A music degree from Western is highly regarded in the profession. The music department graduates successful teachers, performers, composers and leaders in all fields of music. The strength of Western’s Department of Music is its forty-member music faculty, each of whom is deeply committed to serving music majors in achieving their aspirations.
The Department of Music also encourages and promotes participation from those students whose academic interests lie outside the arts, yet who have the talent 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 five 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: K-12 general music, K-12 instrumental music, and K-12 choral music. The Bachelor of Arts in Education is offered with an elementary music major. State certification to teach is received concurrently with the granting of the degree.
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, Survey of Non-Western Cultures, and the History of Jazz, among others.
Advisement (please read carefully)
The Department of Music provides individual advisement and program planning for all students majoring 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 and 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 360-650-3130 or visit the Website, www.wwu.edu/music/.
The department is a full member of the National Association of Schools of Music.
LESLEY SOMMER (1997) Chair and Associate Professor. BM, MM, DM, Indiana University.
CHRISTOPHER BIANCO (2006) Associate Chair and Associate Professor. BME, Northwestern University; MM, University of Montana; DMA, the University of Texas-Austin.
PATRICIA BOURNE (2012) Associate Professor. BME, Murray State University; MME, University of Oklahoma; Ed. D, Arizona State University
ROGER D. BRIGGS (1989) Professor. BM, Memphis State; MM, PhD, Eastman School of Music.
GRANT DONNELLAN (2000) Associate Professor. BM, Oberlin Conservatory; MM, Yale University.
DAVID FEINGOLD (1980) Associate Professor. BA, Sarah Lawrence College; MA, Western Washington University.
TIMOTHY FITZPATRICK (2006) Associate Professor BM, Western Washington University; MM, University of Texas-Austin; MM, Western Washington University.
JOHN FRIESEN (1998) Associate 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) Associate Professor. BMUS, University of Belgrade; DMA, University of Michigan; MM, Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory; PhD, University of Michigan.
CARLA J. RUTSCHMAN (1975) Professor. BA, University of Northern Colorado; MM, Arizona State University; PhD, University of Washington.
WALTER SCHWEDE (1997) Associate Professor. BM, University of Michigan, MM, Catholic University.
BERTIL H. VAN BOER (1996) Professor. AB, University of California, Berkeley; MA, University of Oregon; PhD, Uppsala University.
EUGENE S. ZORO (1969) Professor. BM, MM, Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester.
Affiliate Music Faculty
TESS ALTIVEROS-RITTER, Voice
AMBER BONE, Voice
EDWARD COOK, Voice
GREGORY COX, Trombone
VINCE GREEN, Trumpet
ERIC KEAN, Viola
LISA McCARTHY, Flute
BEN MUSA, Double Bass
FRANCINE PETERSON, Bassoon
MELISSA PLAGEMANN, Voice
RICHARD REED, Horn
JAY ROZENDAAL, Voice
ARTHUR SHAW, Conductor, Symphony Orchestra
DAVID STEEGE, Keyboard Technician
ROB TUCKER, Percussion
ASTA VAICEKONIS, Accompanist
DANIUS VAICEKONIS, Accompanist
JENNIFER WEEKS, Oboe
KATIE WELD, Voice
JILL WHITMAN, Harp
JUDITH WIDRIG, Piano
FRED WINKLER, Saxophone
Due to the sequential nature of the music curriculum, midyear applications are not recommended. Students seeking admission to the program other than fall quarter will be required to meet prerequisites in all course sequences (MUS 101/121 through 224/225; 341 through 343; and 351 through 354) as a condition of admission. All students must also complete the audition to be eligible for music major advising. Contact the music department undergraduate advising office at 360-650-4091 for details.
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 or Wind Symphony for wind/percussion players, University Choir or Concert Choir for vocalists, and Symphony Orchestra 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.
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.
The official attire for all public performances of the University Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band and Concert Choir is as follows: women — long black dress or black dress slacks and black top; men — black tuxedo. The Department of Music requires the student to have this attire available at the beginning of the academic year.
Applied Performance Proficiency
All entering music students will be expected to demonstrate their performance proficiency before a faculty committee to determine their admissibility as music majors. This qualifying audition will be held on announced dates prior to the start of fall, winter and spring quarter classes and on any day school is in session by prior appointment. Audition deadlines are as follows:
Fall quarter — June 1
Winter quarter — December 1
Spring quarter — March 1
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 pre-major status, continued applied instruction and admissibility to restricted classes. Music minors wishing to include applied instruction as part of the elective credits for the minor must perform an audition in accordance with the listed levels of proficiency. All students receiving applied instruction, with the exception of guitar and piano, must audition for placement in the appropriate major performing ensemble. Applied music may be repeated for credit. Students must complete the audition process in order to be eligible for music major advising.
Minimum applied performance proficiency levels required for entrance to private applied music study are as follows. This list of repertoire is intended to characterize acceptable standards for full admittance and entrance to pre-major status, with the permission of the appropriate area coordinator. Please contact the music department adviser at 360-650-4091 for details. However, at the entrance audition, the entering music student may play or sing musical selections other than those listed below.
Piano — Baroque, classical, Romantic and contemporary literature of the difficulty of or greater than Bach, “Short Preludes” and “Inventions;” Clementi, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven “Sonatinas;” Bartok, “Mikrokosmos,” Books 3 and 4. Three pieces of different style periods, all from memory. Sight reading required.
Violin — Scales, either three or four octaves at a moderato tempo, six to eight notes per bow. Arpeggios, three or four octaves, both études/caprices of Kreutzer, Rode, Fiorillo, Dont (Opus 35), Gavinies, Paganini, Wieniawski (Opus 10) or Ernst. One movement of any solo sonata or partita of J.S. Bach, and either a movement of any of the major concertos, Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Saint-Saens, Tchaikovsky, et al, or a virtuoso work such as Havanaise — Introduction and Rondo —Capriciosso of Saint-Saens, Polonaise-Brilliante of Wieniawski, Zapateado of Sarasate or Tzigane by Ravel, et al.
Viola — Handel, Purcell or other sonatas; Telemann Concerto in G major or Vivaldi Concerto in E minor. Scales two octaves (major and melodic minor).
Violoncello — Major and Minor Scales 3 octaves, Popper (from High School of Cello Playing), Duport or Piatti etude, mvt of a concerto (such as Lalo, Dvorak or Shostakovich) or mvt of a sonata (such as Brahms or Prokofiev) and 2 contrasting mvt of Bach Solo Suites.
Double Bass — One étude from Edouard Nanny’s “Complete Method Book for Contrabass” Book 1 or solo of candidate’s choice. Two contrasting orchestral excerpts (one Mozart) of candidate’s choice. Major and minor scales through half, first and second positions.
Harp — Two pieces of different style, memorized, such as Handel’s Concerto in B-flat, Haydn’s Theme and Variations, Pescetti’s C Major Sonata, Pierre’s Impromptu Caprice, Debussy’s First Arabesque, selections from Suite of Eight Dances by Salzedo. Major and melodic minor scales. Sight reading.
Flute — Any Handel sonata (except the E minor Sonata) [select at least one sonata]. Any étude from Anderson Étude Method, opus 41 [select any two of the 18 studies]. Major and minor scales and arpeggios through four sharps and four flats (two octaves when possible).
Oboe — Handel Sonata No. 1; Any progressive melodic study from Barrett or an étude from Ferling 48 Studies. Major and minor scales and arpeggios through four sharps and flats (two octaves).
Clarinet — Any two études from Thirty-two Études for Clarinet by C. Rose, or from Preliminary Studies for the Accomplished Clarinetist, Vol. I, by R. Jettel. One solo work comparable in difficulty to the Weber “Concertino” or Hindemith “Sonata.” Major and minor scales and arpeggios through four sharps and four flats (two octaves when possible).
Bassoon — Three or four selected studies from the Weissenborn Complete Method. Any two studies from the Weissenborn Advanced studies. Mozart “Concerto in B” (second and third movements), or Galliard Sonatas I and VI or Phillips Concertpiece or Telemann Sonata in F Minor,” or J. C. Bach “Concerto in B Major” and minor scales and arpeggios through four sharps and four flats (two octaves when possible).
Saxophone — Two studies from Ferling “48 Famous Studies,” Rubank “Selected Studies,” Klose “25 Exercises or Niehaus Jazz Studies.” One solo work comparable to Glazounov “Concerto,” Ibert “Concertino de Camara,” Villa-Lobos “Fantasia,” Bozza: “Aria” or Ibert “Aria.” Major and minor scales and arpeggios through four sharps and four flats (two octaves or full range).
French Horn — Two or three études selected from “Method for French Horn” by Pottag, edited by Hovey. Mozart, Concerto No. 3 or Saint-Saens Romance. Major and minor scales and arpeggios through four sharps and four flats (two octaves when possible).
Trumpet — One or two études from “34 Studies” by Brandt, edited by Nagel. Haydn “Concerto” (first and second movements), or Vidal “Concertino” or Thome “Fantasy in Ea” or Corelli “Sonata VIII,” edited by Fitzgerald. Major and minor scales and arpeggios through four sharps and four flats (two octaves when possible).
Trombone (Tenor and Bass Trombone) and Euphonium — Two or three studies from “Melodious Études” by Rochut, Book I (bass trombone should play one octave lower where feasible). Studies one through ten of the Blashevich Clef Studies. Five selected studies from the Arban Method, Book 1. Major and minor scales and arpeggios through four sharps and four flats (two octaves when possible).
Tuba — Any two of the first four solos in “Solos for the Tuba Player” by Wekselblatt. First ten studies from the “Studies for BB♭ Tuba” by Tyrell. Major and minor scales through four sharps and four flats (two octaves when possible).
Percussion — On entering, percussion students should demonstrate proficiency in snare drum, timpani and keyboard percussion and have some experience and ability on drum set and accessory instruments (bass drum, cymbals, tambourine, et cetera.) Snare Drum: The 40 Percussive Arts Society snare drum rudiments, a concert and a rudimental style étude or solo. Timpani: Demonstrate the ability to tune various intervals and perform an étude or solo using four drums. Keyboard Percussion (Marimba, Vibraphone, Xylophone): Major and minor scales and arpeggios through four sharps and four flats (two octaves), an étude or solo utilizing two and/or four mallet techniques. Drum Set (optional): Demonstrate knowledge of various contemporary styles (jazz, rock, Latin) and the ability to maintain a steady pulse. In addition, sight-reading is required in each of the above categories.
Voice — Two songs of contrasting style from the classical or folk song repertoire. At least one song in a language other than English is recommended, i.e., Italian, German or French art song or aria. Accompanist provided.
Classical Guitar — Scales: two octaves, any key (i and m), major and minor; reading: easy pieces through fifth position; prepare two contrasting pieces from “Solo Guitar Playing” book 1 (second position or higher) by Noad or “100 Graded Studies” (Noad), studies numbered 5-100 or Royal Conservatory Book 3, 4 or higher.
Composition Portfolio — Students interested in pursuing a BMus in composition must schedule an interview with Dr. Roger Briggs, director of composition. Students should schedule their composition interview for the same day they schedule their entrance audition in their major instrument/voice.
Academic Progress Policy
A minimum GPA of 2.5 in music courses is required for graduation with a degree in music. Students must complete the basic music theory sequence (MUS 222, 224) with an average of B- 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.
Aural Skills, and Keyboard Skills Placement Examinations - Transfers
All students transferring to Western who have completed at least one quarter of college theory, aural skills, or keyboard skills will take, prior to enrollment, a Theory Placement Examination, an Aural Skills Placement Examination, and a Keyboard Skills Examination. These examinations may be taken at Western, or they may be taken and examined at any college or community college (administered by professors at that college) prior to transferring to Western, upon individual request. These examinations are evaluative instruments; the results are advisory only. Students may repeat theory and/or aural skills/keyboard skills courses previously taken elsewhere. All credit received in theory, aural skills, and keyboard skills previously at other institutions will be transferred at the level for which it was earned and may apply toward fulfillment of the requirements for the major in music or in music education.
History Placement Examination - Transfers
Students with upper-division music history credit (300 level or above) must take a history placement examination to determine what history courses remain to be taken.
All students in Bachelor of Music programs will successfully complete a Keyboard Competency Examination. 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 Competency Examination. The appropriate course of action will be determined by the results of the Placement Examinations.
Students in the BMus degree programs will be required to take the Keyboard Competency Examination by the end of the sophomore year or, in the case of transfer students, after three quarters of full-time study.
In addition to general University scholarships, several awards are available from off-campus music organizations through The Western Foundation. Scholarship awards to incoming music majors will be based upon quality of entrance audition. For further information, please call the music adviser, PAC 263, at 360-650-4091 or refer to www.wwu.edu/music/.
All music majors will register for MUS 99, Concert Attendance (0 credits, S/U grading) each quarter in residence. Programs or ticket stubs from a minimum of eight approved concerts/recitals must be submitted each quarter to receive a satisfactory grade. For further information please call the music adviser at 360-650-4091.
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