What Does It Look Like To Study Music at Concordia?
Studying music takes discipline and passion, with rigorous academic classes, teachers who will challenge and encourage you and a wide range of musical experiences. Small class sizes lend themselves to strong mentor relationships and lifelong connections with faculty. Our ensembles perform around central Texas, around the country, and internationally, and often with other professional musicians.
The Music Department serves the students of Concordia University Texas by offering performing opportunities to share the love of Christ, develop aesthetic expression, and prepare students for leadership roles in the world. Music majors are required to audition for acceptance to the program.
As a student here, you'll discover:
- Faculty who combine impressive academic qualifications with extensive professional experience, and are currently both performers and pedagogues
- Small, conveniently-scheduled classes and a curriculum flexible enough to meet your individual needs
- An artistic community where you can make lifelong connections with classmates from a wide variety of professional and personal backgrounds
- Nationally-recognized performers and composers who visit our campus to teach and perform with us
Students learn many forms of music theory, study music history comprehensively, learn to conduct and lead ensembles and hone their own musical skills on several instruments. The professors and instructors help students connect with other talented professionals in the Austin community, and our students perform as professionals in communities around the country.
Students specialize in one of the following areas:
- Music Education (with optional EC-12 All-Level Music certification)
- Music Ministry (with optional Director of Parish Music certification)
Students with musical ability looking to add Music to their degree program, but do not have space to add a full major in music, may add a Music minor. The Music minor provides some of the same core classes as the major and includes the same access to world-class performance faculty to hone your musical skills.
Curriculum Overview for a Music Major
The Music major is comprised of Music Core classes and a specialization; all Music courses include both theory and real-world applications.
- The Music core includes Music Theory, Aural Skills, Music History, Music Technology and Conducting.
- Music majors also receive instructions on at least two instruments, perform at least one professional-level recital, and many specializations require internships in local arts organizations, churches, and schools.
- Students participate in a wide range of vocal and instrumental ensembles, including large and chamber choral ensembles, a wind ensemble, percussion, jazz, and other chamber ensembles.
- The Music specializations include upper-level applied coursework that prepares you for careers and graduate study.
Here are some highlighted courses:
MUS 2234 - Music Technology: This course includes digital music notation, production and synthesis, utilizing a variety of tools. Beginning from musical acoustics and continuing to principles of sound and audio theory, this class surveys live sound, recording techniques and other useful abilities for the modern musician.
MUS 2334 - Music Theory: The Music Theory courses are a four-semester sequence that includes study in harmony, melodic analysis and counterpoint. We take apart music, learn how it functions and put it back together again. We learn analytical techniques that are hundreds of years old, as well as new methods of looking at new music.
- Our small program allows students to excel in leading ensembles; our Music majors are often leading small and large groups of other students from their instrument, as a conductor, as a worship leader or many other ways
- Being in Austin, we collaborate with our local and national colleagues, often bringing professional musicians to campus - from the director of the Austin Symphony Orchestra to country music recording artists, from local jazz greats to professional vocalists of many varieties, our students can learn from some of the best musicians in the country
- Rather than at a large school where the majority of opportunities go to post-baccalaureate students, our Music majors often service in a wide variety of roles, providing them critical experiences and often developing their musical careers even before graduation
"It is the student's privilege and responsibility to apply all that the CTX School
of Music professors have to offer to each individual student's own life experiences.
If you take full advantage of this partnership, you will come away with an invaluable
diploma which displays that you have not only fulfilled the Bachelor of Arts degree
in Music requirements of the CTX School of Music, but that you will have also opened
doors to faith journey dreams you never even knew you had."
- Jennifer Harvill, Class of 2017
“What I loved most about the music program at CTX were my professors. They are passionate
about teaching music and committed to ensuring their students' success both in the
classroom and in the professional world.”
- Sarah Bickling, Class of 2013
- Music Education, both in classrooms and private studios
- Performance, especially after graduate study
- Music ministry as music pastors, music ministers and worship leaders
- Composition and songwriting
The University Choir at Concordia University Texas is an auditioned ensemble of approximately thirty to forty singers, performing a wide range of literature from chant to modern music with a distinct blend of artistry and ministry. The Choir performs several major concerts each semester, notably our traditional Lessons and Carols concert and the Choir's own Fall and Spring concerts, which generally involve a blend of choral masterworks and smaller gems of the repertoire, sometimes with student instrumental ensembles or professional orchestras.
Under Prof. Chai, the choir has toured internationally twice, and performs around the country for churches, schools, and concerts. The choir serves our greater Church community in regular tours to share their musical offering to schools and churches around the country.
Membership in the University Choir is open to all students regardless of major. Auditions are required and occur at the beginning of each fall and spring semester.
Concordia Symphonic Winds
The Concordia Symphonic Winds is an auditioned ensemble open to any Concordia student at the university who has prior experience playing a woodwind, brass, percussion or string instrument. The ensemble performs a wide range of literature from marches and standard concert band literature to transcriptions, popular music and hymn settings. The ensemble performs several concerts each semester, including the traditional Lessons and Carols concert, a Fall Concert, and a Spring pops concert. The ensemble also performs weekly in chapel, leading the Taizé worship each Wednesday.
Concordia Symphonic Winds is in its first performing season under the direction of Prof. Michael Staub. The ensemble will tour yearly and perform around the country for churches, schools, and concerts.
Membership in the Concordia Symphonic Winds is open to all students regardless of major, MUS 1128. Rehearsals occur Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00-5:30 PM. Auditions are required and occur at the beginning of each fall and spring semester.
Concordia Jazz Collective
The Concordia Jazz Collective explores all styles of jazz and learns from some of the best jazz players in Austin. The ensemble is open to all Concordia students and includes standard instrumentation of saxophones, trumpets, trombones and rhythm instruments (piano, bass, guitar, and drums) as well as vocalists. The ensemble performs one concert each semester.
Please contact Prof. Eundo Park for more information.
The Percussion Ensemble performs in large and small groups in a wide variety of styles from drum line cadences to standard percussion ensemble repertoire. The ensemble is open to all Concordia students to have prior experience with percussion. They perform one concert each semester.
Please contact Prof. Aaron Lack for more information.
Purple Tornado Pep Band
The Purple Tornado Pep Band provides energy and excitement at home athletic events. The ensemble is open to all Concordia students who have prior experience playing a woodwind, brass, percussion or string instrument. No audition is required. The ensemble plays standard athletic band arrangements of popular music to energize the crowd.
The Concordia Singers is a community choir that performs twice yearly with the choral department at CTX. Comprised of CTX faculty and staff, community members, local musicians, and church vocalists, the Concordia Singers generally performs in larger-scale concerts, particularly those with full orchestra involving choral masterworks.
Why study Music at Concordia?
All our music majors gain applied experience in both on- and off-campus opportunities. Our faculty are connected to the vibrant music scene in Austin, and help students network, learn current best practices and find internships and employment. In a small program, you will learn many styles of music in many ways!
What will I learn?
You'll gain experience in understanding:
- Music theory, history, acoustics and audio theory, conducting, and other tools of professional musicians.
- Repertoire and technique pertaining to your primary instrument of study.
- How professional music careers work, from department budgets to how to run a private studio.
- Ensemble leadership and how to organize groups of people.
What performance opportunities are available?
The Music Department maintains an active performance schedule. The Christmas concert involves both choral and instrumental forces.
The University Choir takes a concert tour each spring, and participates in worship on campus and in area congregations on Sunday mornings. Groups are a regular part of the campus chapel schedule.
Students taking private lessons are invited to perform on student recitals and master classes, which are scheduled throughout the year.
What is the Department of Music's motivation?
The Music Department seeks to develop effective leaders for churches and schools. Students in any major may benefit from private lessons to develop personal performance skills.
The University is served by its music students and faculty in a number of ways. Performing groups and individuals provide music for a variety of services and celebrations each semester, from the opening service through Baccalaureate and Commencement. Family Weekend and other special gatherings require a variety of musical forces.
Performing groups go out on select Sunday mornings, carrying the message of Christ's love and reflecting the blessings which He has showered upon Concordia. The face-to-face contact in congregations on Sundays, in concert performances, and on tour serves to introduce Concordia to a wide audience.