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Why a Degree in Music?

The Bachelor of Arts in Music is an engaging degree program designed to prepare you for a career in music performance, education, theatre, and many other fields in the arts and humanities. Our talented faculty and small class sizes give you the one-on-one guidance you need to grow your skills in music. Scholarship opportunities abound for music students, and our long list of performance ensembles gives you the chance to get involved on campus while enhancing your talents and experience.




Photo of Holman LibraryAbout the Music Major

Housed in the Division of Visual and Performing Arts, the Music degree offers you many different ways to personalize your degree to fit your own unique interests and passions. Students may earn a BA in music and have the option to choose one of three distinct areas of emphasis for more experience in the area of music that best suits your particular talents.

  • Music Performance Emphasis: Available for students of piano, organ, voice, brass, woodwind, or percussion instruments.

  • Jazz Performance Emphasis: Available for students of trumpet, trombone, saxophone, guitar, string bass, or piano.

  • Church Music Emphasis: Available for students with an interest in religion and directing music programs in a church.

2019-2020 Program Catalog

2019-2020 4-Year Plan




Minor in Music

The Music minor is offered to students who choose to major in a different field, but would still like to incorporate music in their curriculum. It is available to all majors and includes classes in music theory, conducting, and applied lessons.

Music Minor Requirements



Performances Ensembles

Our Music program boasts 11 outstanding and diverse performance ensembles, giving you the opportunity to earn scholarship funds, meet lifelong friends, and have fun showcasing McKendree’s musical talent.

  • Chamber Choir

  • Chamber Ensembles for Woodwind and Brass

  • Concert Band

  • Concert Choir

  • Wind Ensemble

  • Jazz Ensembles & Jazz Combo

  • Percussion Ensembles

  • Vocal Jazz Ensemble

  • Marching Bearcat Band




Photo of McKendree's Entryway MonumentWhy McKendree?

McKendree University provides you with interactive learning opportunities through our small class sizes, experienced faculty, and unique internship experiences that move you beyond the classroom. We are committed to your success in the degree programs we offer, the internships and extracurricular activities that will set you apart, and the college experience you will receive at McKendree. Just 25 minutes from downtown St. Louis, Missouri, McKendree University is located in historic Lebanon, Illinois, and affords students a host of enriching cultural, career, and entertainment opportunities.



Program Highlights


  • Three unique degree tracks in Music Performance, Jazz Performance, and Church Music give you the opportunity to shape your coursework to fit your career goals.

  • Music minor gives you the tools to perform and study music while majoring in another related field.

  • More than 10 different performance ensembles in everything from color guard to concert band enable you to make lasting memories doing what you love while earning scholarship funds.

  • The Hettenhausen Center for the Arts: Opened in 2006, the Hett gives music students an impressive venue to demonstrate their talents to audiences. Perform in this state-of-the-art theater that hosts countless professional dancers, musicians, and actors from around the world.




Employment Opportunities

Music majors find employment in a number of careers, including performance, composing, and teaching. Our graduates work as orchestral musicians, professional singers and instrumentalists, church music directors, and teachers in their own studios.




Interesting Courses


  • Introduction to Conducting

  • History of Jazz

  • History of Music

  • Performance Labs




Club Information / Honor Societies


  • Kappa Kappa Psi (National Honorary Band Fraternity)

  • National Association for Music Education

  • Marching Bearcat Band




Related Programs





Student Support





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Meet the Faculty

Photo of Nancy Ypma, D.Mus.Nancy Ypma, D.Mus.

Chair of the Division of Visual & Performing Arts
Professor of Music
Hettenhausen Center for the Arts
(618) 537-6922 

Photo of Jennifer Moder, Ph.D.Jennifer Moder, IPhD

Assistant Professor of Music Education
Director of Concert Band & Wind Ensemble
Hettenhausen Center for the Arts 1090
(618) 537-6428


Headshot of John McDonald, DMAJohn McDonald, DMA

Assistant Professor of Music Education
Hettenhausen Center for the Arts 1110
(618) 537-6554



Full List of Music Department Faculty & Staff



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