Music is about more than hitting the right notes. It’s about honoring our Creator.
The Department of Music prepares graduates who are talented musicians in tune with the creativity of our Maker. With each lecture, lesson, and performance, you’ll be challenged to grow in your abilities and prepare for a lifetime of sharing the gift of music.
Majors, Minors, and Programs
|Pre-music Therapy Program||Program|
MAY 2 2017
7:30 p.m. Benson Great Hall
A concert of orchestral favorites conducted by Steven Thompson
MAY 5 2017
7:30 p.m. Benson Great Hall
The 5:40 Jazz Orchestra will present a program of classic jazz tunes directed by Jason Harms.
MAY 12 2017
7:30 p.m. Benson Great Hall
Gene Peterson will conduct a choral-orchestral work, and student winners of the 2017 concerto-aria competition will perform.
MAY 14 2017
3 p.m. Benson Great Hall
Kevin Shull directs the Bethel Handbell Ensemble in a concert of pieces for handbells.
Glorifying God and Serving Others Through Music
In the music department at Bethel, we've developed majors and minors that allow students to sharpen their individual skills and follow their passions. We think that there's no better preparation for a career in music than working with peers in ensembles, meeting one-on-one with professors to fine-tune technical skills, or stepping onto the platform for competition. After all the private lessons, long hours in practice rooms, and dress rehearsals, students in the music program leave ready for a lifetime of sharing the gift of music. It's about taking our faith in Christ and integrating it into everything we learn, into everything we do, so we can accomplish incredible things—in our careers, in our communities, and in our world.
0% music education grads since 2011 are teaching
Students have won a national composition prize and a statewide vocal competition.
Renowned performance facilities
Bethel's 1,700-seat Benson Great Hall, one of the finest concert halls in the Upper Midwest, attracts local and national performers to aid in your growth as a musician.
National and international tours
Major music ensembles tour within the U.S. every year and internationally once every 4 years, giving you the opportunity to share God's love and inspire others through performance.
Because we're a liberal arts institution, you'll interact with a variety of disciplines, which prepares you for a multitude of careers. And with nearly 400 university students involved in ensembles, your experiences will be rich and diverse.
Music professors are passionate, innovative teachers, as well as talented musicians in their own right. With 7 full-time and 26 part-time professors, the broad range of musical disciplines is represented. From private lessons to music theory classes, honoring God with our talents and discipline is at the core of what we do.
Excellent career placement
Nearly all of our recent music education grads who actively seek teaching positions have been placed in jobs throughout Minnesota and the nation.
Private lessons in voice and a variety of instruments are available to music and non-music majors alike.
We sponsor 2 student competitions each year—the fall semester Performance Prize and the spring Concert-Aria competition—offering you top-level performance preparation and scholarship opportunities.
Bethel provides extensive opportunity for all students—music majors and non-majors alike—in both large and small ensembles, including:
- Bethel Choir
- Philharmonic Orchestra
- Jazz Bands (2)
- Handbell Ensemble
- and many others
In addition to their individual local and tour performances, these groups perform together in Bethel’s annual Festival of Christmas, Jazz in the Great Hall, and Spring Music Festival concerts.
The faculty takes a genuine interest in helping you develop as a student and as a person. The way I approach my students today is largely influenced by how the Bethel professors interacted with me on a daily basis.Wes Myers '07
Current job: Orchestra, Guitar, Music Technology Teacher 4-12 and Assistant Marching Band Director at Marshall Public Schools, Marshall, MN
I was constantly performing through departmental events such as: weekly "Music Hour Recitals," orchestra and band concerts, solo and chamber recitals, semi-annual solo competitions, and yearly ensemble tours. I fell in love with the intensity of practicing and performing.Lindsay Flowers '07
Oboe/English Horn in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and Evansville Philharmonic; Citizen Musician Fellow under the mentorship of Yo-Yo Ma; Doctoral Candidate in Oboe Performance at Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University.
The performing arts world is very dark, overall. Bethel prepared me to defend my faith and be an excellent performer. Graduate school thrust me into a cutthroat, competitive environment. But my identity doesn't rest on my musical successes or failures.Kathryn Voelker '06
Current job and grad school: Associate Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music Education and Piano at Liberty University and finishing D.A. in wind conducting from University of Northern Colorado
Bethel's liberal arts curricula greatly prepared me for graduate work in musicology. Already accustomed to making interdisciplinary connections, I was able to think more creatively about my research and to synthesize what I had learned with more insight and clarity.Eve Ruotsinoja '08
Grad school: Finished M.M. in musicology from the University of Houston, 2013
At Bethel, integrating faith and learning isn't just talk. The faculty are working musicians bringing a Christian perspective to their everyday work. My education prompted deep thought about music's role in Christian experience and clarified my calling to share music.Nathan Cornelius '12
Grad school: Lilly Graduate Fellow pursuing Doctor of Musical Arts degree in guitar performance, concurrently with a Master of Music in music theory pedagogy, at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University; Earned M.M. in composition and guitar performance from the Lamont School of Music, University of Denver.
Bethel provided me with an invaluable foundation in critically thinking and communicating about music, faith, and culture. Most of my colleagues have never had the opportunity, as I did, to regularly perform in an excellent venue like Benson Great Hall.Madeline Veenker '10
Current job: Choir and Bell Director at St. Paul church and runs private vocal studio; earned an M.M. in vocal performance from University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Students have opportunities to meet industry professionals through faculty, performances, master classes, or auditions. By graduation, I had completed master classes with individuals from NYC, Minnesota Opera, and Orchestra Hall.Ruthanne Heyward '11
Current job: Working as a performing artist and actor in NYC
What can I do with a music degree?
Music students prepare for professional careers in a variety of industries and graduate programs in fields ranging from performance to music therapy to education.
Music graduates are:
- Music educators
- Professional performers
- Worship leaders
- Studio teachers
- Music therapists
- Music software developers
- Arts administrators
- Composers or arrangers
- Film score writers
- Recording or audio engineers
- Music publishers
- Instrument repairers
- Music library managers
Our alumni study:
- Music education
- Music therapy
Our alumni attend:
- Denver University
- Duke University
- Eastman School of Music
- Indiana University
- New York University
- University of Minnesota
- University of Missouri-Kansas City
- University of Northern Colorado
- University of Tennessee