Welcome from Music Department Chair Mark Swift
Welcome to the website of the music department at Washington & Jefferson College. Here, you will learn how you can continue making music an integral part of a well-rounded life, whether that means pursuing a major or minor, participating in one of our ensembles, or taking private lessons. Visitors will also find our department’s busy performance schedule and can listen to our ensembles online.
Students come to W&J for a liberal arts education. The typical W&J student is curious, and craves the opportunity to take courses in psychology, biology, and business alongside courses in music, English, and the arts. Many young, talented musicians feel they have to put aside music as they begin to pursue degrees and careers in a chosen field, but at W&J, music is a fundamental part of campus life. More than 50 students take private lessons and more than 100 participate in our ensembles each semester.
Here at W&J, students leave their accounting and chemistry classrooms and go explore courses in music appreciation, history, theory and world music or perform in our choral, jazz, wind and percussion ensembles and engage in chamber music. Students, from the experienced to the novice, hone their skills and learn how to perform with private lessons in most of the major instruments and voice with our wonderful faculty, themselves active musicians and teachers throughout the tri-state region.
The music department makes its home in the Olin Fine Arts Center, which houses a 486-seat theatre and numerous practice rooms—all accessible to all students.
Our major and minor programs provide a comprehensive curriculum that positions students for postgraduate study and eventual careers as professional musicians. Alumni of the department are musicians, they are well-rounded doctors, lawyers, teachers and business leaders who are keen listeners and support and participate in their communities’ arts organizations.
Welcome to the Music Department of Washington & Jefferson College, and we hope to make music with you soon!
Mark D. Swift