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Perform, conduct and teach with expert faculty

As a music major at Elon, you will enjoy a dynamic, hands-on experience that will give you the knowledge, expertise and guidance to succeed whether your dream is to perform, conduct, teach or bring the creativity and passion of the arts to a career in another field. 

Elon offers four degrees* in music: a Bachelor of Science in music education leading to teacher certification; a Bachelor of Science in music technology for students who are singer/songwriters, are interested in post-production or film scoring, or who are interested in audio engineering; a Bachelor of Arts in music performance (instrumental or vocal) for students interested in graduate school, apprenticeships and performing careers; and a Bachelor of Arts in music for students interested in pursuing a double major in music and another field. Elon also offers music technology, music and jazz minors.

* Auditions required.

“By the time I graduated, I had toured with the percussion ensemble, sang the Mozart Requiem, and written and performed an original score to a Greek tragedy. I never would have gotten to do all those things at another school.”

Ben Newsome ’07

Perform early and often

You will have the opportunity to perform beginning your freshman year in one of Elon’s many performance ensembles, including orchestra, Camerata, Chorale, wind ensemble, percussion ensemble, opera workshop, jazz ensemble, the Fire of the Carolinas (marching band), élan (vocal jazz), pep band, numerous chamber groups and jazz combos. The university’s ensembles have toured throughout Europe and Russia and in the U.S.. In addition to performing regularly as soloists with Elon’s orchestra, music majors perform in recitals as part of their studies.

You will also have an opportunity to work with prestigious visiting performers who come to Elon each year for workshops, performances and master classes. Recent visiting performers include Wynton Marsalis, the Czech Symphony, the Netherlands Chamber Choir and the Boston Camerata, with whom Elon’s Camerata has performed. 

The three choral ensembles offered at Elon are open to all students regardless of major: Camerata and élan (auditioned) and Chorale (non-auditioned). These groups travel extensively within the U.S. and abroad. In addition, the Elon choirs produced a DVD of their concert presentation of Carmina Burana, and élan recorded Elon’s first professionally produced CD featuring student performers. For more information, visit the Choral Activities Website.  

The band program at Elon includes the wind ensemble, pep band and the Fire of the Carolinas marching band. Wind ensemble is open to all Elon students with band experience (woodwinds, brass and percussion) for class credit in the spring semester each year, performing two concerts each spring semester. Pep band is an integral part of game-day festivities and excitement on campus, performing at all men and women’s home basketball games and traveling to the Southern Conference tournament each March to support the teams. Membership in this ensemble is by audition and is open to woodwind, brass, bass guitar and drum set players. 

The Fire of the Carolinas is a high-energy contemporary marching ensemble that provides spirited performances on the field and in the stands. The group performs at all Elon home football events and selected away games. The Fire performs in exhibition each season at high school marching band festivals and maintains an active schedule on and off campus each fall. Membership is open to all Elon students with band experience (winds, percussion, color guard and dance). For more information, visit the bands Website.

Hands-on experience

Elon’s music program is housed in the Center for the Arts, which provides an effective setting for music majors to develop and showcase their talents. The facility boasts numerous concert Steinway grand pianos; rehearsal rooms; McCrary Theatre, a large, fully equipped theatre and concert hall; Yeager Recital Hall, which has digital recording capabilities; modular practice rooms and studios; a 23-station music technology lab (with MIDI controllers, ProTools, Digital Performer, Mac computers and much more; and an audio suite (with ProTools, a MacQuadCore and a mixing control surface). A Casavant pipe organ is available for use in Whitley Auditorium.

Music majors regularly gain professional experience through internships or apprenticeships at performing arenas around the country. Students have directed local church music programs, and have performed in combos and theatres, including the Santa Fe Opera, Opera North and Boston Lyric Opera.

Experienced faculty

Music faculty combine a passion for teaching with a wealth of performing and production experience.

Gerald Knight (associate choral director; conducting, voice, theory) has appeared in recitals and oratorio performances in Italy, Austria and throughout the southeastern United States. He has music degrees from Benedict College, the University of South Carolina and Florida State University, and has studied at several other distinguished institutions.

Tom Erdmann (trumpet, jazz and orchestra) has written two books, and a third will be released in 2010. He is editor of two other books, and has published more than 120 articles in magazines and journals including Saxophone Journal, Women of Note Quarterly, The Journal of the Conductors Guild, International Trumpet Guild Journal and Jazz Player

Hallie Hogan (mezzo-soprano) has performed various genres of music, including opera, musical theatre and oratorio. She currently focuses on vocal recital work, collaborating with various musicians and specializing in American art song. She has received awards through the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. 

Omri Shimron (coordinator of music theory; piano), a pianist by training, performs new and traditional repertoire in solo and chamber settings, frequently presenting lecture presentations for such organizations as the College Music Society and in colleges and universities around the world. He is passionate about teaching music theory in a way that promotes well-rounded musicianship.

After graduation

When you graduate, you will have the skills and experience to enter a variety of careers, including college professor and performer, music teacher and band director, opera singer, concert pianist, studio musician, composer or music critic, among others. 

Elon music graduates perform throughout the country and overseas. One graduate of the jazz program is touring Europe and the Far East, and has been conducting master classes-in-residency in Germany. Another has performed with the Santa Fe Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Pittsburgh Opera and Opera North. Graduates also have gone directly into teaching and directing. Other students preparing for a career in performance, conducting or university teaching have gone on to graduate programs at the most prestigious music conservatories in the world, including:

  • Eastman School of Music
  • Juilliard School of Music
  • Peabody Conservatory of Music
  • Boston Conservatory
  • New York University.


Visit the Department of Music Website.

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