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Music Performance - Orchestral Instrument

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Fast Facts

Faculty: 15

Available for: Major

Emphasis within the major:
All aspects of Performance, Pedagogy, Music Theory, Music History

Popular Second Majors
Music Education

» Program Requirements

This major prepared students for graduate study or a career as a professional musician.

Teach or perform -- both can be done with a Stetson bachelor of music degree with a major in orchestral instrument performance.

The major prepares students for graduate study or a career as a professional musician. The diverse and competitive program offers a solid foundation in instrumental technique, performance, repertoire, pedagogy and musicianship in preparation for careers in performance and/or advanced level teaching, or graduate study in any area related to music and the arts. Equal balance is placed on the value of performance and academics.

A Distinctive Program

Stetson University's School of Music focuses on the undergraduate student by holding enrollment to 220. All students study their applied instrument with an artist faculty member. Performance opportunities are vast -- there are no graduate students teaching undergraduates or competing for spots in ensembles. Each student enjoys personal attention plus the resources of the larger university community, and develops not only as an artist, but also as a person. The experience gained through actual performance of major literature and the personal bonds forged with professors are invaluable.

Academics and Research

Independent Research

Every student prepares a junior and senior recital with the guidance of their major professor. Many students compete annually in state, regional and national competitions.

Facilities and Opportunities

Music majors perform frequently in concerts and student recitals on historic Elizabeth Hall. The annual Concerto Competition offers opportunities for solo performances with the Stetson Orchestra. Students may audition for three large instrumental ensembles, chamber ensembles and for other performing opportunities and may take part in a fully staged musical or opera. The symphonic band has a history of performing at national concert events, the jazz ensemble performs throughout the state, and chamber ensembles have participated in national competitions, including MTNA, Fishoff and Colemann competitions.

Presser Hall and McMahan Hall, the university's music buildings, include three ensemble rehearsal halls, 32 practice rooms, 30 teaching studios, computer lab, percussion studio and three computerized voice labs. Stetson University is the only music school in the country with multiple computerized voice labs solely dedicated to student instruction. All faculty studios are equipped with sound systems, which include facilities for recording private lessons. Music students also have access to a digital arts studio, multimedia studio and a computer science research and graphics lab.

Preparation for Graduate Study

The rigor of the academic coursework and the high expectations of performance faculty prepare Stetson students for the best graduate schools. The amount of performance experience gained completing the undergraduate performance degree equips students with the confidence and technical ability to successfully audition for reputable graduate schools. The depth and breadth of the academic course work in music theory, music history and pedagogy fully prepares the student for entrance-level exams required for graduate work in all music-related areas.

Awards and Recognition

Distinguished Faculty

A faculty of 47 performing artists hailing from distinguished graduate schools and active professional performing careers help students reach their goals. Fifteen of these faculty members are associated with the applied studios within the orchestral instrument major. They include:

Distinguished performers visit campus each year to work with students. Recent guest artists include:

  • Clarinetist Richard Stoltzman
  • The Low Brass Section of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Former London Symphony flutist Peter Lloyd
  • Composers Samuel Adler, Milton Babbitt, Louis Andriessen, Karel Husa and David Lang

Grant-Funded Research

Stetson University awards grants for research and creative activity.

Undergraduate Awards

The School of Music grants several awards for undergraduates including the Presser Scholarship, membership opportunities in Pi Kappa Lambda and special scholarships based on achievement and performance during the undergraduate career.

Courses and Curriculum

» View the Stetson University Course Catalog for more information on the curriculum and courses for this academic program.

Beyond the Classroom


The School of Music offers three courses in career skills that help connect students with the professional world. In these courses, students participate in an ongoing, personal dialogue with professional musicians, learn auditioning skills, gather information on entrepreneurial skills, agents, unions and business practices in the music profession and gain practical experience through internships. Students use summer break to participate in internships and as participants in summer music programs, including Aspen, Interlochen, Blue Lake, Tanglewood and Brevard.

After Stetson

Diverse careers

Stetson music students are prepared to enter graduate programs at the best schools of music and conservatories in the country. Stetson graduates attend The Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, Yale University, Northwestern University, Rice University, the University of Michigan and Indiana University, among others. The Stetson curriculum routinely includes training in conducting and pedagogy, which help prepare graduates for jobs in church music and maintaining private teaching studios. Stetson graduates include an Emmy winner, Metropolitan Opera singers, cast members of national and international touring musicals, university professors, musician/entrepreneurs and performers with orchestras and chamber ensembles.