Skip Navigation
Salem, VA Clear 69°

Music at Roanoke College

About the program

The music program provides a dynamic and creative home for students who wish to focus on music performance, composition or research.  Our faculty are active in their fields, regularly performing, publishing, and debuting new work. Additionally, our Resident Artists provide high-caliber instruction in their specialized performance areas. Our curriculum is designed to give you a foundational education with courses in history, theory, and musicianship. In addition, music students are required to perform in ensembles and take lessons to further their performance education.

Performance Studies

Choirs / Both the Roanoke College Choir and the all-female Oriana Singers are recognized for their versatility, innovative programming and beautiful sound.
Instrumental Ensembles / The College's jazz, wind, and chamber ensembles offer students the chance to rehearse and perform music ranging from a Count Basie big band tune to a classical masterpiece.
Applied Music Instruction / Students can take lessons in a variety of instruments, working one on one with trained professionals. An applied music fee of $400 may apply (please see the catalog for more information).

Senior Project

The music major's capstone experience is the senior project. As part of this project, students are asked to develop and present a public project focusing on performance, composition, research, or a hybrid of these concentrations.

Additional opportunities

Students are also encouraged to pursue honors projects, internships, or independent studies to broaden their musical education. Students have recently interned at Mill Mountain Theatre and the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra; and, with regard to research, students have completed work on topics including computer-assisted composition, old-time mountain music, music education in early childhood, 21st century song cycle and the art song tradition Application materials can be found here.

Student projects can be supported through application for funding from the Jones Scholarship.

Students also perform with student organizations, such as the PEP band or college a cappella groups.

What's Next?

Graduate studies / Music students have recently pursued graduate studies at Aaron Copland School of Music, Boise State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Pomona College and University of Chicago.

Career / Music graduates are working as professional performers and teachers, as well as in fields as diverse as mental health counseling, wilderness engagement, business analysis and higher education admissions.