Bachelor of Music in Music Performance

The Bachelor of Music in Music Performance degree provides skilled musicians with opportunities to develop expertise as professional performers or composers of solo, chamber and large ensemble music; as directors and performers of church music; or as university-level faculty following graduate study.

There are four concentrations within the Bachelor of Music in Music Performance degree program:

Fast Facts

  • Students in all concentrations learn from faculty who are also active performers nationally and internationally.
  • Alumni perform regionally, nationally and internationally with opera companies, symphony orchestras and other ensembles.
  • More than half of sacred music majors continue on to graduate school or seminary.
  • Composition and theory students perform their works regularly in on-campus recitals.

Admissions

In addition to the general Appalachian State University application, any student interested in being considered as a music major, regardless of degree program, must audition successfully before the Hayes School of Music faculty. Click here for information on auditions.

Costs

Appalachian offers an outstanding education at a great price. See why national publications consider us a "best value."

Classes

Classes in the Bachelor of Music in Music Performance degree program include the Hayes School of Music's core curriculum: private instrument/voice study, ensemble participation, music theory and aural skills, music history, world music and other musicianship classes.

In addition, each concentration has special courses or features:

Instrumental
Studio lessons focus toward solo performance recitals in the junior and senior year.

Vocal
Studio lessons focus toward solo performance recitals in the junior and senior year.

Sacred Music
Studio lessons focus toward solo performance recitals in the junior and senior year. Specialized classes and an internship prepare students in this concentration for careers in sacred music.

Composition and Theory
Students participate in a weekly composition seminar with all theory/composition majors. They also receive weekly private composition lessons and take upper-division courses designed for composers and music theorists.

More information

Program Faculty

The Music Performance faculty includes experts in all individual conservatory instruments, including woodwinds, brass, strings (including guitar and harp), piano and organ and percussion.

Concentration Coordinators

Instrumental
Dr. Scott Kallestad, professor of saxophone, is an accomplished performer and clinician with more than 20 years of instrumental teaching experience.

Vocal
Dr. Priscilla Porterfield, mezzo soprano and professor of voice, has regional, national, and international experience that includes numerous competition awards from the Music Teachers National Association, the Metropolitan Opera, and others.

Sacred Music
Dr. Joby Bell, organist, has performed all over the United States and Europe. His extensive experience in church music figures prominently in his teaching at ASU.

Composition and Theory
Ben Hjertmann is a composer, vocalist, and teacher. He has collaborated with top-tier ensembles across the US and abroad. He is the recipient of the 2015 Barlow Prize, 2013 Ticheli Award, and numerous other composition awards, and he has been a resident artist at the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi, and the Other Minds Festival. Ben is vocalist and composer in the outsider-folk trio, Grant Wallace Band. He has also self-produced Rock, Indie-Folk, Avant-Hip-Hop, and Chamber-Metal albums under the name Kong Must Dead. Visit benhjertmann.com for more information.

See the full faculty and staff listing.

Careers

Instrumental and Vocal

  • Alumni perform as professional musicians regionally, nationally and internationally with opera companies, symphony orchestras, and other ensembles. These include New York Polyphony, New York City Opera and the North Carolina Symphony.
  • Many graduates also choose to attend graduate school, receiving significant scholarship funding to study at Florida State, Maryland, Indiana, San Francisco Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, Texas and Alabama and other institutions. With advanced degrees, many also choose to teach at the university level. Graduates are now on the faculty at University of Kansas, Furman University, Wingate University and Appalachian, among other institutions.

Sacred Music

  • Graduates typically seek careers as organists or choral directors with congregations throughout the region and nation. After graduation, more than half of Sacred Music majors continue on to graduate school or to seminary.

Composition and Theory

  • Alumni have gone on to work as professional composers and arrangers, university professors of composition, and video and game composers.

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