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. The Music Department works toward that objective in many ways unique to the arts, and always as part of and in harmony with the total College community.
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.
Minor: The music minor is designed to enable students who concentrate in other disciplines to receive training in music theory, history, and performance.
SCHOENFELD INTERNATIONAL STRING COMPETITION
Distinguished Westmont adjunct professor of Violin Dr. Chan Ho Yun will be serving as an adjudicator for the prestigious Schoenfeld International String Competition. "The Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld International String Competition for Violin and Cello aims to enrich the culture of music by recognizing and promoting highly gifted young musicians." Competition levels include solo and chamber ensemble categories from ages 8 to 36. Click here for more details.
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WESTMONT'S MUSIC GUILD COMPETITION
On Saturday evening, March 2, 7 finalists came to Westmont to participate in the first annual Music Guild Scholarship event. Participants were each awarded significant music scholarships to study at Westmont in the fall. Finalists included Oboist Chyna Charbonneau from Dubai UAE, Pianists Tiffany Backe of Laguna Hills and Anna Reiley from Wailea, Hawaii, Violist Katrina Whitman of Wenatchee, Washington, Violinists Sofia Prykhitko of Santa Barbara and Lalia Mangione of Grand Rapids, Michigan (first place winner), and Cellist Cole Syverson of Thousand Oaks. All of the finalists are admitted academic award winning prospective students for Westmont in the fall of 2013.
(From left to right Sofiya Prykhitko, Lalia Mangione, Cole Syverson, Anna Reiley, Tiffany Backe, Katrina Whitman, not pictured Chyna Charbonneau whose audition was remotely played from Dubai)
(Lalia Mangione, violin, first place)
(Sofiya Prykhitko, violin)
(Cole Syverson, cello)
ORHCESTRA PERFORMS DIEMER WORLD PREMIERE
The Westmont Orchestra, back from its tour of China in May, opens its seventh season, performing the Fall Orchestra Concert on Friday, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m. in the Music Academy’s Hahn Hall and Sunday, Oct. 21, at 3 p.m. in First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave. General admission is $10 and students are free. To purchase tickets or for more information, please contact Trinity Hokama at (805) 565-6040.
The orchestra will perform the profound and popular “New World Symphony” by Dvorak, Erich Korngold’s first popular film score overture, “Captain Blood,” and “Jerusalem” by Sir Charles Hubert Parry, which was prominently featured in the opening and closing ceremonies of the London Olympics and in the film “Chariots of Fire.”
The repertoire includes a world premiere by renowned composer Emma Lou Diemer, who celebrates her 85th birthday this season. Her Concerto for Violin, which includes the three movements, “A Little Parlour Music (After Poulenc),” “Remembrance of Things Past” and “Santa Barbara Rag,” is dedicated to Westmont violin professor Philip Ficsor and the orchestra. Coincidentally, the Santa Barbara Symphony opens its season honoring Diemer by performing her “Santa Barbara Overture” on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 8 p.m. Read More
New Worship Leadership Music Major Emphasis
Westmont is pleased to announce the approval of a new Music Major emphasis in Worship Leadership. This new program, just approved by Westmont's Curriculum Committee and the National Association of Schools of Music this spring, will be offered starting in the fall of 2013. Students who wish to explore careers in church music are particularly encouraged to explore this new major track. The major will allow students to enter from any church background experience. All students in the program will encounter a strong curriculum that covers the history and practices of worship throughout the history of the church, practical courses on arranging and producing music for a variety of contemporary and traditional church settings, internship experiences in a diverse array of music ministry settings, and the opportunity to develop and refine skills on keyboard instruments (including pipe organ!) and guitar for leading congregational singing. Students will be able to relate their work in the Westmont Choirs and instrumental ensembles to worship settings. The roles of the Worship Leader, Minister of Music, Cantor, Organist-Choir Master, Director of Music, and Liturgist all combine in so many and various ways in contemporary worship traditions. This new Music Major will help students grow and and build skills that will hopefully serve the church in many settings!
Westmont College Orchestra performs at Shanghai University on their musical tour of China (May 2012)
Photos of Westmont's New Music Building!
On July 15 renovation of the historic Art Center was completed for the opening of Westmont's new music building. The center, which housed Reynolds Gallery, will be a hub for Westmont’s burgeoning music department. The art department moved to Adams Center for the Visual Arts last fall, freeing up the two-story structure to provide office and practice space for the music department’s five full-time professors and 26 adjunct instructors. Various gifts to the college are funding the project as part of the Bright Hope for Tomorrow campaign.
Randy Jones, director of campus planning, coordinated the restoration of the historic exterior while bringing the structure up to current code. Integrating the acoustic requirements in an existing structure proved challenging. Jones says new interior walls constructed within the existing walls were framed with steel studs and filled with insulation. Steel channels connected to the studs hold isolation brackets, which have two layers of sheetrock attached to them. “This allows the walls to literally vibrate to absorb sound,” Jones says.
The acoustic requirements raised the second floor several inches higher by installing isolation brackets to hold wood supports and a plywood surface that’s topped with acoustic Marmoleum or carpet. “On the lower floor, we poured lightweight concrete to create an acoustic buffer,” Jones says. “On the walls and ceilings, acoustic panels absorb and deflect sound to enhance the experience of practicing.”
The new music building will feature eight office studios, 12 practice rooms, a recording studio, a composition lab and a reception area.
The Art Center opened in January 1986 after architects restored the historic Deane School building to preserve its original exterior appearance. The former junior dormitory is one of several buildings on the lower part of campus that originally belonged to the Deane School for Boys, which operated from 1912 to 1933.
Modernizing the unique structure, a Santa Barbara County historic landmark, proved to be an exciting challenge for Jones and his crew. “The old building gave the project team new puzzles to work through and solve each day,” Jones says.
Photos taken by Brad Elliott.