The McMurry University Department of Music is a dynamic and active community. We guide your musical development through applied lessons and classes, and we offer plenty of performance opportunities individually and in groups.

Our ensembles have performed successfully at competitions and festivals on stages in Texas, nationally and globally — and more than 90 percent of our graduates find jobs in the music field or advance their studies in graduate school. Our experienced faculty is dedicated to your success, whether you want to perform professionally or teach. They’ll help perfect the execution of your craft and engage you in exploring the artistic side of music.

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Areas of Study

Explore everything that the McMurry Department of Music has to offer. We’re excited to have you creating alongside us.

Music Education – Choral Emphasis

Some music educators choose to specialize in vocal performance, helping students harness their own voices to create beautiful music. Whether you plan to give individual voice lessons or lead choral performances, McMurry’s Bachelor of Music Education with a choral emphasis will give you the skills you need. You’ll graduate proficient in your craft with hours of vocal development and performance under your belt. You’ll also have a deep knowledge of the theory that governs musical performance and the development of different musical styles to give students a well-rounded education. A minor in curriculum and instruction is required. Music Education – Choral Emphasis

Music Education – Instrumental Emphasis

If you want to share the joy of music with others and help students develop their own musical talents, consider a Bachelor of Music Education with an instrumental emphasis. McMurry’s music education program will equip you to teach in schools, give individual lessons, direct ensemble performances and more. You’ll be prepared to effectively teach music theory and music history, and you’ll sample a wide range of musical styles to appreciate the full range of this soul-stirring art form. Whether you envision yourself as a band director, a piano instructor, a professor of music or something else, we’re honored to help you prepare for that future. A minor in curriculum and instruction is required. Music Education – Instrumental Emphasis


A Bachelor of Arts in music helps you develop as a musician and gain extensive knowledge of music as an art form. You’ll practice your craft with private lessons on the instrument or vocal performance of your choice and participate in choral and ensemble groups to grow your group performance skills. You’ll also learn music theory — the rules that govern music — and study the history of Western music and its development. This includes a sampling of many different styles and genres. This major readies you for professional performance, teaching music, postgraduate studies, the world of the music business and more. Music
Programmatic Information

Student Opportunities

Music Scholarships

Music scholarships are available for music majors, minors and any student who chooses to participate in ensembles at McMurry. You can combine these participation scholarships with any academic scholarship you may receive from McMurry. Students interested in applying must submit an online form and schedule an in-person scholarship audition. Scholarship amounts range up to and including full tuition. More Information

Band Ensembles

The university bands travel extensively. The wind ensemble completes an annual tour of Texas and New Mexico; the marching band competes at numerous Abilene-area marching band exhibitions and was recently featured in exhibition at the 3A Texas State Marching Finals in San Antonio, Texas; and the symphonic band was the only U.S. band invited to perform at the World Conference for the International Society for Music Education in Bologna, Italy. For more information, contact Dr. John Franklin

Choir Ensembles

McMurry Chanters
Chanters is the choral ensemble of McMurry University and is open to all university students. An audition is not required for admission, but all singers must meet with the director during the first week of classes for voice placement. Singers will learn and develop proper vocal technique as they explore choral music from all musical eras. Chanters present at least two choral concerts per semester one of which will be on campus.

McMurry Sounds
McMurry Sounds is a small, select, auditioned ensemble that performs repertoire ranging from madrigals to vocal jazz. This ensemble also tours with Chanters.

For more information regarding the Chanters or Sounds contact Jesse Ratcliffe.

Percussion Ensembles

Offered during the fall and spring semesters, percussion ensemble offers two featured performances a year and appears regularly with renowned guest artists for campus and community events and as part of regional tours. Hone your advanced performance skills in small chamber groups or larger percussion orchestras across a breadth of literature and styles.

Steel Band
The music department recently began a steel band group that is integrated with the percussion ensemble and focuses on pedagogical components to steel band in addition to covering a variety of styles. This group performs regularly on campus, in the community and throughout the region.

McMurry’s drumline marches one show during the fall semester that allows for challenging musical arrangements. Drumline auditions are open to all currently enrolled students who wish to participate.

Jazz Band
The university’s jazz band, a big band ensemble, offers percussionists the chance to improve in multiple styles of performance on drum set, vibraphone and Latin percussion. Jazz band is offered during the fall and spring semesters.

Wind Eensemble
Wind ensemble is the premier ensemble of the university and is offered during the fall and spring semesters by audition only. Wind ensemble presents one major performance each semester along with many other feature performances and a yearly tour. This ensemble allows you to play a variety of difficult literature in a larger setting.


If you love piano and keyboard, try one of our seven grand pianos, two practice organs and two harpsichords, among the many quality instruments on campus. If you’re an advanced pianist, consider pursuing collaborative piano skills and working with chamber music or accompanying for private applied studio and choral programs. For more information, contact Lora Lynn Christensen.

Voice and Opera

McMurry offers opera and musical theater workshops to promote greater appreciation of and facility in opera and music theatre. These events increase performance opportunities for students via full-length chamber operas, opera scenes and student concerts and enhance pedagogy and performing acumen through soloistic means. Students in the music and theater departments participate in workshops and rehearsals to hone their vocal and acting skills, which culminate in an opera or scenes concert each spring. Students gain additional experience in the technical aspects associated with a theater production and graduate well-equipped to audition for graduate voice programs or participate in community theater. For more information, contact Patricia Vigil.

Department Honors and Awards

Kappa Kappa Psi is a co-educational band service fraternity open to active members of the McMurry Bands with a cumulative GPA of 2.0. The organization exists to provide leadership, musicianship and support to the university band program.

Texas Music Educators Association and Texas Music Educators Conference Collegiate Student Chapter are directly associated with the Music Educators National Conference. The organization offers music students opportunities to enhance their understanding of all aspects of music education — general, choral and instrumental.
Honors Program

Global Learning Endorsement

The Global Learning Endorsement provides an opportunity for students to highlight academic achievement in global/international studies on their transcript. This endorsement will provide helpful documentation of the student’s expertise for employment in an increasingly globalized world. Learn More
beyond mcm

Beyond McMurry


An undergraduate education in music sets the foundation for a variety of careers across several industries.
  • Accompanist
  • Arts Administrator and Arts Management
  • Band Director
  • Choral Director
  • Composer
  • Music Educator
  • Film Score Composer
  • Music Agent
  • Music Business
  • Music Librarian
  • Music Producer
  • Music Recording
  • Music Store Owner
  • Music Therapist
  • Performing Musical Artist
  • Private Lesson Instructor
  • Songwriter
  • Sound Technician
  • Vocal Coach

Join the Ranks of Accomplished Alumni

McMurry’s music graduates have consistently passed the Music Content Area Exam of the Texas Educator Certification Exam, and many have immediately entered the teaching profession at all levels, from elementary to secondary education. Our students have also pursued graduate study in music performance and been awarded large scholarships at many of the leading schools of music throughout the country, including Arkansas State University, Indiana University, Marshall University, Northwestern State University, Texas Tech University and University of Oklahoma.

McMurry alumni have gone on to work in such fields as:
  • Music Performance
  • Music Ministry
  • Elementary Music Education
  • Middle School Music Education
  • High School Music Education
  • Collegiate Music Education

Faculty and Staff

David Amlung Department Chair / Associate Professor of Music
Kendall Prinz Assistant Professor of Music & Director of Bands
Juan Mendoza Assistant Director of Bands / Assistant Professor of Music
Alexandra Carpenter Adjunct
Lora Christensen Adjunct
Jeffrey Cottrell Adjunct
Rebecca Mathis Adjunct
Janelle Ott Adjunct
Susetta Rockett Adjunct
Bernard Scherr Adjunct
Van Hayes Staff accompanist
James Sanders Staff accompanist
Amanda Guidi Adjunct


The Music Department at McMurry University is dedicated to being on the forefront of musical innovation and supporting the development of new repertoire by established and emerging composers. The McMurry New Music Project seeks to engage the worldwide musical community in premiering new works and promoting projects to be added to the active repertoire. The McMurry New Music Project will actively promote the winning composers via the competition website and will include a link to the composer’s personal website. Utilization of social media resources will include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube with details about the winning submissions and professional quality recordings of winning works. All selected winning compositions will be professionally recorded in separate studio sessions with mastered recordings being released on Spotify and YouTube.