Opportunities abound in the areas of choral, vocal, instrumental, piano, and organ. Our professors combine excellence teaching with the kind of focused attention that inspires students to do their very best. Music students at SWU are among the most active and involved students in study and campus activities, including student body leadership positions.
Our performing ensembles consist of music students as well as interested and talented students from other academic disciplines. Our performing ensembles include Concert Choir, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Ensemble.
Directed by Dr. Samuel Miller, Concert Choir is SWU’s top performing large vocal ensemble. Consisting of approximately 40-50 singers, this group performs an eclectic blend of music from Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic music to 20th and 21st- century music, spirituals, gospel, and Broadway. The Concert Choir performs regular concerts on campus and the eastern United States. The choir sponsors the annual Upstate Intercollegiate Choral Invitational Festival for Christian colleges from South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina. In 2004, Concert Choir was a demonstration choir for a conducting seminar at the South Carolina American Choral Directors Association (SCACDA) Autumnal Convocation. In 2005, the choir was selected by audition to perform a concert at the SCACDA Autumnal Convocation.
Under the direction of Greg Day, the Wind Ensemble has grown to fill our concert stage to overflowing. Consisting of our instrumental music majors and other talented campus instrumentalists, this group performs regular concerts throughout the year and mentors high school students from the surrounding area. The ensemble performs a wide variety of music that never fails to please audiences.
Directed by Greg Day, the Jazz Ensemble has become a unique and respected voice for jazz education in the area. The group performs not only jazz standards but also Christian hymns and praise songs in the jazz style.
Auditions and Scholarships
The Division of Fine Arts supervises the awarding of scholarships to students based on their ability to participate in music ensembles at Southern Wesleyan University. Music and non-music majors are eligible for this scholarship.
Non-music majors may set up an audition through the SWU Choir Director, Dr. Samuel Miller. No preparation is required. Students will be asked to sing their choice of “Amazing Grace” or “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” accompanied by Dr. Miller. Additionally, students can expect a vocal range test and some simple singing exercises.
Prepare one solo or etude that demonstrates range, tone quality, expression, and technique. Students will be asked to read one piece to assess sight-reading ability. Be prepared to play major scales (minimum one octave) as requested by faculty. If applicable, please provide accompanist or sheet music for our staff accompanist.
Music Ministry Teams
University Singers consists of eight to 12 auditioned singers who perform accompanied and unaccompanied vocal music for churches, conventions, and other venues. Each student receives a considerable scholarship. The ensemble exalts Christ through a balance of contemporary Christian and traditional gospel music. Learn more about University Singers.