AdmissionsU.S.News Best Colleges 2011

Music Performance

A nationally recognized program of excellence

As a music performance major at Elon, you will thrive in a dynamic, hands-on curriculum that will give you the knowledge, expertise and guidance to achieve your dreams — and opportunities to perform beginning your freshman year.

Elon’s nationally recognized music performance program will give you a solid foundation in performance technique, music theory and music history, as well as access to advanced instruments and equipment. You will also have the opportunity to join one of Elon’s many performing ensembles and participate in numerous concerts, recitals and stage productions.

And because classes are small, you’ll receive individual attention from faculty members who excel as performers and scholars. By the time you graduate, you will have built an impressive resume of real-world skills and experiences to help you succeed in a career.

“Majoring in music performance at Elon helped me develop my strengths in music and my character as an individual. The professors truly want to help you succeed and to prepare you for the future.” 

Kate Miller ’08

Opportunities abound

Elon offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in music performance* (instrumental or vocal emphasis) for students interested in graduate school, apprenticeships and performing careers. Students interested in bringing the creativity of the arts to another profession can double major in music and another discipline. Elon also offers a jazz studies minor and a practicum in piano pedagogy.

*Auditions are required for admission to the music performance program and for scholarship consideration.

Perform early and often

As a music performance major, you will be able to perform beginning your freshman year in any of Elon’s excellent ensembles, including:

  • Orchestra
  • Camerata
  • Chorale
  • Wind ensemble
  • Percussion ensemble
  • Opera workshop
  • Jazz ensemble
  • Fire of the Carolinas (marching band)
  • élan (vocal jazz)
  • Pep band
  • Numerous chamber groups and jazz combos.

Elon’s ensembles have toured throughout Europe and Russia and along the eastern seaboard during Elon’s winter term. In addition to performing regularly as soloists with Elon’s orchestra, music performance majors regularly showcase their talents in recitals as part of their studies.

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 performance majors benefit from working with prestigious visiting performers who come to campus each year to perform and lead workshops and master classes. Recent performers include Wynton Marsalis, the Czech Symphony, Netherlands Chamber Choir and Boston Camerata, with whom Elon’s Camerata has performed.

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

Experienced faculty

The Department of Music’s faculty combine a passion for teaching with a wealth of performing and production experience. 

Victoria Fischer (piano) has won the International Bartok-Kabelevsky Competition and had books published by Oxford University and Cambridge University Presses. She has performed throughout eastern Europe, central America and the United States.  

Jon Metzger (jazz vibes) as performed throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Central America, and the U.S., including at the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.. He has recorded numerous CDs and is the author of The Art and Language of Jazz Vibes.  

Polly Butler Cornelius (voice, diction), soprano, frequently performs opera, oratorio, recitals and music theatre throughout the United States. She has received awards and recognition from several organizations, including the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the Orpheus Vocal Artist Competition and the Metropolitan Opera Auditions. 

Stephen Futrell (choral) has directed choirs and orchestras in Europe and the United States. He also has more than 25 years of professional performance experience and continues to appear as a guest soloist in concert and in the recording studio.

“Elon gave me the tools to build the foundation of my career in music instruction, performance and in film scores. I am thankful not only for what I learned in the classroom, but for the faculty who took time to answer my questions about my goals.”

Jim Boitnott ’98

Vice President of Business Development, Notion Music  

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, and another is a member of the St. Louis Wind Symphony. 

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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