Music: Rich in culture and tradition

Ensembles, private instruction and international tours await.


Our Department of Music was founded more than 150 years ago, making music an integral part of the culture and traditions at Jewell, such as our choir's second-place finish in The American Prize in Choral Performance and the release of their second CD, to our opera workshops, holiday concerts, collaborations with the Department of Theatre and our new drumline. In 2018, our performance ensembles have toured Chicago, England, Scotland, Oklahoma and many local and regional venues. Jewell's music program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

Our Music Programs

Private instruction, performance labs, ensembles, studio recitals and research add depth to classroom instruction for music majors and minors. Non-music majors also may take applied lessons and participate in Jewell’s highly acclaimed vocal, instrumental and choral ensembles. At Jewell, you may choose a B.A. in Music, a B.S. in Music (with an emphasis in composition, theory, instrumental performance, keyboard performance or vocal performance) or a B.S. in Music Education for grades K-12.

As professional composers, conductors, performers and educators, our music faculty will help you:

  • Perform to a high standard on at least one instrument or voice.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of common practice and post tonal theory.
  • Speak with conviction about the development of music in the western tradition.
  • Use with some fluency at least one music related computer application.
  • Have an understanding of the business of music.
  • Confidently undertake research, making use of available resources (library, online, databases, etc.).

Master Classes

Through the internationally acclaimed Harriman-Jewell Series, you can get free tickets to see the world’s greatest artists in concert. Each year the Department of Music and the Harriman-Jewell series team up to bring some of this outstanding talent to campus to give free master classes. You can perform for and interact with leading performers from around the world and receive direct feedback and instruction. Recently we have hostesd sopranos Joyce DiDonato and Danielle de Niese, violinists Robert McDuffie and Jeremy Denk, violinist, vocalists The King's Singers, and mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe. This season the line-up of artists is equally great – you can find full information on the Harriman-Jewell Series web site.

Scholarships and Auditions

If you wish to major in music, you must audition for admission to the department. This can be done at the same time as an award audition. Non-majors also may audition for a music award. Awards are competitive and are distributed based on talent, as both a reflection of your achievement before coming to Jewell and also as an investment in your potential achievement. All awards require some participation in the department, usually in the form of applied lessons for at least four semesters and membership in one or more ensembles. Students may audition on instrument(s), voice, piano or a combination. For more information, contact Anne Aunspaugh at

The Music Award Application process begins with your application to William Jewell College. To start your Jewell application: and complete the Talent Scholarship Application.

You should plan to bring two contrasting pieces with you to your audition. We recommend that the standard of the repertoire you perform be at the level of material you would take to District or State music festivals.

You can expect to be asked to do some sight-reading and may be asked to perform scales and/or arpeggios as appropriate.

  • Vocalists: If possible, one should be in a foreign language.
  • Instrumentalists: Your second piece may be a technical study. Piano accompaniment is recommended but not required.
  • Pianists: Your second piece may be a technical study.

NOTE: A Jewell accompanist is available provided we have sufficient prior communication of your audition repertoire. Taped accompaniment is not permitted.

Our Choir

Jewell's Concert Choir released albums in 2015 and 2018. Every three years, the choir goes on a two-week tour, performing in England and Scotland's best cathedrals.

Hear them on SoundCloud

Meghan Recker

2017 participant: Yale Summer School of Music - Norfolk Chamber Music Festival

Meghan was selected for this highly competitive program with Simon Carrington, former King's Singer and Yale professor. The institute featured lectured recitals on baroque performance practices and a concert from Yale's renowned Music Shed in Norfolk, Conn.

Music Scholars

Choral, Instrumental and Orchestral Scholars receive significant scholarships, regardless of major

We honor a centuries-old tradition, designating students with outstanding music skills and high academic achievement for our Scholars programs. Anyone who auditions for a music scholarship is considered for these distinguished scholarships, including non-music majors.

Music Scholars Program

Instrumental Ensembles

Our ensembles are treated as learning labs where majors and non-majors work side-by-side and are challenged to not just produce the right notes, but to create outstanding performances with insight and understanding. Some ensembles tour nationally every year and internationally every few years.​

  • Symphonic Band​

    The Symphonic Band plays literature of the highest standards for wind ensemble. Membership is gained by audition or invitation and is comprised of students who are interested in the more serious aspects of wind and percussion performance. Lifetime friendships and good collegiality come naturally to the band members. The band tours regularly in the Midwest and beyond, including a Chicago tour this year. Dr. Langston Hemenway is the conductor.

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  • ​Liberty Symphony​ Orchestra

    ​As a full symphonic orchestra, the Liberty Symphony performs a season of four principal concerts, including a children’s concert and an oratorio concert with Jewell choirs. Comprised of students and community members, it is known in the Kansas City area as one of its finest community orchestras. LSO is open by audition to wind, percussion and string players, subject to their teacher’s recommendation and the instrumentation needs of the orchestra. Dr. Tony Brandolino is the conductor.

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  • Chamber Music

    Exploring works from the rich literature of Bach, Stravinsky and beyond, the Chamber Music ensembles rehearse once a week and perform on and off campus. The past couple of years these ensembles have consisted of various combinations of strings, piano and clarinet. Open by audition to all college students regardless of major, these ensembles are led by Dr. Tony Brandolino.​

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  • Jazz Band

    The Jewell Jazz Band is an ensemble that enjoys the exciting, wide-ranging jazz literature of many eras. This is the group that encourages instrumentalists to enjoy improvisational freedom and often showcases their own arranging and compositional endeavors. Membership is by audition and/or invitation and is subject to the needs of standard jazz band instrumentation. Dr. Langston Hemenway is the director.

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  • Jazz Combo

    This group performs a wide variety of music, often transcriptions, while focusing on the development of jazz improvisational skills. The group performs as a part of the Jazz Band concerts and in its own concerts each semester. Occasionally, the ensemble will perform for special events around campus. Membership into this group is based on audition or invitation after an interview. While not required, it is highly recommended that members of this ensemble also participate in the Jazz Band. The ensemble is directed by Dr. Allen Myers.​

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  • Flute Choir

    The Flute Choir is directed by Professor Elaine Brown and is one of the campus’ most active performing ensembles. The choir boasts a full complement of the flute family and can be heard performing its own campus concerts as well as appearing at convocations, schools, churches, clubs and civic groups. The choirs literature is varied and interesting, ranging from transcriptions to original compositions for flute choir.

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  • Cardinal Brass

    This group performs at special campus occasions and ceremonies, as well as in some concerts off campus. The group performs the mostly classical literature that makes brass groups popular and appreciated by many people. Part of its musical offering is often in conjunction with the new campus-located majestic and imposing Quimby pipe organ. Dr. Langston Hemenway directs this group.​

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  • Percussion Ensemble

    Led by Professor Ray DeMarchi, percussion instructor at Jewell, this group varies in size but always performs exciting and energizing music. Sometimes the ensemble members write or arrange their own music for extra involvement and enrichment in the medium.

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  • Handbell Choirs

    The Beginning Handbell Choir is just that: a beginning experience ringing handbells. No musical training is required but basic musical knowledge is helpful. Techniques, terminology and notation are taught using beginning to intermediate level handbell literature. Emphasis is placed more on handbell education than performance.

    William Jewell’s Advanced Handbell Choir is for those who have previous handbell experience. Advanced sacred and secular literature is performed for several local concerts as well as a spring tour. Auditions are held during the first rehearsal in the Fall Semester, and a year-long commitment is expected if accepted.

    Maximum enrollment for each choir is 14 students, with Professor Christie White as conductor.

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Vocal Ensembles

Our ensembles are treated as learning labs where majors and non-majors work side-by-side and are challenged to not just produce the right notes, but to create outstanding performances with insight and understanding. Some ensembles tour nationally every year and internationally every few years.​

  • Chapel Choir

    The Chapel Choir is an open women’s ensemble including upperclass students who choose this ensemble and first year students who are music majors and/or receive music scholarships. More than half the current members of The Chapel Choir are not music majors, but students who enjoy singing great music and possess a desire to learn more about singing. The Chapel Choir performs challenging music of many styles and genres, with frequent solo opportunities. Chapel Choir is conducted by Professor Nicole Murray.

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  • Men's Chorus

    The Men’s Chorus is a volunteer choir comprised of tenors and basses. The ensemble meets once a week and is open to all men that wish to sing regardless of major or vocal experience. Conducted by Dr. Anthony Maglione, this eclectic ensemble performs a wide range of literature from traditional Glee Club music and classical men’s chorus literature to folk song arrangements and lighter fare.

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  • Concert Choir

    The Concert Choir is a highly selective ensemble comprised of our very best choral singers. In addition to several Kansas City area performances each semester, this choir makes an annual United States concert tour. Since 1985, the choir has traveled tri-annually to England and Scotland for a 14-day concert tour. The Concert Choir regularly performs some of the most challenging choral repertoire, from Bach to Pendereski, Lauridsen to Whitacre. Concert Choir is led by Dr. Anthony Maglione.

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  • The Schola Cantorum

    Schola Cantorum specializes in the period and period-informed performance of Early Music (music written before 1750). The group performs both unaccompanied repertoire and is at times joined by baroque instruments for the presentation of chamber repertoire. Recent performances include a Choral Evensong of Elizabethan Music, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and Handel’s Chandos Anthems. A high degree of independence and proficiency is required. Schola Cantorum is led by Professor Jay Carter, Artist in Residence.

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  • Opera Workshop

    The Opera Workshop is an ensemble that involves the student in the study of a selected opera, opera scenes or operetta. The study will include examination of the music and libretto and the effect these elements have on the characterization of each role, normally culminating in a public performance. Recent performances include “Fortune’s Favorites” by Barab, Menotti’s “Old Maid and the Thief”, and Francesco “Cavalli’s L’Ormindo”, sung in Italian and accompanied by chamber orchestra. Suor Angelica and The Impresario highlighted the 2007-2008 season, along with an evening of Broadway, opera and gourmet desserts entitled Café Diva. The Opera Workshop is led by Dr. Ron Witzke.

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Beyond Jewell

By offering rigorous intellectual challenges in the art of music, we aim to produce graduates who are not only accomplished musicians but also well-rounded individuals. Many graduate programs seek our music students since the nature of thoughtful inquiry and dedication needed to be a successful music graduate are also a great foundation for other demanding careers. Our music alumni pursue a variety of careers and graduate programs throughout the country and overseas.

  • Graduate Schools

    Recent music graduates have pursued advanced degrees at top colleges throughout the world:

    Oxford University (England) doctoral candidate
    Yale University School of Music
    Yale Institute of Sacred Music
    Indiana University Jacobs School of Music doctoral candidate
    Stony Brook University doctoral candidate
    Case Western Reserve University
    Seton Hall University School of Law
    Purdue Master of Fine Arts

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  • Careers

    See what Jewell graduates are doing with a music degree

    Mid-America Productions (New York City) executive director
    Wall Street Journal drama critic and playwright
    American Operatic Baritone and Grammy award winner
    EPCOT’s Candlelight Processional conductor
    Texas Children’s Hospital music therapist
    Chamber Music Orchestra of Tulsa executive director
    Kansas City Lyric Opera singer
    Production studio owner and choral arranger
    Wheaton Conservatory of Music assistant professor
    Conductor of Metropolitan Youth Symphony of Kansas City
    Public and private school music teachers/conductors
    Harriman-Jewell Series development director
    Sound engineer
    Choral accompanist and voice instructor
    U.S. Navy Rear Admiral
    Advertising agency media analyst
    Community cultural affairs specialist

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