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Music Department

The music department offers comprehensive programs and services to students and the surrounding community, including professional and liberal arts degrees in music and an active schedule of performances. The department supports large and small ensembles in vocal and instrumental music, and up-to-date facilities for electronic music production and recording. Course offerings in Western classical music, jazz, musical theatre, music technology, ethnomusicology, composition, and American Vernacular traditions abound.


Learning Outcomes

  • Develop artistic proficiency for careers in music as performers, composers, writers, producers and academics.
  • Develop an awareness of the role of musical arts in society and increase the student’s potential as a professional.
  • Engage in musical performances that provide experience for the students themselves, as well as providing a cultural resource for the University and the community.

General Information
The music program at Western Oregon University, fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), gives students an opportunity for broad study in music, as well as a concentration in an area of particular interest, including vocal and instrumental performance studies, conducting, jazz studies, studio teaching, composition and arranging, media production, audio production, and American popular music. Students graduating with a music degree from Western Oregon University can pursue graduate degrees in music, pursue careers in the music industry, or seek teacher certification.

Western Oregon University offers the following degree programs in music:

  • Master of Music in Contemporary Music
  • Bachelor of Music in Contemporary Music, including:
    • Jazz Studies emphasis
    • Popular Music emphasis
    • Musical Theatre emphasis
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Science in Music
  • Music minor
  • MAT: Initial Licensure (through the College of Education)

The Edgar H. Smith Music Hall includes lecture rooms, rehearsal rooms, practice rooms, and a 200-seat recital hall for chamber music recitals and performances. The Leonard W. Rice auditorium seats 619 and serves as the large-ensemble venue and the Edgar H. Smith Fine Arts Series. The Academic Programs and Support building houses faculty offices, a piano lab, midi lab, and a state-of-the-art recording studio.

Western Oregon University offers opportunities for students to perform with numerous ensembles, including the wind ensemble, symphony orchestra, Western Hemispheres Orchestra (jazz ensemble), percussion ensemble, concert choir, Western Hemisphere voices, chamber singers, music theater, opera workshop, multiple jazz combos, brass ensemble, string ensemble, and Orquestra Brasil.

In addition to university awards, scholarships are available through the music department for students majoring or minoring in music. For more information visit the scholarships page (application forms and guidelines are available in PDF format).


The Music Department (503) 838-8275 | or e-mail:
Location: Smith Hall