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Music Performance

Students may pursue a Bachelor of Music in Performance with an emphasis in either Jazz (instrumental) or Classical (instrumental and vocal) styles. Performance majors will develop and strengthen their musicality, knowledge, and technical abilities on their instruments. Students will perform in our top ensembles including the SXU Wind Ensemble, Chorale, Jazz Ensemble, Opera Workshop, Chamber Players, and Piano Showcase. Each semester students will take one-on-one private lessons with some of the top musicians of Chicago as they develop their skills as both artists and musicians.

Students pursuing the Jazz Emphasis will take courses in Jazz Theory, Arranging and Composition, Jazz History, and part in studio recording projects. Jazz students also perform with world renown guest artists each year at SXU Jazz Festival. The SXU Jazz Ensemble perform regularly at events off-campus including the JENerations Jazz Festival in New Orleans.

The performance degree prepares students who wish to pursue careers as professional freelance and professional musicians, private lesson instructors, accompanists, music producers, composers and arrangers, conductors, as well as continue their studies at the graduate level.

What Will I Learn?

  • Technical Skills: Students will acquire technical skills, musicianship and understanding of the repertory requisite for artistic self-expression in at least one major performance area at a level appropriate for the particular degree program.
  • Performance: Perform advanced literature regularly as a soloist in solo recital and as a member of large and small ensembles.
  • Musicianship: Develop your own musical style and repertory needed for artistic self-expression through the study of music theory, music history, literature and pedagogy.
  • Composition/Improvisation: Create original and derivative music as you experiment with a wide selection of musical literature and compositional processes.
  • History and Repertory: Discover the origin of musical genres, their cultural impacts and the depth of principal musical eras.
  • Synthesis: Evaluate and respond to musical issues with a broad range of musical knowledge and skills.

Tuned in to Your Needs

Individualized Support

With a combination of classroom and individual instruction, your faculty can get to know you and guide you along your journey to success.

  • You have greater opportunity for performance -- including leading roles in opera performances or solo pieces with choral and instrumental ensembles.
  • You work one-on-one with a faculty mentor to prepare for your Senior Project Presentation or Senior Recital that demonstrates the culmination of your music studies.

Performance Experiences

SXU celebrates musical arts with large and small ensembles and musical events held throughout the academic year. At SXU, you have an abundance of opportunities to perform in both solo and ensemble settings, while studying with faculty who are experienced, active professional performers in the Chicago area.

Whether you are performing or attending with your friends and family, you can look forward to these annual concerts and more:

  • Flute Choir
  • OkTUBAfest
  • Christmas Spectacular
  • Jazz Night
  • Jazz Combo Festival
  • Senior Recital

Bonus Scholarship Options

When you apply to SXU as a Music major, you will audition with the Music Department in your area of expertise. In doing so, you will also be considered for music scholarships and talent awards that can be added to other forms of Financial Aid.

Versatile Career Options

A major in Music gives you the freedom to explore your interests and choose electives that excite you, which prepare you for a broad range of career options geared toward your interests.

  • Perform in a professional ensemble, such as a symphony orchestra, opera company, professional chorus or other professional instrumental ensembles.
  • Become a professional accompanist.
  • Become a professional church musician.
  • Establish an independent teaching studio, or teach at a larger independent music school.
  • Attend graduate school in music performance.

The Music Department at SXU is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

Program Requirements

For more information, please review the program requirements and course descriptions in the SXU Academic Catalog.

Suggested Academic Plan

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Related Majors

Music Education Major

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