About the Program

Olivet’s music program offers multiple options for you to attain a fulfilling and rewarding career in music. Our curriculum is developed in conjunction with national standards and will support students who desire to continue their musical training at the graduate level.

Many students choose to combine their music major with various minors or other majors found at Olivet College to offer them the chance to pursue exciting and satisfying careers in various fields.


Students are welcome to participate in a variety of music programs on campus, including:

Chamber Singers 

The Olivet college chamber singers is an auditioned SATB (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass) ensemble that performs a variety of repertoire including traditional and contemporary historical periods and genres.  The ensemble is open to qualified vocalists, regardless of major, by audition.

Women’s Chorale 

The Olivet College women’s chorale is an auditioned SSAA (Soprano, Soprano, Alto, Alto) ensemble that performs a variety of repertoire including traditional and contemporary historical periods and genres. The ensemble is open to qualified vocalists, regardless of major, by audition.

Gospel Choir 

The Olivet College Gospel Choir is comprised of all vocal parts, and percussionists, pianists, and guitarists. The Gospel choir performs inspirational selections from various genres and seeks out unique performance platforms for students of all backgrounds. The ensemble performs for several events on campus, and are in high demand off-campus with invitations from community connections. This ensemble is open to all, regardless of major, by audition.

Wind Ensemble  

The Olivet College wind ensemble consists of woodwind, brass, and percussion players who perform pieces of various instrumentation and styles. The wind ensemble performs a wide variety of literature from classic band pieces to the latest contemporary works. The ensemble is known for quality performance standards in the community and around the world having performed on tour around Michigan, as well as in Paris, France and Rome, Italy. The ensemble is open to qualified wind and percussion instrumentalists, regardless of major, by audition.

Marching Comets 

The Olivet College Marching Comets are comprised of students from all majors and backgrounds from around the world! All woodwinds, brass, percussion, and color guard who pass a successful audition are welcome to join. Together we serve our surrounding community by performing and sharing our love of music. The Comets are also regular performers by invitation to Europe for the New Year’s Day festivities. The Comets take pride in providing education, through music, that emphasizes student leadership and values integrity. In acknowledgment of their supporters, the Marching Comets strive to continually build upon their legacy on and off the field.  Regardless of the adversity they may face, they will keep marching on

Jazz Ensemble

The Olivet College Jazz Ensemble consists of brass, saxophones, drums, guitar, bass, piano, and vocals; the ensemble is open to all qualified musicians by audition regardless of major. The jazz ensemble performs on and off campus throughout the year focusing on all genres of jazz, from bee bop to funk! The ensemble plays in big band and jazz combo settings throughout the year.

The Margaret Upton Conservatory of Music

As the home of our music program, the conservatory has numerous practice rooms, vocal and instrumental rehearsal halls, a 123-seat recital hall and a computer-equipped electronic music/MIDI recording and music composition studio.

Music Scholarships

Interested music majors can audition for up to $3,000 in annual scholarship awards. Students who plan to major in another area, but are interested in participating in Olivet’s music ensembles are also eligible to apply for scholarships.

Careers in Music

  • Music Therapist

    Music Therapy is an allied health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address the physical, psychological, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, the client's abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their life. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words. A double degree in music and psychology is recommended, and music therapy requires graduate work and state certification.

  • Music Journalist

    Music journalists cover the world of music for print publications, online journals, magazines, and broadcast media outlets. They review concerts and new releases, report on the business of music, write artist profiles and feature stories, conduct interviews, and break music-related news. In addition, music journalists often are called upon to write liner notes for CDs and music DVDs. A double degree in music and journalism or writing is recommended for this career.

  • Private Music Instructor

    Private music instructors, who specialize in an instrument or class of instruments or voice, work one-on-one with students to develop the following: instrumental or vocal technique and performance ability, advanced skills such as notation, music theory, improvisation, and skills for auditioning and performing as professionals, or simply for their enjoyment. Community music schools often employ these instructors or they open a private teaching studio in their own home.

  • Advanced Studies in Music

    Your undergraduate degree in music at Olivet College prepares you well for continued and specialized studies in music at the graduate level, such as music performance, musicology, music theory, and composition. Successful Olivet music graduates have continued their graduate work in these areas at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (London), Eastern Michigan University, Michigan State University, Bowling Green State University, and Eastern Illinois University, among other universities in the mid-west and abroad.

Courses in the Program

MUS 141 - Piano Class
MUS 214 - Aural Skill
MUS 322 - Comprehensive Music History
MUS 311 - Form and Analysis
View all courses offered in the program


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