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

  • YouthSymphonyPromoimage_web_Kolb

    25 years of Shenandoah Valley Youth Symphony to be celebrated on March 22

    March 13th, 2015

    For many attending the upcoming celebration of the Shenandoah Valley Youth Symphony’s 25 years at Eastern Mennonite University, the event will bring back memories. The concert, which is Sunday, March 22, at 4 p.m. in Lehman Auditorium, includes music composed by alumnus Anthony VanPelt, a local musician, composer and teacher, and several alumni musicians joining …More

  • DJ Club

    Music teacher uses music-mixing technology to engage young DJs in STEM learning

    March 9th, 2015

    Before classes begin at Smithland Elementary School in Harrisonburg each morning, beeps, beats and bass can be heard from Perry Shank’s music room. His students are learning the art of sound engineering with the help of music-mixing technology and scientific toys. Shank [EMU BA ’99 in music] teaches his classes and the school’s DJ club how …More

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