department of music

The Department of Music provides instruction by experienced professionals, connections with world-class performers, and opportunities to share your vocal or instrumental talents with the campus and greater community through participation in a variety of small ensembles and larger choirs, bands and orchestras.

With a curriculum taught by an outstanding faculty, you can prepare for your desired career in areas such as music performance, ministry, education, composition and business.

Music Degrees

The Department of Music offers two music degrees: the Bachelor of Arts in Music and the Bachelor of Music.  For the Bachelor of Music degree, students choose an emphasis from six different specialties: Education, Composition, Business and Music Industry, Performance, Traditional Worship, or Contemporary Worship.

Specific requirements and additional information about these degrees can be found in the Academic Catalog.  Gardner-Webb University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Ensemble Opportunities

All students have the opportunity to perform in a variety of performance ensembles.  These groups range in size and scope and are open to both majors and non-majors alike.

Our Major Ensembles include Concert Choir, Chorales, Symphonic Band, and the University Orchestra.  Semesterly participation in one of these ensembles is a requirement for all music majors, and all non-major participants in these ensembles receive an additional $1,000 scholarship for each year of participation.

Our Chamber Ensembles include Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Musical Theater and Opera, Keyboard Chamber Ensemble, Old Time Ensemble, Trumpet Ensemble, Brass Choir, Handbell Ensemble, and others.

In addition to these ensembles, Gardner-Webb University also has a Marching Band and Pep Band.  These groups provide an integral element to the game-day excitement of Football, Basketball, and other sporting events.  All participants in Marching Band receive an additional $1,000 scholarship for each semester of participation, and all Pep Band participants receive an additional $250 scholarship per semester.

Learn More About Available Ensembles

Department of Music Preview Day

Come experience the life of a music major for a day at Gardner-Webb University. During this immersive event you will get a personalized class schedule, including a free private lesson, lunch with other music majors in our cafeteria, a meeting with our admissions professionals and a campus tour. Take this opportunity to truly dive into our curriculum, meet our faculty, and become friends with our students. The Department of Music Preview Day will show you how our students are making their mark in the classroom, rehearsal hall, and the southeast region.

Date: November 20, 2023
Time: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm


Honors music scholarships are given to music majors and are awarded based on a scholarship audition assessing the student’s level of performance/ability.  These awards are renewed annually.

Auditions are typically held in the spring semester, beginning in January. The earlier an applicant auditions, the more money is available, so we encourage you to audition as early as you can.

To see the available audition dates and to schedule an audition, please click the Music Major Scholarship Application link below.  For more information about the actual audition, including a list of specific audition requirements, please click the Audition Requirements link.

Students majoring in something other than music who participate in one of our Major Ensembles receive the $1,000 ensemble scholarship – no audition required!

For more information about scholarships, degrees, or ensembles, please feel free to contact us by email at [email protected], or phone at (704) 406-4448. We’re here to help!

I can honestly say that every professor in the music department has made some impact on my life, whether they know it or not.”
— Chris Coffey ’17
Gardner-Webb helped prepare me (for graduate school) by giving me a solid foundation in music. I grew as a person and developed a solid work ethic at GWU that I was able to take with me to graduate school.”
— Jake Keller ’13
I had access to quality professors in a setting that allowed us to get up close and personal with the material presented as well as the practical applications that would come after graduation.”
— Peter Strickland ’97

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