Oglethorpe’s music program is designed to help all our students – music minors and elective-takers alike – add valuable musical instruction to their greater pursuit of the liberal arts. Our goal: to help students develop an appreciation of music and ongoing musical practice that will fill their lives with beauty and joy. You’ll receive personal attention from our distinguished faculty and can take advantage of private lessons in voice, piano, strings, brass and woodwinds (for just $35) from some of the finest professional musicians in Atlanta!
As a music student at Oglethorpe, you’ll…
- Better understand how music is structurally composed
- Hone your skills in analyzing a piece of music for performance
- Gain a deeper appreciation for music in its historical and cultural context
- Become a more accomplished musician
Some people, to borrow from the university’s tagline, use music to make a life; some use it to make a living; some use it to make a difference. However you choose to pursue your talents, your musical training at Oglethorpe will be an enriching experience that ensures a more rewarding musical life in the years to come.
Oglethorpe offers merit-based music scholarships for talented students of all majors. These scholarships range from $500 to $1,500 a year, and are available for both instrumentalists and vocalists (see details for how to apply below). At Oglethorpe, your musical talents can be recognized with financial support while you pursue a major in chemistry, business or any other discipline. You won’t find that at many other universities.
Minor in Music
As a global city, Atlanta is home to a musical scene that’s especially dynamic, eclectic, and diverse (earning Atlanta its honorary title as hip hop’s “third coast.”) Where else can you find world-class opera and symphony, classic country and retro rockabilly, homegrown indie breakout bands, and some of the biggest names in rap and hip hop? Atlanta is also home to several legendary producers who’ve worked with the brightest stars in the business. If an internship in music is what you’re after, Atlanta has great opportunity.
- Unique to Oglethorpe, all students regardless of major can join one of Oglethorpe’s musical ensembles. While this is difficult at many schools for non-music majors, at Oglethorpe this is a great opportunity for talented students to participate in performance groups. The University Singers, led by Dr. Timothy Powell, explores the best of choral literature and performs several concerts a year. The University Singers are also eligible to audition for the highly selective University Chorale. Try out for the Jazzy Petrels, the OU Jazz Ensemble, led by Dr. Brent Runnels, or the Oglethorpe University Concert Winds. These ensembles perform at beloved Oglethorpe events like the Boar’s Head Holiday Festival, Convocation, Oglethorpe Day and other on and off-campus events.
- Want more performance opportunities? Our faculty can connect you to performance opportunities with groups at Emory, Georgia State and many others.
- Enjoy free concerts right on campus. The university event calendar is rich with musical performances from a cappella to instrumental, from opera to jazz.
Music can be a full- or part-time vocation or a fulfilling lifelong hobby. Here are a few ways you can make your musical training pay off:
- Offer instruction and tutoring in piano, voice, guitar, brass, or woodwinds. Find work as a studio musician, or perform for hire at special events. You may choose to continue your music education beyond Oglethorpe to become a music teacher or direct a community orchestra.
- Many of our students have found successful careers in church music leadership, serving as church music ministers.
- Combine the music minor with a major in business or communications and pursue a career on the business side of music-making and production; choose a major in theatre for more opportunities in education or community programming (or maybe even Broadway!); consider a major in English or writing if you’re interested in becoming a songwriter.
- Follow in the footsteps of Oglethorpe music alumni like John Burke ’11, whose three solo albums of original piano compositions have been released to international praise; his second album was nominated by SoloPiano.com for Album of the Year. Or Felicia Stevenson ’10, who studied business administration while pursuing her music talents; she’s now an up-and-coming star (stage name “Diosa”) who’s shared the stage with artists like Lil’ Wayne and is currently working full-time to produce her own album.
See degree requirements and course descriptions in the University Bulletin.
The University Singers is the primary class in applied music at Oglethorpe; as a co-curricular offering it carries one semester hour of credit which may be applied to any degree offered at the University. The Singers functions dually as a class for the study and performance of significant choral literature, as well as an educational organization providing musical experiences of cultural value and intrinsic worth to the performer and listener alike. Additionally, the Singers serve as both academic and cultural representatives of the University. Since the University Chorale is drawn from the Singers, it is similarly so defined.
After acceptance to the University, application for membership in the University Singers must be made to the Director of Musical Activities. Registration for Music 134: University Singers is by the instructor’s permission only. In order to be admitted, all candidates must complete a qualifying audition consisting of:
- Voice placement
- Melodic Retention
If the audition is completed successfully and if a vacancy exists in the specific voice part auditioned, admission follows. Once accepted, any member of the Singers may audition for the highly-select University Chorale; no additional registration is necessary. Hearings for vacancies are held at the first of each semester. Being selected for the Chorale is a distinct honor and is based on the quality of the audition, the singer’s ability and the need for a particular voice in any given ensemble. Participation in Chorale is reported as part of the Singer’s grade.
The Chorale audition consists of:
- Voice Placement
- Solo Performance
- Aural / Melodic Retention Exam
- Musical Literacy / Sight Reading Exam
- Requirements and Expectations
In order to enjoy the rights, privileges and honors of membership in the Singers, a member must remain in good standing academically, socially, and spiritually. This assumes a willingness to work “in ensemble” with other Singers to fulfill all responsibilities to the best of one’s abilities – and with a positive spirit and attitude.
The University Singers and Chorale perform at several concerts each semester, both on and off-campus.
The Oglethorpe University Winds provides a venue for students to participate in high-level performance of wind band repertoire, and also provide music for certain University functions, such as the Boar’s Head holiday festival in December and Oglethorpe Day in February. The Wind Ensemble is the core ensemble from which the pep band is drawn.
The Stormy Petrel Pep Band performs at several home basketball games each season. The band leads OU fans in the fight song and is responsible for filling Dorough Field House with excitement and Oglethorpe spirit!
Participation in the Winds and Pep Band is open to the Oglethorpe community. Auditions are not required at this time. Students who wish to participate must enroll in Music 144.
The Oglethorpe University Concert Winds seeks to:
- Provide varied, balanced and meaningful musical experiences that promote creativity, flexibility, and versatility in each musician.
- Confirm the lessons learned in theory, composition, and music history and music education in living performance.
- Create a positive music-making environment that allows knowledge gained in the private studio to be applied to ensemble performance.
- Increase awareness of the diverse artistic and historical significance of music for winds and percussion.
- Expand the technical, intellectual, psychological, and spiritual horizons of musicians that result in soul-to-soul music making.
- Prepare music and musicians of the future by exploring music of the present and preserving music of the past.
- Preserve the repertoire of the medium that has become a uniquely American art form and promote the newly emerging global repertoire.
- Broaden concepts of teaching and performance by encouraging creative thought and artistic interaction.
- Develop future musical leaders of vision and passion.
- To encourage “community” with all people, both on campus and throughout the city.
- To enhance, through artistic contributions, the quality of life at the University in specific and metropolitan Atlanta in general.
Who should apply: Students with a strong academic record and significant experience in choral singing are excellent candidates for this program.
Purpose: To reward excellence and achievement in vocal-choral performance.
Amounts: Ranging from $500.00 to $1,500.00 per year. (Awards are applicable to any degree offered at Oglethorpe)
- Must be accepted for admission to Oglethorpe University.
- Must not be planning to major in music.
- Must exhibit excellence in singing, as well as above average music reading skills in audition.
Procedure: To make application, you must be nominated by your choral teacher or conductor. If the nomination is warranted, then candidates will be invited to come to campus for an audition (similar to most all-state chorus auditions) followed by an interview with the Director of Musical Activities.
Scholarship Auditions: Held at varying times throughout the year; awards are made annually to coincide with the academic calendar year (September-May). Specifics for preparing the hearing will be provided upon invitation to audition by the Director of Musical Activities; the following general areas will be heard and evaluated in the audition:
- Performance of two contrasting solo selections from the standard repertoire for collegiate entrance
- Aural / Melodic Retention and Pitch Matching
- Sight Reading
Brass, Woodwind and Percussion
Who should apply: Students with a strong academic record and significant experience in band or orchestral playing are excellent candidates for this program.
Purpose: To reward excellence and achievement in instrumental performance
Amounts: Ranging from $500.00-$1500.00 per year. (Awards are applicable to any degree offered at Oglethorpe.)
- Must be accepted for admission to Oglethorpe University
- Must not be planning to major in music
- Must exhibit excellence in playing, as well as above average music reading skills in audition
- Must register for Music 144 (Oglethorpe Concert Winds) and perform with this organization and the OU Pep Band every year on scholarship.
Procedure: To apply, you must complete the application. If the application warrants and the conductor considers it necessary, then candidates will be invited to come to campus for an audition followed by an interview with Dr. Brent Runnels.
Scholarship Auditions: Held at varying time throughout the year, awards are made annually to coincide with the academic calendar year (September-May). All auditions usually take place during the January Scholarship Weekend, during the second summer Passport Day, the week before classes begin or by private appointment during the year. The location will be determined by the date.
- 5 major scales of your choice
- a prepared piece of your choice – one that gives evidence of your playing ability
- a brief sight-reading selection
To schedule an audition or for answers to questions, contact: Dr. Brent Runnels, Director of Music by email or at 404-364-8397.