Why Music at Eckerd?

Musical cultures, aesthetics, and practice

Whether you are a prospective music major or minor, a devoted amateur, or simply someone who enjoys music and wants to learn more about it, Eckerd’s music program is designed with you in mind. Our courses and performance opportunities, both those for seasoned musicians and musical newcomers, are exceptionally diverse.

The Eckerd College Rock Lab class performs at am outdoor pop-up concert on campus.

For those who just prefer to listen, there are lots of campus concerts and a wealth of performances to choose from within Tampa Bay’s lively music scene. Eckerd’s music culture beyond Roberts Music Center’s classrooms and concert halls is also vibrant. Singer-song writers, DJs and campus band members abound here, as do a cappella singers and instrumentalists who perform for pleasure. Student-run Palmetto Productions sponsors live performances and open mic nights in the Triton Pub throughout the year, as well as a Battle of the Bands each spring. The EC Organization of Musicians holds workshops and provides opportunities for campus musicians to jam. All Eckerd students are welcome to audition for the theater’s musicals or the chapel band.

The Eckerd College choir performs Berlioz’s “Shepherds’ Farewell” during the annual winter concert in Wireman chapel, under direction of Brent Douglas.

The Music Major is configured to develop a holistic understanding of musical cultures, aesthetics, and practices — including classical, pop, rock, and jazz traditions. Majors develop fundamental knowledge and skills in music theory and performance while also gaining historical and critical perspectives, preparing them to function as well-rounded musicians and critical thinkers in a variety of settings. The curriculum is flexible so as to support students’ interests, aptitudes, and career aspirations, including performance, teaching, conducting, composition and arranging, recording and production, sacred music, cultural literacy and advocacy, and the academic study of music. Likewise, the music major or minor can pair well with other academic areas at Eckerd to prepare for a career in medicine, intellectual property law, music therapy, arts management, music entrepreneurship or another field. Both the Music Major and the Music Minor require courses in music theory, music history & criticism and performance. Electives, some of them independent studies or internships designed with a faculty mentor, round out a student’s program.

Music courses may also be incorporated into majors in Interdisciplinary Arts, Humanities, International Studies, Film Studies or an individualized concentration such as Music Management or Music Entrepreneurship. In addition, music courses are often paired with majors in Computer Science, Management, Communication, Environmental Studies and Human Development.

Most music courses, including all ensembles and applied music classes, are open to the entire student body.

Performance Opportunities

Instrumentalists can join a number of diverse ensembles ranging from Wind Ensemble to Rock Lab. Wind, brass, or string players can enroll in either the Eckerd Wind Ensemble or the Eckerd Chamber Orchestra, both of which comprise smaller ensembles coached by our performance faculty: string quartets, brass and saxophone ensembles, flute choir or mixed chamber groups. Other instrumental opportunities include Jazz Combo, Rock Lab, and Steel Drum Band, also coached by faculty experts. All instrumental ensembles give public performances on and off campus, often as reflective service learning projects.

For vocalists, the Eckerd Concert Choir and its select ensembles are joined by a professional orchestra for major concerts each semester. These groups also perform off campus locally and internationally, including Cuba. Many choir members also participate in the student-led Tritones a cappella group or perform in the theater’s musical productions.

Applied Music Study

Private lessons are offered in voice and most instruments. An additional fee is charged; members of department-sponsored ensembles may qualify for fee waivers.

Tuition Scholarships

Musically accomplished applicants to the college are encouraged to apply for an Artistic Achievement Award in Music. To be considered, upload a short essay and a recording demonstrating skill and musicianship to the Admission website by February 1 of your application year.