Music
Offered by the Music department.

Wheaton’s flexible major and five minors can be tailored to meet the needs of students with diverse musical interests. Through close relationships with students and careful advising, our faculty help majors and minors identify the courses, performance opportunities, independent study, extracurricular work, and internships that will help them achieve their career goals, whether in music graduate school, the music business, arts management or non-musical careers.

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Major requirements

Students who place out of MUSC 114 or MUSC 115 through proficiency tests must take electives within the MUSC catalog (not MUSP performance courses) to maintain the 11.5 credits required for the music major.

No course taken pass/fail can satisfy a major requirement.

Students who enter Wheaton Fall 2018 and beyond

Music major worksheet

The major in music consists of 11.5 semester courses:

MUSC 114 Music Theory I: Fundamentals of Harmonic Practice
MUSC 115 Music Theory II: Tonal Harmony
MUSC 209 Western Music I: Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque
MUSC 214 Music Theory III: Form and Analysis
MUSC 310 Western Music II: Classical, Romantic, Modern

One ethnomusicology course at the 300 level

Two electives at the 200 level or above

MUSC 402 Senior Seminar

One year (1 credit) of individual performance study
One year (.5 credit) of ensemble performance

Students who entered Wheaton prior to Fall 2018

Music major worksheet

The major in music consists of 11.5 semester courses:

MUSC 114 Music Theory I: Fundamentals of Harmonic Practice
MUSC 115 Music Theory II: Tonal Harmony
MUSC 211 World Music: Eurasia
or MUSC 212 World Music: Africa and the Americas
MUSC 214 Music Theory III: Form and Analysis
or MUSC 215 Jazz Theory
or another theory course at or above the 200 level

MUSC 209 Western Music I: Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque
or MUSC 210 Western Music II: Classical, Romantic, Modern

MUSC 211 World Music: Eurasia
or MUSC 212 World Music: Africa and the Americas

Two additional 200-level courses, other than the required history or theory courses.

Two 300-level courses to be taken at Wheaton.

MUSC 402 Senior Seminar

One year (1 credit) of individual performance study and one year (.5 credit) of ensemble performance.

Minor requirements

Music minor worksheet

There are five minor concentrations in music, each involving five semester courses. For all minors 300-level electives should be taken at Wheaton.

Music history

MUSC 114, MUSC 115, MUSC 209, MUSC 210 and one music history course at the 300 level.

Students who place out of MUSC 114 or MUSC 115 through proficiency tests should instead take MUSC 214 or additional music theory courses at or above the 200 level.

Music theory and composition

MUSC 114, MUSC 115, MUSC 214, MUSC 207 and MUSC 308.

Students who place out of MUSC 114 or MUSC 115 through proficiency tests should instead take MUSC 208 or MUSC 302.

American music

MUSC 114, MUSC 115, two courses from , MUSC 223, MUSC 224, MUSC 262, MUSC 272 and MUSC 273 and MUSC 292, and one course in American music at the 300 level.

Students who place out of MUSC 114 or MUSC 115 through proficiency tests should instead take MUSC 214 or an additional American music courses at or above the 200 level.

Ethnomusicology

MUSC 113 or MUSC 114, ANTH 102, MUSC 211 or MUSC 212, one course from , MUSC 221, MUSC 222, MUSC 223, MUSC 224, MUSC 262, MUSC 272, MUSC 273, MUSC 282, MUSC 292, and one course in ethnomusicology at the 300 level (MUSC 309 or MUSC 315).

Students who place out of MUSC 113 or MUSC 114 or MUSC 115 through proficiency tests should instead take an additional ethnomusicology course at or above the 200 level.

Music performance

MUSC 114, MUSC 115, MUSC 214, another music course at or above the 200 level, two semesters of 300- or 400-level private lessons, and a half recital (MUSP 315 or MUSP 415) or full recital (MUSP 320 or MUSP 420).  Instructor permission required for all advanced performance study.

Students who place out of MUSC 114 or MUSC 115 through proficiency tests should instead take additional performance-related courses at or above the 200 level.

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    MUSC 016 – Sight Singing and Ear Training I

    A systematic aural skills course that will reinforce the skills being taught in written theory through interval, melodic, harmonic and rhythmic dictation as well as through the preparation and sight singing of music. This course is an invaluable resource for instrumentalists or singers seeking to improve musical performance through better rhythm and intonation.

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    MUSC 060 – Malian Mande Dance and Music

    West African Dance: This course is based on experiential consideration of Malian Dance traditions, exploring the integrated mediums of dance, drumming and song of the Mande people of West Africa, focusing on warm up, technique, choreography, and repertory development. (Music 060 is essentially the dance component of Music 222, which also includes weekly academic assignments. Music 222 is worth 1 credit and may be chosen to serve as part of African Worlds or a self-initiated Connection.)

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    MUSC 098 – Experimental Course

    From time to time, departments design a new course to be offered either on a one-time basis or an experimental basis before deciding whether to make it a regular part of the curriculum. Refer to the course schedule for current listings.

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    MUSC 099 – Selected Topics

    May be offered from time to time to allow students to study a particular topic not included or not emphasized in regular courses.

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    MUSC 100 – Introduction to Music

    For students with little or no experience, learning to understand the elements, structure and emotional expressiveness of music through attentive listening to performances from many cultures and historical periods. Considerable lecture demonstration.

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    MUSC 107 – The Physics of Music and Sound

    See Physics 107 – The Physics of Music and Sound (PHYS 107).

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    MUSC 113 – Introduction to Music Theory

    Designed for non-music majors or students with little music theory background who wish to gain experience with the fundamental concepts of music notation, scale forms, intervals, triads and rhythmic structures. Includes individual computer-assisted instruction.

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    MUSC 114 – Music Theory I: Fundamentals of Harmonic Practice

    Music notation, scale forms, intervals, triads, seventh chords, rhythmic structures, part-writing. Requires some background in music notation and basic music theory, determined by placement test offered online and during the first class meeting. Students who have not studied music before should register for Music 113 – Introduction to Music Theory (MUSC 113).

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    MUSC 115 – Music Theory II: Tonal Harmony

    Four-part diatonic progressions and voice leading, simple modulation, analysis of works and excerpts from 18th- and 19th-century Western repertoire. One 30-minute lab per week in addition to regular class meetings. Prerequisite Music 114 or permission of the instructor.

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    MUSC 125 – Introduction to Music Technology

    Students will develop skills in music technology through the use of computer and musical equipment. Projects and areas of study may include synchronizing sound with video for in class commercials and short video clips, integrating audio into practice website and social media sites, and producing demonstration recordings for portfolios.

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    MUSC 198 – Experimental Course

    From time to time, departments design a new course to be offered either on a one-time basis or an experimental basis before deciding whether to make it a regular part of the curriculum. Refer to the course schedule for current listings.

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    MUSC 199 – Selected Topics

    May be offered from time to time to allow students to study a particular topic not included or not emphasized in regular courses.

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    MUSC 204 – Innovative Music Traditions of Trinidad and Tobago

    This course is designed to bring students to the communities that have created the inspired and uniquely innovative music traditions of Trinidad. It’s one thing to learn about the Trinidadian Steelband in a classroom, it’s another to stand before an ensemble and feel the phenomenal energy that people are able to generate with these instruments. The historical variables that have brought people of diverse backgrounds together to create a variety of music genres and a celebrated Carnival tradition can be understood best by going to Trinidad, hearing the music on its home turf, experiencing the physical impact of live music performance, and talking with the people who have an intimate and passionate relationship with the music culture.

Significant emphasis for the course focuses on the experiential opportunities we encounter while in Trinidad and Tobago. Exposure to Trinidadian traditions through assigned reading, films, recordings and an independent research project helps to contextualize the music before we head south. Students also have first hand experience with pan, playing weekly with Wheaton’s steelband, the Lymin’ Lyons, in preparation for our trip to Trinidad.

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    MUSC 207 – Composition

    The development of technical facility in music composition through individual study and group discussion and analysis.
(Previously Music 307)

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    MUSC 208 – Songwriting

    An introduction to the processes, materials, and aesthetic issues involved in creating and analyzing songs within the post-1960 folk/singer-songwriter traditions. Coursework will include both creative and analytical assignments. The course will culminate in a public performance and the recording of a studio demo. Enrollment by permission of instructor.

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    MUSC 209 – Western Music I: Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque

    The study of representative compositions in their historical settings. Lecture, listening, discussion.

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    MUSC 210 – Western Music II: Classical, Romantic, Modern

    The study of representative compositions in their historical settings. Lecture, listening, discussion.

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    MUSC 211 – World Music: Eurasia

    An ethnomusicological study of music and other expressive arts within human culture. Focus on classical, folk and popular musics from a variety of traditions including Bulgaria, India, Indonesia and Ireland. This course seeks to develop critical skills, theoretical understanding and appreciation for the musical diversity that surrounds us.

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    MUSC 212 – World Music: Africa and the Americas

    An ethnomusicological study of music and other expressive arts within human culture. Focus on musical traditions and aesthetics of the African continent, including Ewe, Dagbamba, Mande and Shona peoples, vocal traditions of South African and Arab music traditions found in Egypt. The Americas are represented through the diverse musical offerings of Brazil and Native American music cultures found here in the United States.

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    MUSC 214 – Music Theory III: Form and Analysis

    Approaches to analyzing compositional forms, phrase structure and more advanced harmonic progressions in music of the 18th- and 19th-century Western repertoire.

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    MUSC 215 – Jazz Theory

    The course takes the student from the basic techniques of interval theory, chord construction and inversion through diatonic harmony, chord scale theory, diatonic modes and modulations. Other topics include the original blues progression and its variations, the original “Rhythm” changes form and its variations, John Coltrane’s tri-tonic system of harmony, a study of re-harmonization, song forms, slash chords, hybrid chords, the bebop and pentatonic scales, superimposition on chords and how to read a lead sheet and memorize tunes easily. Students will learn through analysis of popular and jazz standards from the 1930s to the present day.

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    MUSC 221 – Music and Dance of South Asia

    A study of the inseparable worlds of music and dance on the South Asian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Nepal and other countries), traversing a stylistic spectrum from popular and folk to high-art classical genres and a range of performance settings encompassing ritual, festival, musical theatre, concert hall and cinema. An ethnomusicological approach places the arts within social, political, historical and religious contexts.

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    MUSC 222 – West African Mande Dance and Music

    This course explores the integrated mediums of dance, drumming and song of the Mande people of West Africa, fusing experiential explorations and scholarly sources; balancing warm up, technique, and repertory development with the careful consideration of relevant ethnomusicological literature, historical fiction and African films.

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    MUSC 223 – Music of South America and Mexico

    The study of important Latin American music cultures including Brazil, Peru, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. These large countries have long histories and have developed complex music cultures including many genres ranging from classical to popular, folk, and ritual performance. Major issues discussed will include syncretization, colonialism, African and European influences, music and gender, music and nationalism, the music business, and to Chicano/a music in Texas and California.

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    MUSC 224 – Music of the Caribbean Basin: A Continent of Islands

    The study of music of the Caribbean region, an area of intense historical interchange, including Spanish-speaking, Francophone and Anglophone cultures. Attention will be given to representative Caribbean islands and also to the music of coastal cities on the Caribbean rim including New Orleans, Veracruz, Cartagena, Bahia, and to Latino/a music in New York and Miami. Major issues discussed will include syncretization, colonialism, African and European influences, music and gender, music and nationalism, the music business, and music as artistic and political discourse.

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    MUSC 225 – The Business of Music

    Abstract: The overarching goal of the course is for the student to come away with a good general understanding of the contemporary components of the music business and a heightened awareness of its evolving history. The course introduces the student to the music business in the United States, the UK, France and other countries, contextualizing the contemporary scene within a study of the history and evolution of the music business internationally over time. Primary texts will address key issues such as copyright, music publishing, marketing and promotion, artist development and management, and the huge influence of evolving technology on the business. We will gain invaluable perspectives by reading biographies and memoirs of key figures in twentieth century music. The course offers opportunities for deep study of particular subspecialties of the music industry, and for both individual and collaborative group work.

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    MUSC 242 – Conducting

    Develops a repertoire of skills necessary for leading effective rehearsals and intelligent performances. Emphasis on learning efficient conducting techniques that will work with singers and instrumentalists. Other topics include rehearsal technique, score reading, performance-related music analysis and ear training. Labs with singers and instrumentalists.

(Tim Harbold, Earl Raney)

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    MUSC 252 – Opera

    A survey of opera’s 400-year history. Topics include: drama and music, singers and vocal styles, characterization, interpretation and staging, and social history. Examples will be mainly major European works, but will also include musical theatre, non-Western genres and film scores. Lecture, discussion, listening, viewing and live performance.

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    MUSC 253 – Bach, Handel and the Baroque Style

    Why is the music of Bach and Handel regarded as the culmination of the musical Baroque? A look at the lives and works of these two composers against the backdrop of the musical, cultural, social, and political history of 17th- and 18th-century western Europe. There are no prerequisites for this course.

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    MUSC 262 – Vernacular Dance in America

    The study of American vernacular dance as an indicator of significant historical, social and artistic trends, contextualizing dance in the contemporary cultural climate that both shaped and reflected the influence of dance as an expressive form. Consideration of relevant theoretical works from the fields of dance ethnography, ethnomusicology and culture studies, and experience with the dances themselves through lecture demonstrations.

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    MUSC 272 – African American Originals I: Spirituals, Blues and All That Jazz

    African American music from early spirituals to bebop and the historical and social context in which the music was created. A balance of lecture, listening and discussion. Considerable use of film.

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    MUSC 273 – African American Originals II: Rhythm and Blues, Rock and Contemporary Jazz

    African American music from rhythm and blues to rock and roll, from Latin-influenced Cubop and Brazilian Bossa Nova to contemporary jazz. Study of the influence of African-based musical aesthetics and traditions in the United States since 1945. A balance of lecture, listening and discussion. Considerable use of film.

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    MUSC 275 – A History of Popular Music in the U.S.A.

    This course will provide an overall history of popular music in America since the end of the 19th century, with emphasis upon mainstream popular music since 1954. Its focus will be the simultaneous independence and interdependence of black and white musical cultures in America, and how this can help us understand our nation’s history in new and different ways. Students will develop listening skills as they learn about the ways popular music styles and genres have mirrored our nation’s social and cultural history. Topics will include blackface minstrelsy, the blues, jazz, country music, classic Broadway song, rhythm & blues, rock and roll, folk music, blues-rock, psychedelic rock, progressive rock, metal, soul, funk, hip-hop, punk, indie-rock, disco, and electronic dance music.

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    MUSC 282 – Music and Worship in World Cultures

    Study of music and dance in religious and spiritual practice in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. We will explore the dialectics between: sacred and secular, virtuosity and devotion, and religious belief and sociopolitical forces, in Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism and indigenous African and Native American spirituality.

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    MUSC 292 – Broadway Bound: American Musical Theatre

    A survey of American musical theatre, focusing on three areas: the African American experience (through shows such as The Green Pastures, Cabin in the Sky, Show Boat, Carmen Jones, Porgy and Bess and The Wiz); Western views of Asia (Madame Butterfly, South Pacific and The King and I); and romantic treatments of American history (The Girl of the Golden West, 1776 and Oklahoma!). Emphasis on film viewing and discussion.

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    MUSC 298 – Experimental Course

    From time to time, departments design a new course to be offered either on a one-time basis or an experimental basis before deciding whether to make it a regular part of the curriculum. Refer to the course schedule for current listings.

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    MUSC 299 – Selected Topics

    May be offered from time to time to allow students to study a particular topic not included or not emphasized in regular courses.

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    MUSC 302 – ‘The Modern Composer Refuses to Die!’: Music in the 20th Century

    Composer Edgard Varèse’s rallying cry reflects the rebellious spirit of composers who emerged from the decaying European classical and romantic music tradition of the 19th century striving to create new musical languages and ideals. The course will survey the important composers of the 20th century, their music and their interactions with the other arts, in the context of the cultural and political upheavals of that period.

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    MUSC 308 – Analytical Survey of Western Music

    Discovering the interactions of time, space, language, timbre and form as they occur in Western European music from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.

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    MUSC 309 – Music Nationalism and Identity

    This course examines the crucial role played by music in the construction of individual, community and national identity in the 19th and 20th centuries. Through the lens of art, folk and popular music traditions, we will study music “revivals”; the role played by music in nationalist movements in Europe, the Americas and Asia; and the culture clashes that occur when musical systems encounter each other.

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    MUSC 315 – Politics of Movement

    This course explores the dynamic issues such as race, gender, class and sexuality through revolving world dance case studies. We look at how definitive dance styles materialize through negotiation and the appropriation of marginalized influences and how people use dance and music to define, reinforce and empower personal and shared identity.

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    MUSC 316 – Music, Sound and the Moving Image

    An exploration of film music from 1895 to the present through classic and contemporary films and film scores by important directors and composers. Considerable viewing, discussion, frequent reading and writing assignments, and creative editing projects using Garage Band and IMovie.

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    MUSC 325 – Beethoven

    A study of Beethoven’s life and works, focusing on his evolution as a composer, how he transcended deafness to become one of the most important composers in the Western European music canon, and the historical context in which he worked.

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    MUSC 330 – Arts Administration

    Students will explore the organization and administrative workings of performing arts groups, including symphony orchestras, choral ensembles, chamber music ensembles, folk, jazz and rock bands, theaters, and festival programs such as Waterfire in Providence, RI, among others. Lectures, individual readings and guest presentations will focus primarily on the non-profit arts organization in the areas of publicity, marketing, fundraising, board relations and programming, as well as managing a concert series or festival, the recording industry, community music schools, the touring artist, and educational residencies. Outside presenters from various area arts organizations will share insight into outreach and programming opportunities and challenges created by race, gender and ethnicity in the current sociopolitical climate. Students will interact with local arts organizations and concentrate on a specific genre for their final projects.

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    MUSC 332 – Teaching Music in the United States

    Introduction to important philosophies in music education, teaching styles, learning strategies and curriculum design. Includes teaching practicum at the Elisabeth W. Amen Nursery School.

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    MUSC 398 – Experimental Course

    From time to time, departments design a new course to be offered either on a one-time basis or an experimental basis before deciding whether to make it a regular part of the curriculum. Refer to the course schedule for current listings.

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    MUSC 399 – Selected Topics

    May be offered from time to time to allow students to study a particular topic not included or not emphasized in regular courses.

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    MUSC 402 – Senior Seminar

    A course designed to culminate work done in the music major. Topics, format and instructor(s) will vary, but the course will include weekly seminars and the writing, presentation and discussion of a substantive paper.

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    MUSC 499 – Independent Research

    Offered to selected majors at the invitation of the department.

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    MUSC 500 – Individual Research

    Offered to selected majors at the invitation of the department. Students interested in such a program, which is normally carried out by candidates for departmental honors, should contact the department chair during the junior year or at the very beginning of the fall semester of the senior year.

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    MUSP 010 – Wheaton College Chorale

    The Wheaton Chorale is open to all students by audition. The Chorale rehearses three hours weekly, performing two to three times each semester. Repertoire consists of music from various traditions, including major works, standard Western-practice choral literature, folk musics of the world, jazz, gospel and more. Visit the Chorale and Chamber Singers page.

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    MUSP 015 – Wheaton Chamber Orchestra

    The Symphony Orchestra is open to all Wheaton students who play orchestral string instruments. The orchestra rehearses weekly and presents several concerts each year, both on and off campus. Repertoire includes music from the Renaissance through the 20th century and often involves collaboration with other campus ensembles. Visit the Chamber Orchestra homepage.

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    MUSP 020 – Southeastern Massachusetts Wind Symphony

    The Wind Symphony is open to all Wheaton students who play woodwind, brass or percussion instruments. The ensemble rehearses weekly and presents several concerts each year, both on and off campus. Repertoire includes standard wind ensemble and concert band literature from the Renaissance through the 20th century. Visit the Wind Symphony homepage.

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    MUSP 025 – Wheaton Jazz Band

    The Jazz Band is open by audition to Wheaton brass and woodwind players, guitarists, bass players, keyboardists, percussionists, drummers and vocalists. Other instruments may be incorporated with permission of the instructor. Repertoire covers a wide range of styles, including swing, bebop, progressive and fusion jazz. The ensemble rehearses weekly, presenting several performances each year. Visit the Jazz Band homepage.

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    MUSP 030 – World Music Ensemble

    The World Music Ensemble performs music from a variety of world traditions, including Brazilian, Irish and South Indian music. Open to all singers and instrumentalists regardless of background, the ensemble is a workshop for both learning repertoire and for learning how music is taught in different cultural settings. We rehearse weekly and give a public performance at the end of the semester. Visit the World Music Ensemble homepage.

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    MUSP 035 – Wheaton Chamber Singers

    The Chamber Singers are an advanced vocal ensemble open to all students by audition. The group rehearses two hours weekly, performing two to three times each semester. Repertoire consists of music from various traditions, including major works, standard Western-practice choral literature, folk musics of the world, jazz, gospel and more.  Visit the Chorale and Chamber Singers homepage.

Matthew Allen

Professor of Music

Leslie Amper

Assistant Professor of Music in Performance

Joseph Bentley

Visiting Assistant Professor of Music

Kathleen Boyd

Visiting Assistant Professor of Music in Performance

Todd Brunel

Visiting Instructor of Music in Performance

Delvyn Case

Associate Professor of Music; Music Director of The Great Woods Symphony Orchestra

Jeffrey Cashen

Assistant Professor, Music Performance

Diamond Centofanti

Visiting Instructor of Music in Performance

Sheila Falls-Keohane

Assistant Professor of Music in Performance, Director of World Music Ensemble

Daniel Hann

Instructor of Music in Performance

Tim Harbold

Professor of Music and Choral Director

Franziska Huhn

Assistant Professor of Music in Performance

Zarina Irkaeva

Instructor of Music in Performance; Assistant Professor part time

Adrian Jojatu

Visiting Instructor of Music in Performance, Bassoonist

William (Bill) MacPherson

Assistant Professor of Music, College Organist

Joanne Mouradjian

Professor of Music in Performance, Soprano Soloist

Earl Raney

Associate Professor of Music in Performance, Music Director and Conductor of the Wind Symphony and Brass Ensemble; Brass Instructor

Lisa Romanul

Assistant Professor of Music in Performance

Ryan Saunders

Visiting Instructor

Julie Searles

Instructor of Music, Director of World Dance

Ann Sears

Professor of Music; Chair, Music Department