LeMoyne-Owen College and its music faculty are tirelessly working to "build and sustain a quality music program that draws upon, and contributes to the long and diverse legacy of Memphis music." In addition, the Music Area's goal is to prepare its majors for graduate and professional schools where their competitive edge is comparable to any other.
The student who officially declares music as his/her major at LeMoyne-Owen College is immersed into a challenging learning environment from the start. There are courses offered that have been specifically designed to stimulate the musical sensibilities of the more advanced student, and there are others designed to help nurture the dormant artistic natures of the beginner. Classes in Music Theory, Music History, Applied Music, Music Composition, and Jazz Studies work to broaden the artistic palates, and expand the academic expectations of the student dedicated to the study of music.
Each potential music major must audition as a part of their requirements for entrance into the major. Audition dates and times are typically scheduled in advance.
Seminars and Juries
As a part of the music experience, students must attend music seminars and workshops. These seminars are part discussion and part performance. They are designed to encourage development of stage performance and to engage students in the complexities of the music industry.
As a part of the music program, students must successfully pass juries. Juries are designed to chart the students progress through the major and to offer constructive feedback for the budding musician.
All students in the major must successful pass their senior recitals. The recitals are designed to allow students to demonstrate their advance knowledge and practice in a myriad of musical composition and their enhanced development of their primary instrument.
After auditioning, students will be given a program of study for their area of interest. They must then enroll in a private lesson and ensemble each semester in order to develop their skills and repertoire. Two excellent ensembles for singers are the J.W. Whittaker Singers and the Concert Choir.
After auditioning, students will be given a program of study for their area of interest. They must then enroll in a private lesson and ensemble each semester in order to develop their skills and repertoire. Excellent ensembles for instrumentalists are the Jazz Ensemble and the African Drumming Ensemble.
Recording and Production
Recording and production opportunities and courses are available for all students who are interested in developing proficiencies in music technology and musical production. The student will work in the music computer lab.
Each Spring the music area hosts a week long event, where community artists and scholars engage students in performance and discussion of trends in music. Students also work with a master teacher who conducts workshops and classroom visits.
CHOIRS AND ENSEMBLES
The J. W. WHITTAKER SINGERS
The J.W Whittaker Singers was established by Professor Clyde Battles in honor of Mr. J.W. (POP) Whittaker, who was the first director of the LeMoyne-Owen College Concert Choir (founded in 1938). In 2005, the JWW Singers was conceived as the nucleus of the LeMoyne –Owen College Concert Choir. The singers are all voice majors in the Music Area and sing in different venues throughout the city and outlining regions. Their performances have included functions in City Hall, Rotary Club, LOC Sunday in The Cannon Center and many others. They do a variety of music genre including opera, musical theater, light classical, pop/gospel and other areas to display their unique skills learned in their training with this group. The voices are distributed between its 16 members for maximum effect of their technical prowess. Some have landed contracts with local church ensemble and debuted with orchestras, Opera Memphis and Graduate Assistantships. Admission into the group is by audition with the director exclusively.
LeMoyne-Owen College Classical Jazz Ensemble (MUEN 343), like the Concert Choir, has been a mainstay at the college. Over the years the group has performed at various prestigious venues throughout the Memphis and Mid-South area. Wherever the free intellectual spirit of the sound that gave the Industrial Revolution its musical impetus and drive can find appreciation, the members of this ensemble are sure to be found. Within this course students learn the intricacies of the Straight-ahead and Bebop styles of Jazz used by legendary performers such as: Louis Armstrong, Billie Holliday, Lionel Hampton, Benny Goodman, Miles Davis, and etc. The ensemble's success is given ample witness by the many organizers of Art Festivals, Benefits, Galas, Banquets, and etc., who are continually seeking this group out to participate on their events that are designed to have a certain social panache and sophistication experienced by audiences.
The Concert Choir
LeMoyne-Owen College Concert Choir is a group that is distinguishing itself as one of the premier choruses of the Mid-South. Each semester this group learns, and performs a broad range of music literature. Music selections are not only taken from the vast repertories of the master composers of Western Europe, but programs are developed that also delve into the musical masterpieces of composers whose ethnic sensibilities are African-American, African, Meso-American, and etc.
The Concert Choir has performed throughout the Mid-South region, in cities across the country, and it has also traveled abroad. In 2003, LeMoyne-Owen Concert Choir traveled to Paris, France, where they sang before standing room-only audiences in some of the world's most venerated cathedrals and churches.
LeMoyne-Owen College African Drumming Ensemble strives is to promote and enrich the global music experience of the College and the Memphis community. This ensemble’s vibrant performance repertoire carries the interlocking patterns and energetic, polyrhythmic drumming traditions of the Ewe, Yoruba, and other African societies.
The Music Area is housed in Steele Hall.
Arlene Chongson, Ph.D.
Office: Steele Hall, Room 108
Office Phone: (901) 435-1308
Lenora Green-Turner, M.M.
Office: Steele Hall, Room 111
Phone: (901) 435-1310
Clyde Battles, M.M.
Office: Steele Hall, Room B07
Office Phone: (901) 435-1301
Jennifer Olander Anderson, D.M.A
Office: Steele Hall, Room 107
Office Phone: (901) 435-1317
Concert Choir Choral Director
Gavin Wigginson M.M.
Office: Steele Hall, 204
Office Phone: (901) 435-1306