By Micayla Hanover
Bluffton University strives to give students a wide range of knowledge through a liberal arts education. The Music Department exemplifies this mission by including students of other majors in the department.
Bluffton University’s Music Department offers several instrumental and vocal ensembles and lessons to music and non-music majors alike. Some ensembles and lessons are also open to community members such as Gospel Choir and the chamber ensembles.
“These dedicated students are an integral and important part of our music-making,” Dr. Couch, assistant professor of music, said.
According to Jodi Diller, the administrative assistant for the Music Department, 12 non-music majors are taking applied lessons this semester. There are more than 66 non-music majors out of a total of 116 participants who are involved in the choral ensembles (some are counted twice for being in multiple ensembles) and seven community or faculty and staff members. These ensembles include University Chorale, Gospel Choir and Camerata Singers. In the instrumental ensembles, 34 out of a total of 76 performers are non-music majors. These ensembles include Concert Band, Jazz Band and Chamber Ensembles.
“Our ensembles depend on non-majors,” Diller said.
Non-music majors come from different music backgrounds and a wide range of majors.
“They have a high level of commitment considering music is not their major and yet the time involved is significant,” said Couch.
Megan Good is a senior writing and English major who participates in University Chorale. Good joined Chorale after a friend of hers told her about how much fun she has in the ensemble.
“It’s not like an average class,” Good said. “It’s like a wind-down class. It’s very chill.”
Brooke Ryman is a junior criminal justice major who sings in both University Chorale and Gospel Choir. Ryman sang in choir in high school and said she is glad to continue to sing in college through Chorale.
Cody Stuckey is a junior business administrator major who participates in University Chorale, Concert Band and Pep Band. Stuckey had also played in the Jazz Band ensemble in the past. Stuckey was originally a music major but has continued to participate in music.
“I’ve always loved band and choir,” Stuckey said. “At first I had to participate in the ensembles because of being a music education major but since I’ve decided to keep up with it.”
Ruthi Stuckey is a junior English and writing major who sings in University Chorale, Gospel Choir and Messiah. Stuckey has also played in the Concert Band in the past. Stuckey joined Chorale because her roommate had fun in it and joined Gospel Choir and Messiah to be more involved in music.
“It’s nice to have something different than my required classes for my major to do,” Stuckey said.
Any students interested in participating in music may join any of the ensembles above. Information on how to join can be found on the Bluffton website. These ensembles can be done for zero credit if a student is already at max credit hours.