Majors and Minors

School ofMusic

ContinueContinue to the School of Music's website

Why Music?

Southern's School of Music offers dynamic and comprehensive areas of study. Each music program prepares students for future work or graduate school.

  • Whether music is a career goal or extracurricular passion, students will find that the music experience at Southern opens a world of exciting opportunities.
  • The music minor program is perfect for the student who wants to stay involved in music while majoring in another area.
  • Music ensembles and private lessons are available to all interested students. Although music majors create the nucleus of the ensembles, most of the ensemble members are general students who perform simply for the sheer pleasure of developing their talents in making music.
  • The world-famous Anton Heiller Memorial Organ at the Collegedale Church has put Southern on the map for organists. World-class organists regularly present recitals and master classes through the Eugene A. Anderson Organ Concert Series each academic year.
  • The strong and committed full-time faculty is supplemented by professional musicians from the community serving as private music lesson teachers.
  • World-renowned musicians regularly present recitals and master classes for students.

Interesting Facts

Marks of Distinction

  • The School of Music has been a fully accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music since 1968.
  • Freshman music scholarships are open to incoming freshmen and transfer students. The School of Music makes a four-year scholarship commitment to qualified students.
  • Music ensemble scholarships are awarded by each ensemble director and are available to non-music majors who lead out and are committed to the ensemble.
  • Each senior takes an exit exam that is ranked against national norms. The School of Music reaches its annual goal for at least 90 percent of the graduates to place in the 70th percentile or higher.
  • Three music graduates from Southern have received a Fulbright Scholarship (a national scholarship that allows a student to study abroad). All three have studied organ in Holland.
  • Professor Emeritus Bruce Ashton composed “Proclaim His Grace,” which was selected as the theme song for the 2010 General Conference Session in Atlanta.
  • The School of Music was honored to become an All-Steinway School in 2009, meaning that all practice, studio, and concert pianos are Steinway & Sons pianos. Southern is the 100th institute in the world to earn this designation.

Students in Action

  • Many music majors pursue a second major or pre-professional program.
  • Students have opportunities to perform with the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera.
  • Seniors perform their own recitals.

Statistics to Note

  • Approximately 65 students per year declare a music major.
  • Southern has a good job placement rate for music education majors. About 90 percent enter graduate school successfully or obtain employment or service work. The remainder typically find a career path within the first few years. 
  • Renowned artists regularly visit campus as guest performers.


  • Gennevieve Brown-Kibble, DMAGennevieve Brown-Kibble, DMAProfessor
  • Judy Glass, MMusJudy Glass, MMusProfessor
  • Ken Parsons, MMusKen Parsons, MMusAssociate Professor
  • Laurie Cadwallader, MMusLaurie Cadwallader, MMusAssociate Professor
  • Peter Cooper, DMAPeter Cooper, DMADean and Professor
  • Scott Ball, PhDScott Ball, PhDProfessor
  • Julie Penner, DAJulie Penner, DAProfessor

 My professors
are always helpful
and make me feel
welcome in class.
Tiara Hebert, ’15Music-performance minor

Music students perform at the Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist church



The School of Music is located in J. Mabel Wood Hall, a modern, well-equipped building containing classrooms, 24 rehearsal rooms (for practice, choral, and instrumental use) a listening library, a Midi lab, and teaching studios. The building's 250- seat Ackerman Auditorium is a primary venue for student and faculty recitals and concerts by visiting artists. The School of Music also has several outstanding tracker organs on campus: the 70-stop Anton Heiller Memorial Organ, a 13-stop mean-tone organ, and two smaller practice organs.

Careers in Music

  • Students who are pursuing careers in performance and/or teaching college music will continue their education in graduate music programs. Many study abroad while earning their master’s or doctorate degrees.
  • Many music majors proceed to graduate professional programs in law, medicine, dentistry business, and physical therapy.
  • Other music-related professions include careers in the music business, music software development, and radio and other mass media.

Musical Groups

  • Several strong musical groups are open to all students (irrespective of major) by audition:
  • Bel Canto (all-female choir)
  • Die Meistersinger (all-male choir)
  • I Cantori (select mixed choir)
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Wind Symphony


Annie Smolinski, office manager