We are a department of scholars, composers, and performers, and offer a strong and exciting program to undergraduate liberal arts students. We teach music through its interrelated subdisciplines (music history, ethnomusicology, music theory, composition, and performance) within the context of a liberal arts curriculum.
Our curriculum is grounded in classical music, world musics, and a full complement of American music (jazz, music and film, popular music, musical theatre, art music). The department collectively values the contributions of all musical cultures and styles, and in any given semester offers courses that reflect this diversity.
Large ensembles include the William and Mary Symphony Orchestra, the Wind Ensemble, the Concert Choir, and the Women's Chorus. Medium-sized ensembles include the Jazz Ensemble, Botetourt Chamber Singers, Appalachian Music Ensemble, Middle Eastern Music Ensemble, Early Music Ensemble, Gallery Players, Performance Art Ensemble, and Indonesian Gamelan. In addition, we regularly offer eight to ten other small ensembles, featuring various combinations of string, percussion, and wind instruments.
Our academic faculty includes three composer/theorists, two ethnomusicologists, three music historians, and four conductors; many of our faculty members enjoy national and international reputations in their fields. They bring fresh insight to the classroom, based on their own research, composition, or performance activities. Our applied faculty of some thirty-five musicians teach everything from bassoon to xylophone in both the classical and jazz idioms. They include some of the finest classical musicians in the Tidewater area (many perform regularly with the Virginia Symphony) and some of the best jazz musicians around.
Many of our students do not major in music, but rather study music as a life-enriching activity; as such, our program is designed to function as an integral component of the undergraduate curriculum. At the same time, however, we prepare many of our students for further academic work in the discipline, and in the last ten years have sent graduates off to some of the best musicology, composition, and performance graduate programs in the country.
Auditions are not required for admittance to the Music program. However, students are welcome to send tapes or cds as part of their admissions paperwork; such items should be sent directly to Admissions. Please note, no videos or DVDs will be accepted. Visit the undergraduate admission website for instructions and the proper cover sheet to accompany submissions. Auditions for the large ensembles (orchestra, wind symphony, and the choral ensembles) are held at the beginning of the year. The jazz ensemble is also selected by audition. Students do not have to be music majors to audition for these ensembles.
We hope our website provides answers to any questions you may have about our department. If you have additional questions or would like to make an appointment to visit us, please e-mail Department Administrator Logan Chappell, [[tlchappell]].