Music at Roanoke College
Students who wish to major or minor in music, as performers, scholars, composers, can find a home in Roanoke College's music program. Special care is taken in the college's artistic community to nurture students' creative skills.
The program boasts a talented and committed faculty. Members of the faculty are performers as well as instructors, and they share their dedication and passion for their art with their students. In addition to the regular faculty, the college is host to the Kandinsky Trio. As artists-in-residence, the members of this distinguished ensemble take an active part in the college community, sharing their expertise through teaching and performances.
View this video on Brittany Harrison, a senior double major in music and Spanish.
Roanoke College's F.W. Olin Hall for Arts and Humanities is widely admired as one of the outstanding facilities for the arts in colleges of the eastern U.S. There is a nine-foot Steinway concert grand, eight Steinway, Yamaha, or Kawai studio grands, studio uprights in the practice rooms, a Hubbard double harpsichord, a 30-rank Casavant organ in the adjoining Chapel, and a 125-seat recital hall. The faculty utilize the latest technology for computer-assisted instruction, and the Fine Arts Library has an extensive collection of scores, books, and recordings.
Because Olin Hall is a prominent center for cultural activities in the Roanoke Valley, students at the college are fortunate to have exposure to many local and visiting artists. The latter have included Christopher Parkening, Marian McPartland, John Cage, Philip Glass, Chanticleer, Solisti di Zagreb (Yugoslavian chamber orchestra), Metropolitan Opera stars Dawn Upshaw and Jerry Hadley, and Dizzy Gillespie. Music students have had the benefit of personal instruction from these and numerous other visiting artists. In addition, Opera Roanoke and the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra have used the Olin Hall facility.
Performance is an important part of the development of the music student's confidence and ability, and Roanoke College offers a variety of performance opportunities for its majors and minors. The primary student performance group is the Roanoke College Choir. The Choir has earned an outstanding reputation in the community and the eastern states with annual tours that included a recent one to the Bahamas and Europe. Other performing groups include the Jazz and Wind Ensembles; the pep band, which plays for basketball games; and chamber ensembles of a variety of instrumentation. Students also have the opportunity, if qualified, to perform with community groups, such as the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and the Roanoke Valley Choral Society. The Roanoke Valley is rich in other performance opportunities in churches, schools, and other institutions.
The College Choir has sung for diverse audiences and with famous musicians around the world.