Open to all who have a passion for music, RMC’s music program lets you engage directly with music’s creative power, bring music to life as a performer, and discover the profound ways music helps people understand each other. As a major or minor in music, you’ll learn critical thinking, communication and performance skills that provide a solid foundation for graduate study in music and/or a variety of careers in music education, music therapy, music management, church music, and music retail. And the program also welcomes musicians, regardless of background, to participate in ensembles without pursuing an academic course of study!
As performers, listeners and cultural observers, students learn by doing in all music classes. In private lessons and in class, you’ll compose, practice, and learn new skills. Music majors and minors join with talented non-majors to bring music to life in small chamber groups and large ensembles, including:
- Concert Choir (MUSC 310)
- Chamber Singers (MUSC 311)
- Chamber Ensembles (MUSC 281)
- Wind Ensemble (MUSC 314)
- Symphony Orchestra (MUSC 315)
- Jazz Improvisation Lab (MUSC 316)
options for majors and minors
Students have the choice to pursue one of three areas of study in music:
- A music major or minor
- A major, paired with an education minor, for future teachers
- A major in arts management with a music emphasis
Advising and Mentorship
Randolph-Macon music faculty foster a supportive learning environment where individual creativity thrives in a culture of caring. Talented musicians themselves, adjunct and full-time faculty help you find music’s role in a future rich with professional success and personal meaning.
Randolph-Macon music students don’t wait until they graduate to practice musical learning outside of the classroom. Working alongside musicians and music industry professionals as undergraduate student interns is highly encouraged to enhance your future career and graduate school opportunities. RMC music students recently completed valuable internships at:
- Academy of Country Music
- Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen
- Def Jam
- Rainmaker Studios
- Smithsonian Folkways
Students also have the opportunity to conduct mentored research, alongside the professional musicians of the RMC faculty. Recent student original research projects include:
- Holden Trimmer ’23 with Dr. Brian Coffill “How Performance Type Affects Secondary School Band and Orchestra Repertoire Selection.”
- Grace Bakeman ’23 with Dr. Jim Doering “As Catchy as The Flu: Gauging the Impact of the 1918 and the 2020 Pandemics on Concert Culture in the United States.”
- BJ Camano ’21 with Dr. Jim Doering – “Kokoro no Ibasho: The Role of Community Music in Tōhoku’s Post-Disaster Recovery.”
- Tori Santiago Troutman ’18 with Dr. Jim Doering – “Supergroovalisticprosifunkstication: George Clinton and the Social Commentary of P-Funk in the 1970s.”
As a music major or minor at Randolph-Macon, your studies can take you around the world to learn the origins and concepts behind music in a variety of genres. This global perspective is a gift meant to spur creativity and deepen your appreciation of music in all its forms. Recent travel courses included Film Music in Japan (JPN 243), in which students experienced film musical and theatrical performances first hand, and talked with Japanese music professionals who shared the details of their craft. The Instrumental Music in New Orleans course explored the rich history of small brass bands in the city where jazz was born.
100%of human societies include music
19,200square feet – the size of the RMC Center for the Performing Arts
1910sthe era when jazz was invented
Defining and Defending Music
Study the institutions that protect and promote musical creativity including copyright, censorship, music unions, concert organizations, and music patronage. Analyze musical institutions from a historical perspective focusing on American developments past and present.
Music in American Film
Learn how music contributes to the film experience by examining the different ways film composers use orchestration, thematic unity, and stylistic diversity to complement, strengthen, and even undermine the action on screen. Study original film scores and explore the ways popular music is integrated into American film soundtracks.
Scoring through Technology
Learn the latest technological applications in music creation including music notation, music sequencing, and MIDI software. Study the history of music technology, and work on creative projects that focus on music arranging, orchestration, and composition.
Randolph-Macon’s state-of-the-art Center for the Performing Arts, built in 2021, is the home of the music program, and the RMC theatre program. The new space connects to the original Blackwell Auditorium, which has hosted the arts at RMC since 1952.
Atticus Finn ’16
Director of Choral Activities and Department Chair of Performing Arts
Midlothian High School
“The real strength of Randolph-Macon College, and why I will continue to send my students there, is really in the professors. The relationships I was able to cultivate with my professors, is something that you just don’t get at other institutions. I speak to past professors and mentors on a regular basis, even to this day. These relationships led to amazing opportunities to travel the world and perform music in some of the most beautiful and musically significant spaces on multiple occasions, develop new research in my field and even present that research at professional conferences, and also led to opportunities I simply wouldn’t have had if I attended another institution.”
Joseph camano ’21
University of Virginia Law School
Stephen Lecky ’02
Director of Events
Ashley White Foster ’12
High School Vocal Music Teacher
Baltimore County Public Schools
Dee Finnegan Halácsy ’08
Senior Manager, Retail Operations
Music & Arts
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