Music performance degrees are designed to provide intense, high-level training that equips graduates to pursue further studies at graduate schools, perform professionally and teach at a variety of levels. These degrees are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Study of music performance is also an ideal complement to the study of law, medicine, and many other professional and pre-professional programs.
Friends University offers music performance opportunities from chamber to large ensembles, and in a variety of styles from classical to jazz. Each music ensemble provides a different playing environment for students to become well-rounded performers as soloists and in a group setting.
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 also takes a week’s tour each year. Many appearances and broadcasts are scheduled for the choir each season in Wichita and the surrounding areas. The choir has performed in Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York City and has toured Europe seven times, as well as Australia and New Zealand, presenting the finest in sacred and secular music.
A choral organization open to all students at the university by audition. The choir annually presents the Friends University Christmas Convocation and performs numerous concerts in the Wichita area.
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 jazz musicians in concert. Students at Friends help in coordinating and managing 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.
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.
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 three to 13 percussionists and plays a wide variety of styles from traditional to jazz to exotic. The Percussion Ensemble received outstanding ratings at the Frontier City Music Competition and was selected to perform at the Kansas Music Educators’ Association In-Service Workshop in February 2016.
In addition to these organizations, opportunities are given to students for participation in smaller vocal and instrumental group ensembles.
- Demonstrate the ability to analyze harmonies, melodies and forms from Gregorian chant to 20th Century music and the student will demonstrate the ability to sight read, sight sing, harmonize and modulate using diatonic and altered chords.
- Demonstrate the ability to arrange preexisting music material for choral/instrumental ensembles.
- Demonstrate understanding of music from the Middle Ages through 20th Century and the student will demonstrate a technique of critical analysis on self-evaluation of music works.
- Demonstrate a performance technique that is applicable to your voice or instrument as stated by each applied area and the student will meet the required repertoire requirements as set forth within each applied discipline and the student will demonstrate acceptable musicianship (rhythm, tonality, expression and stage deportment) through the performing of the repertoire.
- Demonstrate an appreciation for performance through self-critique.
- Demonstrate how to correctly teach and model basic instrument/vocal techniques and the student will demonstrate an ability to analyze and use reference materials (dictionaries, recordings, computer programs) to aid in accurate interpretation, acquisition of new information and date verification.
- Demonstrate knowledge of piano/vocal/instrumental literature appropriate for teaching in private settings.
- Demonstrate an ability to rehearse and conduct instrumental/vocal music from a variety of periods and styles with clarity, expressiveness, and both verbal and non-verbal communication.
Potential Areas of Employment
- Perform professionally
- Music stores and studios
- Church music programs
- Private instruction