Humanities 3
Elective Elective (upper division) 3
MUS 000 Concert and Convocation Attendance 0
MUS 250 Beginning Conducting: Choral and Instrumental 2
MUS 301
or MUS 302
or MUS 304
Orchestra
or Symphonic Band
or Concert Choir
0.5-1
MUS 321 Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Music 0.5-1
MUS 340 Theory of Music Lab IV 1
MUS 341 Theory of Music IV 3
MUS 380 Private Lessons (30 min) 1
 Credits14-15
Spring
Elective Elective (upper division) 3
Elective MUS Elective (MUS 313 suggested) 3
Gen Ed Natural Sciences w/lab 4
Gen Ed Social Sciences 3
MUS 000 Concert and Convocation Attendance 0
MUS 301
or MUS 302
or MUS 304
Orchestra
or Symphonic Band
or Concert Choir
0.5-1
MUS 321 Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Music 0.5-1
MUS 380 Private Lessons (30 min) 1
 Credits15-16
Year Four
Fall
Elective Elective (upper division) 3
Elective MUS Elective 6
MUS 000 Concert and Convocation Attendance 0
MUS 212 Introduction to Music Technology 1
MUS 301
or MUS 302
or MUS 304
Orchestra
or Symphonic Band
or Concert Choir
1
MUS 321 Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Music 0.5-1
MUS 352 History of Music I: Ancient to Baroque 3
MUS 380 Private Lessons (30 min) 1
 Credits15.5-16
Spring
Elective Elective (upper division) 3
Elective MUS Elective 2
MUS 000 Concert and Convocation Attendance 0
MUS 301
or MUS 302
or MUS 304
Orchestra
or Symphonic Band
or Concert Choir
1
MUS 321 Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Music 0.5-1
MUS 353 History of Music II: Classical to Modern 3
MUS 380 Private Lessons (30 min) 1
MUS 400 SENIOR RECITAL/SENIOR PROJECT 2
 Credits12.5-13
 Total Credits118-123

Spotlight

Music

Randi Andersen Tolme

Alumni

"I believe in the importance of higher education and in the liberal arts, and couldn't have chosen a better place to pursue both!"

Music

Kellie Egging

Alumni

“Western has a mixture of things I’m passionate about—music, sports and the environment.”

Music

Amelia Campbell

Student

“I always wanted to live in the mountains since I was little, and when I found out about Western's vocal department and did a little research, it felt like the right place to call home."

Careers


Top Skills

  • Arranging
  • Composition
  • Music Theory
  • Performance
  • Sight-Reading
  • Research Methods



Career Pathways

  • Audio Technician
  • Music Director & Composer
  • Music Therapist
  • Music Instrument Repair & Tuner
  • Musician & Singer
  • Sound Engineering Technician

Take the first steps toward your academic and personal growth.

Fostering your intellectual development is the primary focus of every academic program at Western. Our professors and Office of Career Services will help you identify your strengths, hone your skills, define your goals, and prepare for a fulfilling and enriched life after graduation. Wondering how you can apply your program of choice to your intellectual and personal journey? Check out our “What Can I Do With This Major?” tool to explore the diverse opportunities and pathways within any degree program.

Scholarships

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 30 for 2024. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.

Apply

Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.

Apply

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Music performance

Join a Music Ensemble at Western

  • Band: Symphony and Varsity.
  • Vocal: Concert Choir and Chamber Singers.
  • Jazz: Groups include the large Jazz Ensemble, “High Altitude” Dixieland Combo and Modern Jazz Combo.
  • Orchestra: Performs together regularly as a string ensemble, full orchestra and a small chamber group. Orchestra and Choir combine together to perform major works as well.
  • Other: Instrumental ensembles are open to all interested performers and include Brass, Woodwind, Percussion, String, Jazz Ensembles and Flute Choir, as well as additional small ensembles.

Work Study and Internship Opportunities

  • Recording Technicians
  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Building Monitors
  • Music Production Apprenticeship
  • Radio Station Support

Taking the stage

Music students perform in the inspiring Kincaid Concert Hall and reach their full potential through diverse performance opportunities and one-on-one coaching and preparation.

News & Research

Western Earns Accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission

Western Earns Accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission

Read More about Western Earns Accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission
Natalie performs during a theatre show

Pride Month, Tokenism, and Being Queer at Western

Read More about Pride Month, Tokenism, and Being Queer at Western
Western drumline performing on campus

Western’s Drumline Marches Toward a Full Band

Read More about Western’s Drumline Marches Toward a Full Band
Student at computer with book

Liberal Arts Programs at Western Provide Practical Job Skills

Read More about Liberal Arts Programs at Western Provide Practical Job Skills
Person looking at painting

Artists Showcase Their Resiliency During Annual Event

Read More about Artists Showcase Their Resiliency During Annual Event
Western Music Performance

The Western Community Felt Through Music

Read More about The Western Community Felt Through Music
Brett Keating performing

Western’s Band Director Part of a Winning Team

Read More about Western’s Band Director Part of a Winning Team
Western to host annual Firemen’s Concerts

Western to host annual Firemen’s Concerts

Read More about Western to host annual Firemen’s Concerts
Bringing the art of dance to the Gunnison Valley highlights the spirit of community for Western’s Honors Program

Bringing the art of dance to the Gunnison Valley highlights the spirit of community for Western’s Honors Program

Read More about Bringing the art of dance to the Gunnison Valley highlights the spirit of community for Western’s Honors Program
Western Percussion Ensemble and Steel Band to perform free concert

Western Percussion Ensemble and Steel Band to perform free concert

Read More about Western Percussion Ensemble and Steel Band to perform free concert

Additional Resources

Apply for a Scholarship

Apply for a Music Scholarship All incoming students are eligible for music scholarships. You do not need to be a music major to qualify for a scholarship. To apply, fill out this form and submit it by …

Learn More

Concert Calendar

Concert Calendar View upcoming Western Music Department concerts and events below. Follow the Department of Music our social media platforms by searching Music at WCU!

Learn More

Donate to WMMA

Donate to the Western Mountaineers Music Association A Letter from the Program Director Greetings to you, our friends of Mountaineer music. In our inaugural year as an organization advocating for the …

Learn More

Honor Band Festival

The festival is February 16-18, 2023. We are pleased to announce this year’s guests! Our conductor is Dr. Tom Davoren Director of Bands at Benedictine College. Our Soloist/Clinician is Dr. Darkson Magrinelli (clarinet).

Learn More

Western Slope Choral Festival

The dates for this year’s festival are March 2-4, 2023. The Treble Choir guest conductor is Dr. Welborn E. Young, Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Our Mixed Choir conductor is Dr. John E. Simons, Professor of Music and interim Dean of the College of the Arts at Azusa Pacific University in California.

Learn More

Music Fundraising Campaign Letter

Western’s Music Department has launched a goal to grow and enhance the department offerings through allocating donated funds from program supporters. Click here to learn more about ways to support Western’s music programs through a donation.

Learn More

Donate to Western's Music Program

WCU Foundation supports philanthropic stewardship with Western Colorado University by empowering student excellence for lifelong success.

Give to the Music Program

Department Information

Music Department

Program Director

Kenneth Todd, M.M.

Department of Music Program Director, Senior Lecturer in Music, Director of Orchestral Activities, Director of Applied String Studios

Administrative Assistant

Autumn Coleman

Administrative Assistant II

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Quigley Hall 202
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

Take the Next Step

Apply to
Western
Students pose for a photo on top of Mount Crested Butte in the summer

Apply to
Western

We understand that applying to a university can be daunting, which is why we make our admission process as simple and straightforward as possible. Learn more about applying to your program of choice at Western.

Visit
Western
Colorado Hall with the Palisades in the background on a bluebird day.

Visit
Western

The best way to find out what makes Western such a special place is to experience it for yourself. Our student-led tours give you an insider’s perspective on everything from academics to student life.

Alumni
Community
A group of four alumni look at a display of old photos on a table.

Alumni
Community

We keep the Mountaineer spirit going strong within our alumni community. Whether getting together with friends at an annual event, making a donation or mentoring a student, graduates continue to play an important role in the Western community.

Request
Information
A few students pose for a photo behind a table.

Request
Information

Want to discover more about Western? Request information today to get in touch with the admissions team.