By Becky St. Clair
So you’re thinking PUC is the place for you (we think so, too, for the record), and you’ve always really enjoyed music, but you’re not sure what that will look like in college. Good news: We’ve got you covered. Here are answers to a few of the most common questions we get about music at PUC. The bottom line is that we have a place for you–guaranteed–and you’ll be at home here. Promise.
What music ensembles does PUC have?
So glad you asked! Our four regular ensembles are Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Chorale, and Vox Pro Musica (select touring choir). Additionally, the PUC’s String Quartet is pulled from Orchestra members, and they perform off-campus and tour at various times during the school year, sometimes with VPM.
Do I have to be a music major to be in an ensemble?
Absolutely not! We welcome anyone who wants to participate in collaborative music-making, and we enjoy hosting diverse groups as a result. Not only do we have non-majors playing with us, but we have several community members and occasionally some local professional musicians as well. It’s a wonderful way to connect with people you may not otherwise meet.
Can I be in more than one ensemble?
Of course! None of our ensembles meet at the same time, so as long as the rehearsals fit into your class and work schedule, we encourage you to participate in as many groups as you’d like.
Do I have to audition?
Yes…and no. Wind Ensemble and Chorale require no audition to enroll, you simply register and show up (that last part is very, very important). Orchestra does not require a traditional audition, but our director does like to hear everyone who wants to be in the group, just to get an idea of where they’re at musically when they’re joining for the first time. Vox Pro Musica requires an audition to join.
I’m a nursing major and my schedule can be tricky. Can I still be part of an ensemble?
Absolutely. We have many nursing majors amongst our ensemble ranks, and we totally understand the schedule challenge. We’ll do our best to ensure you can fulfill your clinical duties and still participate in as many rehearsals and performances as possible.
Can I take lessons?
Yes! Music majors are, of course, required to do so, but anyone is welcome to take private lessons to enhance their educational experience. We offer individual lessons on a quarterly basis in a variety of instruments–just ask us!
If joining an ensemble pushes me into overload status, do I have to pay the overload fee?
Nope! Students who go into overload as a result of joining an ensemble (or two or three) get their overload fees waived. All you have to do is talk to the music office manager.
Do I have to be a music major to use the practice rooms?
Not at all! There are several practice rooms in Paulin Hall that are open whenever the building is open, and they are available to anyone, regardless of their major or whether they’re in a PUC ensemble. If you happen to be a piano major, we have some reserved practice rooms with grand pianos you’ll need a key to get access to.
What degrees can I get as a music major?
Great question! We have five options for our music majors to choose from:
- Bachelor of Science in Music
- Bachelor of Science in Music: Composition Emphasis
- Bachelor of Science in Music: Pre-Teacher Training Emphasis
- Bachelor of Science in Music: Performance
- Associate of Science in Music
Can I be a double major?
Yes! In fact, many of our students are double majors, often coupling music with a science discipline. Talk to your advisor about this possibility, or make an appointment to talk with the chair of the department of music.
I’m interested in teaching music; is there a way to get experience with that before I graduate?
Yes, there is! Paulin Center for the Arts is a community music program run from the department of music office, and we frequently hire college students as student teachers in this program. (Yes, for pay!) Mention your interest to the department chair or the music office manager to get the conversation going.
Are there any jobs for students in the department of music?
There are always jobs available in the department. From ensemble assistants who help set up and tear down for concerts, to music librarians who organize scores and sheet music, to recording managers who record concerts and process the recordings, to office assistants who work with the office manager, there are plenty of options. Check in at the music office to see what’s available when you get here. Want to be ahead of the game? Email email@example.com and ask about possible jobs for next school year. (Pro tip: We love students who get ahead of the game!)
What about scholarships? Are there any specific to music?
Oooh, we knew this question would come up! The answer is yes, we do have scholarships available. Most are awarded during spring quarter for application the following fall, and are based on leadership, academic diligence, and involvement, but there is also one for ensemble members. The Campus Impact Scholarship is a renewable quarterly scholarship awarded each quarter you participate in any of the four major ensembles or String Quartet, for up to $1,000 per year.
Okay, be honest: How good are the music teachers at PUC?
This is such an easy question, because the answer is a loud and emphatic “VERY.” Our instructors have:
- Toured with Yo-Yo Ma
- Been concertmaster at Carnegie Hall
- Conducted professional symphonies
- Studied at high-caliber schools such as The Juilliard School, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Indiana University, University of Michigan, and others
- Won international awards
- Traveled around the world as soloist, concertmaster, chamber musician, and masterclass instructor
And the best part? Every single one of them cares deeply and personally about each and every student who walks through our doors. They’ll get to know you and will treat you like family even before you arrive–and it’s a forever thing. Once a part of the PUC music community, always a part of the PUC music community.
We look forward to having you here at PUC, and would be thrilled to have you as part of the department of music–whether that means becoming a music major, joining an ensemble, taking a composition or world music class, or all of the above.
Still have questions? Give us a shout: 707-965-6201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.