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Music at Roanoke College

About the program

The music program provides a nurturing and creative home for students who wish to focus on music performance, composition or research.  

Why study music at Roanoke?

Explore / A professional symphony and opera company... performing arts centers that regularly draw world-class musicians... alternative music halls... old-time country jams... The Roanoke Valley's musical offerings range from classical and jazz to folk and bluegrass. Where you explore is up to you.

Find your path / Members of the faculty are professional performers with a range of expertise. Students work one-on-one with faculty to develop their talents at their own tempo and through their own pathways.

Shine / Roanoke offers outstanding performance opportunities-both on campus and through international tours.   


Music Choirs / Both the Roanoke College Choir and the all-female Oriana Singers are recognized for their versatility, innovative programming and beautiful sound. Learn more.

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. Learn more.

Internships / Music students have recently interned at Mill Mountain Theatre, Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and the Taubman Museum of Art. Learn more.

Independent studies / The program encourages students to pursue their personal interests in both research- and creative-based projects. Recent topics include computer-assisted composition, old-time mountain music, music education in early childhood, 21st century song cycle and the art song tradition.

International travel / Roanoke's choirs frequently tour locations both domestic and abroad. Recent destinations have included Italy, France, Hungary, Slovakia, Germany and the Czech Republic. Music students also take advantage of travel courses and individual semesters abroad. Learn more.

Visiting performers / Roanoke has a long tradition of hosting outstanding visiting artists who offer personal instruction to music students. Past performers include such musical luminaries as Christopher Parkening, Marian McPartland, John Cage, Terence Blanchard, Joe Lovano, Philip Glass, Oran Etkin, Teresa Walters, Chanticleer, Solisti di Zagreb (Yugoslavian chamber orchestra), Metropolitan Opera stars Dawn Upshaw and Jerry Hadley, comedian/pianist Mitchell Zeidwig and jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie.   

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. 

View this video on Brittany Harrison, a senior double major in music and Spanish.