Music Education Programs at Friends University

The Music curriculum is designed to serve students who wish to study in one of the performance areas, prepare for a career in music education, prepare for a ministry of music in churches, develop a knowledge and appreciation of music in churches, or develop a knowledge and appreciation of music as an integral part of a liberal arts education. The Music department is located in the Riney Fine Arts Center on the main campus of Friends University. Eight full-time and 17 adjunct faculty members are in the Music department.



Music Program Mission

The mission of the Friends University Music Program is to prepare students for a professional and/or personal life in music. Our passion is to bring music skills, understandings, aesthetic experiences, and appreciation into the lives of our students.

Music Program Vision

The vision of the Friends University Music Program is to provide the educational environment in the liberal arts tradition where musical instruction and performance will enhance the student’s artistic development.

Music Program Values

  • High Regard for All:
    In the Friends University Music Program we value community among our students and faculty which fosters respect for and acceptance of all individuals regardless of status, class, gender, and ethnicity.
  • Individual Discipline:
    In the Friends University Music Program we value the discipline of dedicated practice to ensure quality performance in each applied area.
  • Integrity:
    In the Friends University Music Program we value student integrity and commitment to the success of all performing ensembles.

Friends University offers music performance opportunities from chamber to large ensembles in a variety of styles from classical to jazz. Each music ensemble provides a different playing environment for students to become well-rounded performers both as soloists and in a group setting.

Singing Quakers:

A select vocal organization of 90 voices that has gained an enviable reputation throughout this part of the country for the high musical quality of its performances. Each year the choir performs a candlelight concert and two other formal programs. The choir annually takes a week's tour. Many appearances and broadcasts are scheduled for the chorus each season in Wichita and the surrounding area. The choir has performed in Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York City and has toured Europe seven times, presenting the finest in sacred and secular music. During the summer of 2000, the Singing Quakers toured Australia and New Zealand.

Concert Choir:

A choral organization open to all students in the University by audition. The choir annually presents the Friends University Christmas Convocation and also performs numerous concerts in the Wichita area.

University Band:

The University Band plays for athletic functions and presents several formal concerts each season. The concert unit frequently appears before educational conferences and community functions.

The Jazz Department:

The Jazz Department is unique in the opportunities it provides for playing and studying jazz in a small university setting. Many jazz students at Friends University perform around Wichita and go on to top graduate schools or performance careers. The Jazz Department allows students the opportunity to participate in a variety of jazz ensembles. The department offers two 17-member jazz big bands, a 12-member jazz vocal ensemble, several jazz combos, a two-semester jazz improvisation class, the Jazz Friends Community Big Band and applied lesson faculty for all jazz instruments. Each spring Friends University hosts a two-day festival for school jazz ensembles and jazz choirs. Students from across Kansas come to work with leading jazz educators and hear name jazz musicians in concert. Students at Friends help in running the festival and get the opportunity to play with and learn from the guest artists.

Friends University Community Orchestra

Friends University Community Orchestra consists of instrumentalists from the college and community. This 60-piece orchestra presents three concerts annually and performs some of the finest orchestral literature.

Chamber Orchestra:

A string orchestra specializing in the music of the Baroque and Classical time periods as well as music of the 20th century. The Chamber Orchestra performs concerts on and off campus.

Music Theatre of Wichita:

Available to Friends University students for a special summer academic credit in Music Theatre, through participation and study in Wichita's professionally structured theatre arts program. Master classes and seminars by nationally known staff and artists combine with personal involvement in major musical and operetta productions at Wichita's Century II Cultural Center for one of the finest musical theatre education programs in the Midwest. 

Percussion Ensemble:

The Percussion Ensemble performs on-campus each semester in addition to performances in and outside of the Wichita community. The group is made up of 3 to 13 percussionists and plays a wide variety of styles from traditional to jazz to exotic to unusual. The Percussion Ensemble received outstanding ratings at the Frontier City Music Competition in 1997. In addition, they accompanied the Friends University Ballet in their fall 1997 production. December 1997 began a tradition of mallet percussion Christmas concerts at area churches. The Friends University Percussion Ensemble and Concert Choir were selected to perform at the Kansas Music Educators’ Association In-Service Workshop in February 2000. In addition, Friends percussionists are featured regularly with the internationally known Singing Quakers.

In addition to these organizations, opportunities are given to students for participation in smaller vocal and instrumental group ensembles.

Need more information?Request information now to learn more about the Music bachelor's degree available at Friends University. You can also contact the Admissions Office at 316-295-5100 or