A Music degree from Western Washington University is highly regarded in the profession. Western graduates become successful teachers, performers, composers and leaders in all fields of music. The strength of Western’s Department of Music is its faculty’s commitment to students and helping them achieve their goals and aspirations.
The Department of Music also encourages and promotes participation from those students whose academic interests lie outside the arts, yet who have the appropriate experience and the dedication to succeed in our department. With more than five hundred students participating in our music program, there are opportunities for performance and academic study at many levels of involvement.
Explorations in early, traditional, contemporary, jazz and electronic music exist in the various course activities and degree plans with the emphasis always on dealing directly with the musical art through performance, composition and analysis.
The Department of Music offers one general and four professional undergraduate programs leading to baccalaureate degrees in music. The general program (BA) provides a liberal arts education with music as the major subject. The four professional undergraduate programs (BMus) emphasize the development of proficiency in the major area: music education, performance, history and literature, and composition. The BMus in Music Education has three areas of emphasis: P-12 general music, P-12 instrumental music, and P-12 choral music. State certification to teach is received concurrently with the granting of the degree. Western’s music education curriculum is constructed to result in a minimum of two endorsements.
A variety of large and small ensembles and music courses are open to all qualified students of the University, regardless of major. The ensembles include: University Choir, Concert Choir, Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony, University Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Ensembles, Chamber Music (in all instruments and voice), Collegium Musicum, and Opera Theatre. All music ensembles present public programs throughout the year, and several ensembles participate in annual tours. Music courses open to all students in the University include: The Art of Listening to Music, Fundamentals of Music, Pop and Rock Music Survey, Intro to Country Music, Intro to Hip-Hop, Survey of Video Game Music, Survey of World Musical Cultures, among others. Please visit our website for more information regarding ensemble auditions. Cfpa.wwu.edu/music/prospective-students
Advisement (please read carefully)
The Department of Music provides individual advisement and program planning for all students majoring and minoring in music. This takes place during the registration period. The department provides advisement by appointment. Many students prefer to spend a day on campus prior to transfer, at which time they may receive advisement, visit the various departmental performance groups and classes, and meet with instructors. Interested students should follow the guidelines set forth in the Music section of this catalog prior to contacting the department. Write or phone the Department of Music, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington 98225-9107, phone 360-650-4091, email LeeAnne.Frahn@wwu.edu or visit cfpa.wwu.edu/music/advising.
The department is a full member of the National Association of Schools of Music.
CHRISTOPHER BIANCO (2006) Chair and Professor. BME, Northwestern University; MM, University of Montana; DMA, the University of Texas-Austin.
PATRICIA BOURNE (2012) Professor. BME, Murray State University; MME, University of Oklahoma; Ed. D, Arizona State University
GUSTAVO CAMACHO (2014) Assistant Professor. BME, New Mexico State University; MM and DMA, Arizona State University.
GRANT DONNELLAN (2000) Professor. BM, Oberlin Conservatory; MM, Yale University.
RYAN K. DUDENBOSTEL (2014) Assistant Professor. BM, Western Washington University; MM, University of Missouri-Kansas City; DMA UCLA.
DAVID FEINGOLD (1980) Associate Professor. BA, Sarah Lawrence College; MA, Western Washington University.
TIMOTHY FITZPATRICK (2006) Professor BM, Western Washington University; MM, University of Texas-Austin; MM, Western Washington University.
JOHN FRIESEN (1998) Professor. BMus, University of British Columbia; MMus, Julliard; DMA, University of Southern California.
JEFFREY GILLIAM (1992) Professor. BMus, Eastman School of Music; MMus, University of Michigan.
LESLIE GUELKER-CONE (1995) Professor. BA, California State University, Stanislaus; MA, San Jose State University; DMA, University of Colorado, Boulder.
BRUCE HAMILTON (2002) Associate Professor. BM, MM, DM, Indiana University.
MILICA JELACA JOVANOVIC (2004) Professor. BMUS, University of Belgrade; DMA, University of Michigan; MM, Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory; PhD, University of Michigan.
PATRICK ROULET (1994-2004; 2014) Assistant Professor. BM University of Michigan; MM Boston University; DMA, University of Washington.
ERIC RIEGER (2018) Assistant Professor. BM, Eastman School of Music; MM, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; DMA, Eastman School of Music.
WALTER SCHWEDE (1997) Associate Professor. BM, University of Michigan, MM, Catholic University.
LESLEY SOMMER (1997) Associate Professor. BM, MM, DM, Indiana University.
BERTIL H. VAN BOER (1996) Professor. AB, University of California, Berkeley; MA, University of Oregon; PhD, Uppsala University.
KEVIN WOODS (2015) Assistant Professor. BA, Western Washington University; MM, University of Colorado-Boulder.
Affiliate Music Faculty
HOLLY ALCORN, Voice
JON BASH, Online Video Game Music
ERIKA BLOCK, Clarinet
LAURA CAMACHO, Music Appreciation
GREGORY COX, Trombone
MARK DAVIES, Voice
HEATHER DUDENBOSTEL, Voice
VINCE GREEN, Trumpet
ADAM HAWS, Theory, Aural skills
ERIC KEAN, Viola
LISA McCARTHY, Flute
BEN MUSA, Double Bass
PAT NELSON, Bassoon
MELISSA PLAGEMANN, Voice
RACHEL ROULET, Accompanist
JAY ROZENDAAL, Voice
CARLA J. RUTSCHMAN, Tuba
LUCAS SENGER, Online Hip Hop
AMY SMART, Online Country Music
TODD SMITH, Music History, Composition
ZACHARY SMITH, Instrumental Music Education
MICHELLE STRANGES, Keyboard Technician
JENNIFER WEEKS, Oboe
KATHRYN WELD, Voice
JILL WHITMAN, Harp
JEANETTE WICKELL, Online World Music
JUDITH WIDRIG, Piano
FRED WINKLER, Saxophone
KAY ZAVISLAK, Piano
Due to the sequential nature of the music curriculum, midyear applications are not recommended. Students electing to begin in a quarter other than fall should seek advisement prior to enrollment.
Other Departmental Information
All students in Bachelor of Music degree programs must be members of a major performing ensemble each quarter of residence except in those quarters in which music education majors are enrolled in student teaching and those quarters in which piano majors are enrolled in accompanying. The requirement must be met through the student’s major instrument or voice as follows: Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony, or Symphony Orchestra for wind/percussion players, Advanced Treble Chorale, University Treble Choir, University Tenor/Bass Choir for vocalists, and Symphony Orchestra or String Sinfonietta for string players. Pianists and guitarists may elect to participate in any of the major performing ensembles for which they are qualified.
Pianists will take a combination of Major Performance Ensemble and Piano Accompanying as follows:
- Performance: Three quarters of major ensemble, remaining quarters in piano accompanying.
- Composition and History/Literature: six quarters of major ensemble, three quarters of piano accompanying, remaining quarters either major ensemble or piano accompanying.
- Music Education: six quarters of major ensemble, remaining quarters piano accompanying.
- Bachelor of Arts in Music majors will take three quarters of major performance ensemble and three quarters of accompanying.
(Note: Incoming piano students who pass their audition but exhibit deficiencies in sight-reading may additionally be required to take MUS 098 for one or more quarters. Students must pass the sight-reading examination before they are allowed to register for MUS 276.)
Guitarists majoring in music performance may, under advisement, substitute up to 12 additional credits in chamber music for this requirement. Performance ensembles may be repeated for credit.
Applied Performance Proficiency
All entering music students will be expected to demonstrate performance proficiency before a faculty committee to determine their admissibility as music majors or minors. This qualifying audition will be held on announced dates prior to the start of fall each year. Please visit our website for priority audition dates. Students who audition after these priority dates will be considered on a space available basis. cfpa.wwu.edu/music/auditions.
Due to the sequential nature of our curriculum and studio availability, mid-year applicants are not recommended. If you are considering a mid-year application, contact the undergraduate advisor.
Freshman and transfer students with marginal qualifications may be placed on probation at the beginning of their first quarter of study and will be re-examined at the end of the quarter. A student who fails to have probationary status removed at the end of two consecutive quarters may be removed from the major, continued applied instruction and admissibility to restricted classes. All students receiving applied instruction must audition for placement in the appropriate major performing ensemble. Piano and guitar students should speak to their area coordinator regarding ensemble requirements. Applied music may be repeated for credit. Students must complete the audition process in order to be eligible for music advising.
Academic Progress Policy
A minimum GPA of 2.5 in music courses is required for graduation with a degree in music. Students must complete our two-year music theory sequence (MUS 122-MUS 226) with an average of C- or better to continue on to upper-division theory and history courses. Specific requirements for admission into the various BMus degree programs can be obtained from the appropriate area coordinator or the undergraduate advisor.
Music Education Academic Progress Policy
A grade of C (2.0) or better is required for courses in the secondary education professional program and all courses required for the endorsement.
All students enrolled in private lessons (MUS 212-216, MUS 312-316, or MUS 412-416) are required to perform juries each academic year to monitor progress and technique. Quarterly jury requirements vary for each applied area. Please see the appropriate area coordinator to determine each jury schedule. Successfully performing an upper-division jury is required to pass into 300-level and 400-level lessons from 200-level. Passing an upper-division jury is only required to pass into upper-division applied instruction; completing an upper-division jury is not required to take upper-division academic courses although pre-requisites still apply.
Advancement will be based on the student’s readiness to meet the particular vocal/instrumental, musical, and academic requirements for each level as stated in each area’s policy statement. BMus students who have not been advanced to upper-division status by the end of their third year at Western will be required to meet with the appropriate area coordinator and advisor regarding timely progress.
Theory, Aural Skills, and Keyboard Skills Placement Examinations - Transfers
Incoming students who meet the following criteria are eligible for our Theory, Aural Skills and Keyboarding placement exams. These exams will take place one to two days before school begins each fall. Students attempting to enroll winter or spring quarter should contact the music advisor at least a month prior to schedule placement exams.
All transfer student who have completed college courses in Theory, Aural Skills or Keyboarding (Piano) may take our placement exams to test out of all or part of the core sequence. Contact the music undergraduate advisor for more information regarding these exams.
Any incoming freshman who scored a 3 or above on the AP Theory exam is eligible to take the Theory and Aural Skills placement exam. Those students with prior experience in piano, or have completed a piano class at a college or university, are eligible to take the keyboarding placement exam. Contact the music undergraduate advisor for more information regarding these exams.
Students may be required to repeat any theory, aural skills or keyboarding classes based on the results of the placement exams. All credit received in theory, aural skills and keyboarding skills previously at other institutions will be transferred in as elective credit and may be used towards the 180 minimum credits required to graduate from Western.
All students in Bachelor of Music programs will successfully complete a Keyboard Proficiency Examination (KPE). Those students commencing their music theory studies at Western will complete this requirement as part of the two-year music theory and aural skills/keyboard skills sequence.
Students transferring to Western with one or more quarters of music theory, aural skills, or keyboard skills will complete the requirement either by: 1) completing the remaining quarters of the theory and aural skills/keyboard skills sequence; or 2) taking the Keyboard Proficiency Examination. The appropriate course of action will be determined by the results of the Placement Examinations.
The music department awards scholarships to incoming students, including non-majors or minors, based on entrance/scholarship auditions during primary audition dates. Consult the website for information regarding our auditions. cfpa.wwu.edu/music/auditions
Returning (continuing) students are eligible for scholarships based on merit, progress, and growth while a student at Western. Music scholarships for returning students are awarded at the end of spring quarter and applied the following school year.
Students are encouraged to seek additional sources of scholarships noted in the financial aid office: www.finaid.wwu.edu/scholarships/
For further information, contact the music advisor, PAC 263, at 360-650-4091 or refer to the website cfpa.wwu.edu/music/advising
All music majors are required to submit a physical program/ticket from a minimum of eight approved concerts/recitals each quarter to fulfill their concert attendance requirement. Students may attend any music department concert or recital, any CFPA musical, musical revue or student production. They may also attend any professional or community classical program, recital or musical.
All undergraduate music majors are assigned to the departmental undergraduate program advisor for scheduling and program approval.
Bachelor of Music
To complete the Bachelor of Music degree requirements, it may be necessary for the student to take more than the usual 180 credit hours. Students should anticipate that these programs may require more than four years.
ProgramsUndergraduate MajorUndergraduate MinorGraduate
Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400, 500 are described in the University Academic Policies section of this catalog.Page: 1