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Performance Emphasis

Natalie Closner

Are you a musician with an interest in studying music and developing your skills for a future in music performance? SPU's Music degree with an emphasis in Performance offers you a rigorous education and a rich foundation.

You can choose from three areas of performance emphasis:

Benefits

A Music major will provide you access to an outstanding faculty who perform with world-class organizations, including the Seattle Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Opera, Seattle Bach Choir, and Seattle Pro Musica; and who record for top studio movie and TV productions.  

Furthermore, a music degree with an emphasis in Performance will teach you to hone and develop your musicianship while engaging you in the advanced study of music theory and literature. As you perform in both large and small ensembles and multiple solo recitals, learn a multitude of styles, experience rigorous in-class and private instruction, and participate in regular studio recording, you will begin your preparation for a promising future in music.

Major Courses and Degree Requirements

SPU's Music Program is accredited at the state and national levels. Each component of the program is designed to sharpen your skills, develop your competence and character, and prepare you for a life in music performance and service.

As a Music major with a Performance emphasis, you will engage in an integrative approach to advanced musicianship. You will study music theory, aural skills, music history, and a wide range of styles from the early Middle Ages to the 21st century. You will have the opportunity to reflect on the integration of music and faith, as well as on your sense of vocation, as you study in depth great works such as Bach's "St. Matthew's Passion," Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis," Brahms' "German Requiem," and Mahler's "Resurrection Symphony." You will perform in a variety of ensembles across Seattle and be a part of the music and art created in this inspirational and culture-defining city.

The minimum total quarter credits required for a major emphasis is 124. The minimum total quarter credits required for degree is 180.

View the major courses and degree requirements.

Admission to the Major

You may apply to the Music major (PDF) when you have completed your freshman year at SPU. To be admitted to the major, you must have earned a 3.0 overall GPA and have decided upon your area of emphasis. Once admitted, you are required to maintain a 2.8 minimum GPA.

Career Opportunities

  • Church Musician
  • Composer
  • Conductor
  • Ensemble Member 
  • Freelance Musician
  • K–12 Music Teacher
  • Music Director
  • Music Librarian 
  • Music Professor
  • Music Therapist
  • Musicologist
  • Orchestra Member
  • Private Lesson Studio
  • Solo Performer
  • Sound Engineer
  • Studio Musician

Faculty Contacts

Chérie Hughes

Assistant Professor of Music; Director of Vocal Studies

Email: hughec4@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2925
Office: Crawford 106

Eric Hanson

Professor of Music; Director of Symphony Orchestra

Email: ehanson@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2949
Office: Crawford 101

Wayne Johnson

Emeritus Professor of Music


Stephen Newby

Dr. Stephen Newby, associate professor of music and director of the Gospel Choir and Worship Arts Ensemble, leads fans in the national anthem at nearly every Seattle Sounders FC home game.

Photo courtesy of Peter Haley, News Tribune.

Brian Chin

Why I Teach at SPU

Brian Chin, Director of Music Theory; Assistant Professor of Music

"A life in music is a joy-filled and humbling lifelong education, and I believe that we musicians, young and old, are on this journey together. The 21st century is an era that rewards the skills of the complete musician, and SPU is uniquely positioned to encourage this blossoming of talent. Through teaching, I consciously choose to invest my sacred time on Earth to walk and create with my fellow artists and incite human flourishing."

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