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Music, B.A.

Whitworth's music program will welcome you into a talented, caring community, elevate your musicianship, expose you to renowned performers, composers and conductors, and show you how disciplined musicians can be serious about music without forgetting to have fun. 

Our supportive faculty, drawn from the nation's finest conservatories and universities, provides each student with a meaningful and enriching arts education. Through theoretical and practical study of the discipline, Whitworth's music program develops in students a strong foundation in music theory, analysis and aural skills, as well as technical skill in both individual and ensemble performance. The program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

Why major in music at Whitworth? 

  • Practice, rehearse and study in the new Cowles Music Center – beautiful, modern and tailored to support students. 
  • Learn from our talented faculty artists who perform with top artists and ensembles, and who provide their students with dedicated teaching and mentoring inside and outside the classroom.
  • Perform and develop lifelong friendships in one (or more!) of Whitworth's more than 20 vocal and instrumental ensembles.
  • Tour and perform regionally, nationally and internationally, and perform at music festivals and competitions.
  • Launch your professional career as a student. Our professors can connect you with professional gigs, and Spokane offers opportunities to perform, gain exposure, and build a career network.
  • Engage in unique performance opportunities such as the annual – and much-loved – jazz ensemble concert with an acclaimed guest artist, and the Christmas Festival Concerts in Spokane and Seattle.
  • Connect your faith or worldview commitments to your vocation in music.
  • Take master classes – and converse one-on-one – with Grammy-winning, chart-topping, and world-class visiting musicians, conductors and composers. Recent guest artists include Grammy-winning jazz artists Pat Metheny and Branford Marsalis, noted South African ethnomusicologist Johann Buis, and internationally renowned composers Gwyneth Walker and David Maslanka. 
  • Become who you're meant to be.

Our music grads make a difference (and get jobs)

Whitworth music majors excel in competitive graduate and conservatory programs, in performance careers, as music educators at all levels, and in a variety of careers across the performing-arts spectrum, including conducting, composing, directing church worship, arts administration, music therapy and entrepreneurship.

Recent job placements include:

  • Heather Botts, performing in national touring production of The King and I
  • Bryan Swenland, band director at Mountainside Middle School in Spokane
  • Natalie Cominiello, orchestra director at Salk Middle School in Spokane, and teacher liaison for Music Innovates.
  • Jared Hall, freelance musician, winner of the 2013 National Jazz Trumpet Competition
  • Savanna Jenkins, music teacher at IES Skärholmen in Stockholm, Sweden
  • Greg Hoff, performing and touring with the U.S. Navy Band
  • Rachel Morris, director of worship, music and arts, John Knox Presbyterian Church
  • Nathanael Ankeny, assistant professor of music, director of jazz ensemble, George Fox University 

Our recent grads further their studies in top programs at institutions including: 

  • Arizona State University
  • Boston Conservatory of Music
  • Eastman School of Music
  • Indiana University
  • Louisiana State University
  • New York University's Tisch School of the Arts
  • North Carolina School of the Arts
  • Peabody Conservatory
  • University of Washington

Play well with others

Whitworth's acclaimed ensembles include:

  • Wind symphony
  • Jazz ensembles
  • Jazz combos
  • Whitworth Choir
  • Women's choir
  • Men's chorus
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Chamber winds
  • Piano ensemble
  • Percussion ensemble
  • Concert band
  • Chamber ensembles

Pack your bags!

Our wind symphony, jazz ensemble I, choir and symphony orchestra perform regionally, nationally and internationally. Recent locales include Italy, Thailand, Costa Rica, Spain, New York City and Norway.

Students can also participate in Jan Term international study programs, including:

  • Power and Politics of Art: Rome, Florence, Vienna and Berlin
  • The Arts in Christian Worship: Geneva, Paris, London, Rome and Florence

Want more details?

Ask Richard

Professor Richard Strauch, director of the wind symphony, teaches courses including General Conducting, Music History II, and Wind Literature.

Ask Dan

Professor Dan Keberle, director of the jazz ensemble, teaches courses including Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Arranging, and Contemporary Jazz Methods.

Ask Marc

Marc Hafso, director of the Whitworth Choir, teaches courses including Advanced Conducting, Choral Techniques & Materials, and Private Voice.

Ask Phil

Professor Philip Baldwin, conductor of the Whitworth Orchestra, teaches courses including string techniques, string pedagogy, symphonic lit, and advanced conducting.

What related majors can I explore?