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!

Music up close In and Beyond the Classroom

making music

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)

Scholarships are available for selected students.

A musical ensemble singing in a choir.

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.    

High-Impact Internships

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 
Student presenting music research while pointing at a presentation board

hands-on learning

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.”

Global Education

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. 

RMC music students washing their hands after touring a Japanese Buddhist temple
  • 100%
    of human societies include music
  • 19,200
    square feet – the size of the RMC Center for the Performing Arts
  • 1910s
    the era when jazz was invented
music teacher instructs student musicians during rehearsal

music in full Courses You Won’t Want to Miss

(A very small sample)

MUSC 150

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. 

MUSC 215

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. 

MUSC 322

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. 


A brand new space for performance and rehearsal

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.

  • RMC Center for the Performing Arts
    Haun Rehearsal Hall was carefully designed for acoustic excellence, and offers a flexible space for practice, class, and performance.

Opportunities Worth Grabbing

Popular activities and programs among music majors
jazz musicians playing sax with guitarist in the background

In addition to the choirs and ensembles led by our music faculty, music students share their gifts on campus in other ways.

show choir

odori japanese ensemble


Upcoming Musical Performances

From Here To What you can do with a Music degree from RMC

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

buzzworthy The latest from RMC Music

News Story categories: Music

RMC Instrumental Ensemble Selected to Perform at College Band Directors National Association Conference

The Randolph-Macon Instrumental Ensemble travels to Columbia, South Carolina this weekend to perform at the 2022 College Band Directors National…

The RMC intrumental group standing on steps in front of a building posing for a group photo while holding their musical instruments
News Story categories: Music Cultural Arts RMC Up Close

Ribbon-Cutting Kicks Off Weekend Dedication of RMC’s Center for the Performing Arts

Appreciation for the College’s vibrant arts community took center stage during the official dedication of Randolph-Macon’s new Center for the…

An exterior shot of Blackwell at night.
News Story categories: Music Cultural Arts Student Life

New Instrumental Ensembles to Debut at Randolph-Macon

Two new musical ensembles, the Randolph-Macon Wind Ensemble and the Randolph-Macon Symphony Orchestra, will perform their premiere concerts this October.

A group of young people playing violins in an orchestra.

Get Ready Discover Music at RMC.