WCU’s music program prepares students to become professional musicians, music teachers or commercial and electronic music recording artists. The program also offers a track for students interested in music industry jobs from producing records to managing artists. WCU’s School of Music is a community of faculty, staff and students who come together to learn and cultivate the art form of music, whether marching with the 500 members of the national award-winning Pride of the Mountains Marching Band or recording an original composition in a state-of-the-art studio on campus. In addition to admittance to WCU, prospective students who wish to study in the School of Music must perform a live audition. Learn more about the admission and audition process here.
Faculty members who are active performers, researchers, composers and scholars guide students through the program, which has a fully equipped recording studio and hosts more than 300 concerts and recitals annually. Students take musicianship courses and individual lessons, and present a public recital. Musicians concentrating on performance study additional music theory and performance techniques, and participate in a variety of ensembles. Aspiring music educators take classes that prepare them to be successful, licensed teachers. Commercial and electronic music students study contemporary music technology and how to record, edit, mix and master digital audio. Music industry students complete an internship and concentrate on fundamentals of the music business with course topics ranging from royalties to artist management.
Most students who complete a concentration in performance go on to additional graduate study or may explore careers in professional bands or ensembles, music therapy or teaching music privately. Music education students seek teaching positions and licensure to work in North Carolina public schools. Graduates with concentrations in commercial and electronic music may be hired to compose or record music for commercials, TV shows, movies, events or video games.Students who concentrate their studies in the music industry may be hired by recording studios, record labels and organizations with music performances such as churches and conference centers.