Welcome to the Music Department

The Music Department equips students for the serious study, composition and performance of great music within the scope of the liberal arts tradition and the context of the Christian faith and worship. The primary objective of the Music Department is to develop skilled musicians with Christian insight into their art and craft at an advanced level. We work toward that objective in many ways unique to the arts, and always as part of and in harmony with the total College community. The Music department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Major: The music major is designed to develop musical skills, knowledge, and attitudes. Professors place special emphasis on encouraging and developing creativity. Students majoring in music may complete a liberal arts music program or may elect to complete a track in music performance, or music composition. Students may also earn the professional Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) degree that leads to a public school teacher credential program

Minor: The music minor is designed to enable students who concentrate in other disciplines to receive training in music theory, history, and performance.

Career Choices
Traditionally, people have tended to view a music major as useful for persons who wish to perform or teach. However, many students are finding rewarding careers in music outside of performing and teaching. Exciting opportunities exist in church music, music publishing, music management, music business, recording, broadcasting and other areas. The music major at Westmont is designed to provide a solid foundation in music and yet offer enough flexibility for a student to earn a legitimate liberal arts degree and prepare for a variety of careers.

For students seeking a career in classroom teaching, the Music Department offers the Bachelor of Music Education degree and teacher certification program in conjunction with the Department of Education. Westmont College is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

Music News


We have exciting news! This Friday night is our bi-annual Composer's Concert! This is a wonderful night where our student composers get to have their fellow colleagues perform the pieces they've written. Please come and join us at 6PM in Deane Chapel! Admission is free!!!


VassilyRenowned Russian pianist Vassily Primakov, who recently released a new, two-CD album, “Chopin: 51 Mazurkas,” performs Saturday, April 25, at 3 p.m. in First United Methodist Church, 305 E. Anapamu St. Tickets cost $25 for general admission; $20 seniors; $10 student and group (eight or more); and may be purchased at the door or by calling (805) 565-6040.

The concert, which is co-sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Robert Logan and the Westmont College Music Department, is a fundraiser for Westmont’s piano program.

Primakov began studying the piano with his mother when he was 8. He attended Moscow’s Central Special Music School at 11 as a pupil of Vera Gornostaeva, winning the Rachmaninoff International Young Artist Competition. When he was 17, he attended summer school at the Music Academy of the West before moving to New York to study at the Juilliard School with Jerome Lowenthal. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 2001 and completed a master’s in 2004. Read More.


PedestriansDo you want to see some really attractive guys play some instruments and sing with angelic voices? Do you want to witness John Miller’s locks swaying passionately around his head? Do you want to see 20 of the most talented musicians on campus perform with said men? Then look no further! The music department will be hosting a fundraising concert to help send the Westmont Orchestra to Italy! So, grab 10 bucks and head over to Porter Theater on April 25th at 8pm and/or April 26th at 3pm. We hope to see you there! To purchase tickets, contact Chyna Charbonneau at


OrchestraThe Westmont Orchestra performs twice in Santa Barbara and twice in the Los Angeles area before traveling to Italy May 12-23. The Spring Orchestra Concert, which features pieces by Verdi, Vivaldi and Puccini, is Thursday, April 30, at 7 p.m. in Page Multipurpose Room at Westmont and Friday, May 1, at 7 p.m. in First Presbyterian Church in Santa Barbara. Concerts in the Los Angeles area and in Italy are free of charge. For concerts in Santa Barbara, tickets cost $10; students are free. Read More


Florence, ItalyDr. Michael Shasberger is excited to announce the Orchestra's plans to tour Italy in May 2015. The Orchestra will visit a number of cities rich in Italian culture and history: Rome, Florence, Venice, and a number of smaller surrounding cities. Students will visit enriching cultural sites like the Castel Sant'Angelo, Vatican City, and Cremona, the violin capital of the world. Needless to say, this exciting opportunity is not without great cost, so please support the orchestra today by donating online through our Giving Page found here.


Twitter BirdFor instant updates on all the latest Westmont Music Department news, please follow us on Twitter @WestmontMusic! We'll be tweeting about upcoming music events, tours, information for prospective students, and fun music department facts.