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, Sacred Music, Jazz Studies, Music Composition 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 usually posted two weeks in advance.
Juries and Seminars
As a part of the music experience, students must attend music seminars. 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. Two excellent ensembles for instrumentalists are the Classical Jazz, Contemporary Jazz Ensemble, African Drumming Ensemble.
Recording and Production
One of the newest additions, recording and production opportunities and courses are available for all students who are interested in developing narrative and musical production. The student will work in the state of the art music computer lab.
The Music Area is housed in the Steele Hall Building.
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.
Classical Jazz Ensemble
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.
Popular Music Ensemble
LeMoyne-Owen College Popular Jazz Ensemble (MUEN 345) engages audiences with nostalgic performances of music that sprang from the cultural expansion of the 1960's, through and up to the self-styled, and technically oriented popular music that springs from today's American youth culture. This ensemble explores the artistic merits prevalent in today's popular music, but nevertheless, keeps a steady eye on the stylistic subtleties of early Rock & Roll, Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Disco, and Blues. When held in comparison to the other ensembles previously mentioned, this group is still in its infancy. However, whenever it has appeared at venues on or off campus the popularity of its highly charged energy has swayed the most conservative in the audience to bend to its will.
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 a standing room only audiences in some of the world's most venerated cathedrals and churches.
Allen Todd, D.M.A.
Office: Steele Hall, Room 108
Office Phone: (901) 435-1310
Clyde Battles, M.M.
Office: Steele Hall, Room B07
Office Phone: (901) 435-1302
Arlene Chongson, Ph.D.
Office: Steele Hall, Room 208
Office Phone: (901) 435-1308
Jennifer Olander, M.M.
Office: Steele Hall, Room 104
Office Phone: (901) 435-1317