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Music Program

Part of the Music, Theatre & Dance Department

Sharpening Your Craft; Engage Your Faith

The department of Music, Theatre & Dance emphasizes active learning in every program. By joining our Music and Theatre majors, you won’t just sit and study methods and theories—you’ll put them into action.

Through ensemble rehearsals, concerts, theatrical productions, student recitals, and fully staged musicals and operas, our students take their learning from the desk to the stage. You’ll also gain a technical background in music theory, acting methods, and dance techniques to take your gifts and skills to the next level and pursue industry-related careers on top of performance.

Auditions & Scholarships

All prospective Music and Musical Theatre majors must audition for admission into the Music, Theatre & Dance department. Our programs offer both merit- and need-based awards that are designed to enhance the University’s financial aid package. To be considered for music scholarships, students interested in Music majors or minors must be complete their auditions by March 15.

To sign up for an audition time, speak with a Taylor Music or Theatre professor, or to receive additional information about music auditions and scholarships, please contact Lisa Royal, the Music program assistant, at lsroyal@taylor.edu.

Professional Competitions & Opportunities

  • National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) voice competitions
  • National Association for Music Educators (NAfME)
  • Marion Philharmonic Concerto Aria Competition
  • Indiana Intercollegiate Band
  • Indiana Music Teachers Association
  • Elmhurst Jazz Festival
  • Performance productions: opera, musical theatre, lyric theatre
  • Center for Musical Development—teaching community children
  • Marion Philharmonic Orchestra performance collaborations
  • Guest artists

Vocal and Instrumental Ensembles

  • Women's Chorus: Adoration is a choral ensemble open by audition to all women at Taylor. This choir uses contemporary and sacred choral arrangements, spirituals, and praise and worship songs to minister. Pursuing vocal excellence, the chorus performs in churches, University functions, schools, and community venues.
  • Taylor University Chorale: The Taylor Chorale is open to all Taylor students by audition. Their repertoire consists of music drawn from the spectrum of sacred choral works. The ensemble's mission is to express the highest divine and human values through choral arts. Performances include domestic and international tours, as well as concerts for conferences and conventions.
  • Taylor Sounds: The Taylor Sounds is a selected group of musicians dedicated to a high standard of chamber choral performance. The group seeks to learn a breadth of music by notable composers, while expressing the highest divine and human values through the choral chamber music art. Performance tours include domestic and overseas venues as well as conferences, conventions, and banquets.
  • Lyric Theatre: Lyric Theatre is open to all students by audition. Performances include a combination of fully-staged productions and semi-staged “scenes” productions. The primary goal of the ensemble is to create live performances demonstrating dramatic confidence, vocal ease, and aesthetic sensibility.
  • Wind Ensemble: The Wind Ensemble is open to all wind and percussion players by audition. Performing classic and contemporary wind, sacred, pops, and pep band literature, the Wind Ensemble presents one full concert program each semester as well as annual tours.
  • Jazz Ensemble: The Jazz Ensemble is open to all wind and percussion players by audition. They perform contemporary stage band literature as well as jazz classics. The ensemble performs a concert on campus each semester and tours in local schools and regional jazz festivals.
  • Jazz Combo: The Jazz Combo is a selected ensemble open by audition. The Jazz Combo explores improvisatory styling and performs a concert each semester. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced level instruction is given.
  • Symphony Orchestra: The Symphony Orchestra is open to all string, wind, and percussion players by audition. Each semester, the Symphony Orchestra performs a full concert of selected masterworks from each of the major historical periods written for full orchestra.
  • Taylor Ringers: The Taylor Ringers consists of thirteen members chosen by audition. The Taylor Ringers perform a variety of four- to five-octave literature of a moderate to difficult nature on campus and during tours each year.
  • Handbell Choir: The Handbell Choir is open for students with bell ringing experience as well as to students with no previous experience willing to learn the art of bell ringing. The group performs in chapel as well as in programs on and off campus. No audition required.
  • The Exploration of Global Music: This ensemble offers a hands-on exploration of traditional musical repertoires from around the world. No prior experience with western music notation is necessary. All students are welcome to participate. Singers and instrumentalists are welcome! This ensemble can be taken as a one credit or zero credit course and meets general education Fine Arts requirement.

Music Facilities & Equipment

The Smith-Hermanson Music Center houses an electronic music studio, a music technology lab, teaching studios, rehearsal rooms, and practice rooms. The attached 218-seat Butz-Carruth Recital Hall boasts a Bösendorfer grand and a Steinway piano. The Recital Hall is designed to provide the best acoustics for performance recording. The electronic studio and technology lab are equipped with music composition and editing software.

Other facility equipment includes:

  • 47 pianos across campus
  • Wind, brass, string, and percussion instruments
  • Electronic and pipe organs
  • African drums
  • Drum sets and keyboards

Private Lessons & Ensembles

We offer ensembles and private lessons in all instrumental and choral areas.

  • Instrumental: symphony orchestra, wind and jazz ensembles, jazz combos, and chamber music ensembles such as string quartet, brass ensemble, and flute choir
  • Piano: piano, piano pedagogy, and accompanying
  • Voice: voice, musical theatre, lyric theatre, and two choral ensembles

Center for Musical Development

Interested in learning to teach music? The Center for Musical Development provides musical instruction to students from the surrounding community. This program gives Taylor students practical experience in teaching music to young learners. Children ages eight to 16 can receive piano lessons from Taylor students and professional instructors at a reasonable cost, with no prior musical training required. Register for lessons here.

Contact Lisa Royal at lsroyal@taylor.edu or 765-998-5232 to learn more.

Composing Your Future

Grad Programs

Some of our Music, Theatre & Dance graduates have gone one to complete their master’s degrees at the following colleges:

  • Bowling Green State University
  • Ball State University
  • Indiana University
  • Southern Illinois University
  • University of Michigan

Career Opportunities

No matter which Music, Theatre & Dance major you pursue, you will have a wide range of career opportunities, from music composer to performer to teacher to stage manager. The Music, Theatre & Dance department has a 96% career placement rate, and our faculty and Calling and Career Office work hard to connect students to employment and internship opportunities throughout their time at Taylor.

Department News

Music Composition Major Publishes Third Album Thumbnail

Music Composition Major Publishes Third Album

Mar 24, 2022

Current freshman Music Composition major Ethan Watts ‘25 released his third album, Hysteresis, in December 2021.

Dr. Loralee Songer Wins Prestigious American Prize in Vocal Performance Thumbnail

Dr. Loralee Songer Wins Prestigious American Prize in Vocal Performance

Jun 30, 2021

Dr. Songer won The 2021 American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award (Women in Art Song and Oratorio) (Professional...

Professionalism and Passion Intersect in Theatre Arts Thumbnail

Professionalism and Passion Intersect in Theatre Arts

Apr 29, 2021

John Broda ‘20 graduated from Taylor in the midst of a global pandemic, but he didn’t let the circumstances discourage him.

Faculty & Staff

Profile image of Christopher Bade

Department Chair

Christopher Bade

Department Co-Chair and Professor of Music
Woodwinds & Orchestra

Profile image of Conor Angell

Conor Angell

Associate Professor of Music
Lyric Theatre & Voice

Profile image of Leon Harshenin

Leon Harshenin

Professor of Music
Piano

Profile image of Judy Kirkwood

Judy Kirkwood

Theatre & Film Program Assistant

Profile image of Eva Kwan

Eva Kwan

Associate Professor of Music
Music Education

Profile image of Lisa Royal

Lisa Royal

Music Program Assistant

Profile image of Loralee Songer

Loralee Songer

Assistant Professor of Music

Profile image of Reed Spencer

Reed Spencer

Assistant Professor of Music
Choral Ensembles

Profile image of Christina Whitlock

Christina Whitlock

Instructor of Piano & Piano Pedagogy and Director of the Center for Musical Development