Western Carolina University's School of Music provides student musicians with academic, performance, and recording experiences that prepare them for careers in the profession. From our award-winning Pride of the Mountains Marching Band to our regionally acclaimed Music Education and Commercial Music & Audio Production programs, our students are surrounded by excellence. In addition to admittance to WCU, students who wish to study in the School of Music must audition.
Our bassoon studio is led by Dr. Will Peebles, who in addition to being an accomplished musician has a small collection of historic double reed instruments.
The clarinet studio is led by Dr. Shannon Thompson, who performs with the Asheville and Hendersonville Symphonies and teaches in the summers at InterHarmony International Music Festival in Arcidosso, Italy.
The flute studio is led by Dr. Kelariz Keshavarz, co-founder of Petrichor Records and artistic director of the PR Young Iranian Composers Project. She has performed at many venues including the Tehran Contemporary Music Festival, World Flute Festival, and the International Chamber Music Festival of Barranquilla.
WCU's French horn studio is led by Dr. Travis Bennett, who regularly performs with orchestras around the Southeast and has performed in concert tours in China, Germany, and Jamaica.
Dr. Chris Beyt, a jazz guitarist, bassist, composer, recording engineer, and educator, leads WCU's jazz guitar studio. He has performed with distinguished artists such as Dave Liebman, Michael League, Randy Brecker, and the Mobile Symphony Orchestra.
Jazz pianists will study with Pavel Wlosok, a Czech pianist, composer, and educator. Pavel is a 2000 IAJE Gil Evans Fellowship recipient and has performed with jazz greats Bobby Watson, Joe Lovano, Kenny Wheeler and more.
The Performance Technology Private Lesson Studio was founded by Dr. Damon Sink and is currently run by Dr. Justin Leo Kennedy. Students can learn to make music with the latest DAWs, launchpads, and analog synthesizers.
Oboe players will study with performer Brian Seaton, who is accomplished not only as a performer but also as a master in finishing and repair of double reed instruments.
WCU's percussion studio is led by Dr. Adam Groh, an ardent supporter of new solo and chamber music for percussion. He has performed alongside So Percussion, members of the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and was a featured performer with the Denkyem Percussion Group.
WCU pianists will study with either Dr. Andrew Adams or Dr. Leonidas Lagrimas, both accomplished pianists and pedagogues with decades of performance and teaching experience. Students can train in classical and commercial styles.
The WCU saxophone studio is led by Dr. Ian Jeffress, the alto saxophonist of the award-winning Assembly Quartet, and saxophonist with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra.
Students studying trombone will train under Dr. Zsolt Szabo, the Principal Trombone of the Brevard Philharmonic Orchestra and previously the Principal Trombone of the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra in Chicago.
The tuba studio at WCU is led by Dr. Michael Schallock, an accomplished performer who also serves as coordinator of the music education program and faculty advisor to the WCU Collegiate Music Educators Association.
Trumpet students at WCU study with Dr. P. Bradley Ulrich, who also performs with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra and serves as Executive Director of the Trumpet Festival of the Southeast.
Whether your musical interests lie in classical, Broadway, jazz, opera, or gospel, the vocal and choral music program at Western Carolina University offers a wide array of opportunities.
Every music major or minor program requires a live audition for the School of Music in addition to the standard undergraduate admissions process for the university. Auditions for Fall take place in late January and February.Explore the Admission and Audition Process