The Department of Music seeks to provide professional training to talented students who pursue careers as performers, teachers, church musicians, and scholars, and to offer experiences in music to all persons of the College and community, thereby enriching cultural backgrounds and developing musical skills.
The Department of Music thus realizes its mission in men and women who as music majors:
- Develop intellectual curiosity about, and the ability to evaluate, the meaning of music and its role in mankind’s search for aesthetic communication and human understanding;
- Strive to become sensitive, well-rounded musicians, through the development of technical proficiency and corresponding creative ability in their primary area(s) of musical performance;
- Develop basic and advanced musicianship skills, and acquire a broad knowledge of historical musical styles;
- Commit themselves to a lifetime of increasing musical awareness and appreciation in their own lives and in their respective communities.
Westminster offers a broad program in music, open to majors and non-majors alike. The Choral and Instrumental Programs at Westminster College include 350-400 students from all areas of the campus. Our philosophy states that any student wishing to sing or play in an ensemble will be placed in an ensemble according to his/her interests and experiences. Currently, there are five choral and five large instrumental performing groups on campus from which students may choose.
Membership in all musical organizations is open to any qualified student, and academic credit may be earned for each semester’s participation. Private lessons with experienced teachers are available to all Westminster students.
Westminster supports its music activities with excellent physical facilities. Will W. Orr Auditorium, which seats 1,750, has a four-manual Moeller organ, and Wallace Memorial Chapel, site of the weekly Vespers services, contains a three-manual Moeller organ. Old Main tower houses a three-octave carillon. The Music Department is located in Patterson Hall. The Music Department library, which contains 10,000 records, 500 compact disks, 200 audio and 200 video tapes, 9000 music scores, and playback equipment for all recordings, is available for use by all members of the College community.
Westminster College is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). Lessons, ensembles and courses are available to all students in the College. Music majors and minors are referred to The Music Handbook, obtainable from the Department of Music, which lists specific additional rules and regulations of the department.
Westminster enjoys a professional affiliation with the Presbyterian Association of Musicians (PAM).
Students who complete coursework in the Department of Music Curriculum will be able to function as musicians in the profession and the community, and will be able to dialogue and discourse on musical topics including history, theory and pedagogy. Mastery of the subject matter is evaluated and assessed through one or more of the following means; musical performance (individual and ensemble), quizzes, tests and oral presentations.