We believe that music changes the world. As part of a liberal arts education, music and its study provide essential perspectives on culture and our identity as human beings. Sewanee music majors develop the creativity, musicianship, and critical thinking skills to understand and practice music in context. Both in and out of the classroom, our graduates collaborate with faculty and each other to train for a lifetime of meaningful musical engagement.

Why study Music at Sewanee?

If you study music at Sewanee, your talent will be cultivated in a variety of settings, increasing your professionalism, talent, and likelihood of success in postgraduate pursuits. A wide variety of music styles are represented here on the Mountain. Through composition, performance, theory, and music culture, you’ll be exposed to a wide range of tracks and be able to choose the paths that best suit your talents. We offer composition and theory, music history, and performance. 

Sewanee has a long tradition of outstanding music making, from the nationally renowned University Choir and orchestras to faculty-led ensembles. You’ll get to experience choral music, jazz, classical, folk, and much more. Let the Sewanee music program connect you with other disciplines across campus. It's the embodiment of a liberal arts experience.

Ensemble placement and piano auditions (August, 2024)

Will you be a new student this fall? See details here on joining a campus band, ensemble, or choir.


Prospective music students with exceptional promise can apply for a Fellowship in the Arts. These fellowships range in value and are renewable for four years..

What can you do majoring in music at Sewanee

Sewanee music majors secure positions in a variety of fields. Some you would expect, others not so much. Our music majors gain admission to top graduate and professional schools. Below is a sampling of jobs our recent graduates currently hold. Sewanee prepares you for your profession and your passion.

  • Organist, Canon Musician (Cathedral Church of St. Luke, Orlando)
  • Associate Director of Development (Carnegie Mellon University)
  • Associate attorney (Turner Padget law firm, Charleston, South Carolina)
  • Litigation Associate (Dechert LLP, New York City)
  • Canon for Common Mission (Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina)

Sewanee's Ensembles

Sewanee Symphony Orchestra

The Sewanee Symphony Orchestra (SSO) presents a full range of the symphonic repertory and includes a wide variety of musical styles and genres. As a key component of the liberal arts environment, the orchestra not only collaborates with other music ensembles but also often participates in campus-wide interdisciplinary projects. Sewanee's orchestra is a vivid reflection of our community. It is common for students to play alongside their professors, University administrators, and community members.

University Choir

The University Choir plays an important role in Sewanee's musical life, singing at weekly services in All Saints' Chapel, monthly evensongs, and other campus events. A highlight of each year is the annual Festival of Lessons and Carols. This service regularly attracts 3,000 visitors to campus and has been featured in Southern Living and Garden and Gun. As an active touring ensemble, the choir has performed extensively throughout the United States and England.

Sewanee Praise: University Gospel Choir

Sewanee Praise ministers the Gospel in song to the campus and surrounding communities. The choir’s diverse membership is made up of students, faculty, and community members from various backgrounds and experiences. Its repertory covers spirituals, traditional and contemporary gospel, contemporary Christian, and praise and worship. Sewanee Praise performs two concerts—one each semester—as well as other campus events and regional tours.

University Jazz Ensemble

The University Jazz Ensemble started as a small ensemble and has grown into a 17-to-19 piece big band that covers the repertory of large ensemble jazz ranging from Duke Ellington and Count Basie to big band arrangements of popular songs by the Beatles and the Jackson 5. The Jazz Ensemble focuses on developing student jazz musicians by providing an opportunity for a challenging ensemble experience while encouraging performers to explore jazz improvisation. The Jazz Ensemble offers two performances on campus each school year, and also plays in local venues as requested.

Unique Resources for Sewanee Musicians

Shiverick Recording Studio

The recording studio is available on the second floor of Guerry Hall (Guerry 203B) and features microphones, DAWs, instruments, and other equipment for recording and engineering original compositions, covers, podcasts, class projects, etc. The studio’s various services are provided by experienced student recording engineers and are available to current students, faculty, and staff at the University.

Sewanee Bells

The Sewanee landscape is dominated by two high towers, and each features its own set of playable bells. The carillon occupies the top of Shapard Tower, and the change ringing bells ring out from historic Breslin Tower. Students make music heard all over campus—and earn course credit. Climbing up to ring the Breslin bells earns a  physical education credit, and MUSC281 provides carillon instruction, with beginners practicing on an indoor instrument in the Guerry basement and more advanced carillonneurs playing atop Shapard Tower.


The William Ralston Listening Library

The William Ralston Listening Library and Archive is located on the second floor of duPont Library. Known colloquially as the Ralston Room, it houses an expansive collection of physical format recordings inside what many reviewers and audiophiles consider the best publicly-available audio playback space in the world. The Ralston Listening Library exists to bring a stunning, life-changing sonic and aesthetic experience to students and visitors. A visit to this world-class facility is unforgettable, and Sewanee students can apply to host weekly listening sessions.

A Sampling of Courses


Programs of Study

Requirements for the Major & Minor in Music

Meet Some Professors


Stephen Ray Miller
Professor of Music, Chair


Breslin Tower 300, Ext. 1874

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