Music at EMU

Music Major Concentrations: Music Education, Music Performance, Church Music, and Interdisciplinary Studies

Minors: Music and Church Music

EMU is a small Christian liberal arts college nestled in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. A bachelor of arts in music from EMU prepares graduates for work in music education, in performance, in graduate school, in church music, and in other music-related professions.

Our music program isn’t about cut-throat competition… it’s about building a community through music.


EMU cellist Chris Yoder (pictured above) is featured on this recording of Redwing Blackbird on the recently released album Whispering Pines by Me & Martha with Randy Edwards.

I love playing cello here at EMU. Though I’m not a music major, everyone in the music department helps me make the most of my ability.

-Chris Yoder, writing studies major

The department has an extremely active performing faculty, on campus and away who also strive for excellence in classroom and studio teaching. There are seven full-time music faculty, a varying number of part-time faculty, about 20-30 majors, and a much larger number of students who are involved in the ensembles and in private study in the department.

Recitals and concerts

We sponsor more that 50 recitals and concerts annually, including student ensemble concerts, senior and junior recitals, noon recitals, faculty recitals, preparatory program events, and the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival. Each fall the music department coordinates a celebratory concert, performed by students and recent grads.

Invited artists frequently perform on campus and faculty-led trips to performances in nearby metropolitan centers such as Washington, D.C. provide wonderful educational experiences. In 2007 the department launched a strings instruction program within city schools, and a group of students performed at the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind and a local detention center.

The preparatory music program is comprehensive and wide-reaching, serving 500 students in the Shenandoah Valley and providing community outreach projects year-round.

Program news

  • EMU-midsummer-web

    Students explore musical interests within community

    April 14th, 2014

    A music student at Eastern Mennonite University might: Sing a classical aria in a voice lesson on Monday mornings; Rehearse works by Mozart and Bono in Chamber Singers on Wednesday afternoons; Perform in the spring musical (Into the Woods this year) on Thursday night; and Play music at Celebration, a contemporary worship service on Sunday evenings. …More

  • hostetter_janet_web

    Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir chooses EMU music grad as new artistic director

    April 4th, 2014

    The pile of applications to fill the artistic director’s role with the Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir (SVCC) included submissions from across the country and beyond. The person ultimately selected for the job, though, lives nearly within earshot of the choir’s rehearsal space in Eastern Mennonite University’s Martin Chapel. Janet Hostetter, a 1987 graduate of EMU, …More

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