Jun 13, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

School of Music

John Allemeier, Director
Phone: (540) 568-3614
Location: Music Building, Room 130
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/music

J. Allemeier, S. Baker, S. Barber, C. Carrillo, B. Chandler Cahill, C. Cicconi, A. Connell, D. Cottrell, W. Dabback, G. Dobner, C. Donakowski, C. Dotas, J. Gibson, J. Haney, W.B. Hayes, W. Huang, A. Lankford, L. Piitz, D. Pope, E. Ruple, K. Stees, P. Steinberg, J. Taylor, J. van der Vat-Chromy, I. Zook

Associate Professors
P. Aponte, C. Cangelosi, E. Guinivan, S. Jankauskas, K. Omelchenko, J. Peterson, D. Phoenix-Neal, S. Suggs, J. Walker, J. Zyko

Assistant Professors
 J. Borths, R. Grimsby, M. Ishikawa, G. Lee, J. Ofcarcik, A. Savage

A. Birdsong, C. DeVona, S. Rikkers


The mission of the School of Music is to provide the highest level of musical training in a comprehensive program that prepares students in conducting, music education, music industry, music performance, theory, composition, music history and music studies and to prepare them to be thoughtful and productive citizens. Specifically, the school’s mission is to:

  • Select undergraduate and graduate majors and minors who have demonstrated a commitment to developing their musical skills and talents.
  • Motivate music enthusiasts to explore musical concepts by exposing them to and including them in music performance, composition and education.
  • Foster a sense of community that encourages intellectual curiosity, creative endeavor, cultural diversity and respect for various perspectives.
  • Encourage excellence from faculty members as educators, researchers, performers, clinicians and supporters so that they develop students into motivated, competent professionals and outstanding world citizens.
  • Provide music majors and non-music majors with knowledge of music and develop appropriate skill levels and musicianship.
  • Offer curricula that prepare students to be professionals in music performance, composition, education or industry.
  • Broaden students’ understanding of music through innovative teaching, creative experiences and scholarly research.
  • Provide a wide variety of cultural events for the JMU and Shenandoah Valley communities.
  • Expose students to current technology employed in the music field, such as computers, music instruction software, electronic devices, and advanced audio and visual equipment.
  • Prepare D.M.A. students to teach at the college level, not just in their principal areas but also in many of the core curriculum classes, such as theory, music history and music appreciation.

The School of Music is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of School of Music.


The thirteen major degree concentrations are each designed to establish a set of skills and a knowledge base necessary for success as a practitioner in specific career areas in the broad field of music. These objectives are achieved through School of Music classes:

  • Through core music classes, students will attain a general level of functional musicianship sufficient to begin and sustain a professional career in the music field.
  • To gain awareness and basic competency in composition and analysis of the standard forms and styles of western music.
  • To gain a broad historical perspective on the development of the forms and styles of western music, as well as diverse world music.
  • To develop a knowledge base enabling the placement of music within stylistic and chronological eras through cues that can be aurally identified.
  • To develop a minimal ability to use a piano keyboard in the study, analysis and performance of music.
  • To learn and practice the basic skills of conducting a musical ensemble and leading a rehearsal.
  • Through attendance at musical performances, students will gain awareness and acceptance of a broad variety of music, as well as of the traditional practices of concert musicians through listening to and watching others perform.
  • Through specialized classes in each concentration, students will attain skills and attitudes necessary for the establishment and maintenance of a career as a professional musician.
  • Students in the Bachelor of Music will take weekly lessons in a primary instrument until they have mastered the skills of performance on that instrument sufficiently well to pass the graduation level for the specific concentration and to successfully complete a senior recital in performance or composition.
  • Students perform regularly in a variety of settings, allowing them to gain a variety of professional-level performing experiences. At least one ensemble per semester is required of all Bachelor of Music students until they have completed all the major requirements. B.A. in Music students complete four semesters of ensemble.
  • Students complete specialized classes at the upper levels to learn the skills and more concentrated knowledge bases of the individual concentration areas. These classes may be aimed at developing a broad survey knowledge of music literature or history in a particular segment of the repertoire, or at the discovery and development of skills needed in the field but not necessarily to be mastered through individual practice and performance.
  • In some major concentrations, internships are required that put the student into the work world in a supervised off-campus learning activity designed to give practical workplace experience in the field.

Career Opportunities

The various programs offered by the school can lead students to a wide range of careers. Programs in performance or composition are intended for students who desire to continue their musical training in graduate programs that will prepare them for professional careers in performance, composition and/or teaching at the college level.

Those who elect the emphasis in music industry will be prepared for positions in a broad area of music-business occupations and for admission to graduate professional schools of business.

The music education program prepares students to teach vocal and/or instrumental music in public schools.

The music theatre program is designed to prepare vocal music majors for the field of popular Broadway musical theatre performance as well as for careers in opera and operetta.

The jazz studies program prepares students for the rigors of graduate study in jazz performance, equips students with the jazz vocabulary necessary for professional performance, and provides knowledge and skills necessary for employment in private instruction or as a jazz specialist in public schools.

The following list of careers is only a small sample of possibilities:

  • Artists’ manager
  • Composer
  • Conductor
  • Entertainment lawyer
  • Music educator
  • Music journalist
  • Music librarian
  • Music software developer
  • Orchestra manager
  • Performing artist
  • Professional accompanist
  • Professor/teacher
  • Record producer

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations

These activities are open to all JMU students without audition:

These activities are open to all JMU students with audition or instructor permission:

  • Brass Ensembles
  • Chamber Orchestra
  • Chorale
  • Clarinet Choir
  • Flute Choir
  • Guitar Ensemble
  • Horn Choir
  • Jazz Band
  • Jazz Chamber Ensembles
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Madison Baroque
  • Madison Singers
  • Monticello Strings
  • Opera Theatre
  • Opera Theatre Orchestra
  • Percussion Ensemble
  • Piano Accompanying
  • Steel Drum Band
  • String Ensembles
  • Symphonic Band
  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Treble Chamber Choir
  • Trombone Choir
  • Trumpet Ensemble
  • Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble
  • Wind Symphony
  • Woodwind Ensembles

Class Fees

There is a once per semester fee for enrollment in MUAP 200 , MUAP 214  and MUAP 300. Applied Music Lesson (Undergraduate) . See MyMadison for details.

Music Scholarships

The entrance audition also serves as the scholarship audition. All music scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit. Recorded auditions will not qualify a prospective student for consideration to receive a music scholarship.

A transfer student on scholarship at another school can only be considered for a scholarship at JMU if the music executive of the current school sends a written release to the director of the School of Music.

Cross Disciplinary Minor

Music and Human Services Minor