2017-2018 Samford University Catalog 
    Sep 25, 2023  
2017-2018 Samford University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Music Division

Go to Undergraduate Music | Go to Graduate Music  | Go to Programs and Course Listings


Joseph Hopkins, Dean, Professor, Voice
Kathryn Fouse, Associate Dean for the Division of Music, Professor, Piano
Eric L. Mathis, Chair, Academic Studies in Music, Associate Professor, Music and Worship
W. Randall Richardson, Chair, Performance Studies in Music, Professor, Voice
Demondrae Thurman, Director, Graduate Studies, Professor, Low Brass
Philip L. Copeland, Professor, Choral Music
Sharon L. Lawhon, Professor, Voice
Ronald R. Shinn, Professor, Piano
Susanne Finch Burgess, Associate Professor, Music Education
Grant B. Dalton, Associate Professor, Percussion
Joel Scott Davis, Associate Professor, Music Theory, Composition
Brad Diamond, Associate Professor, Voice
Jeffrey Z. Flaniken, Associate Professor, Violin
Kristin Kenning, Associate Professor, Voice
Larry E. Hardin, Assistant Professor, Music Education
Mark A. Lackey, Assistant Professor, Music Theory, Composition
Margaret Elizabeth (Beth) McGinnis, Assistant Professor, Class Piano, Musicology
Brian B. Viliunas, Assistant Professor, Clarinet
Emily Snider Andrews, Instructor, Music and Worship
Timothy Heath, Instructor, Music Education
Kimberly A. Bain, Lecturer
Ryan A. Beach, Lecturer, Trumpet
Kenneth D. Berg, Jr., Lecturer, Choral Arranging
Allison Clough, Lecturer, Class Piano
William J. Dorroh, Lecturer, University Organist
Laura H. Doss, Lecturer, Voice
Angela M. Flaniken, Lecturer, Viola
Barbara K. Harrington, Lecturer, Flute
Judith S. Hicks, Lecturer, Harp
W. Michael Huebner, Lecturer, Music Theory
Stephen B. Knight, Lecturer, University Carillonneur
Kevin J. Kozak, Lecturer, Horn
Sarah J. Lanclos, Lecturer, Class Piano
Tariq M. Masri, Lecturer, Bassoon
Caroline J. Nordlund, Lecturer, Violin
Samuel Nordlund, Lecturer, Cello
Vicki L. Portis, Lecturer, Music Education
John Robertson, Lecturer, Staff Accompanist
Barbara A. Shinn, Lecturer, Class Piano
Brandon S. Slocumb, Lecturer
Christopher Smith, Lecturer, Guitar
James B. Sullivan, Lecturer, Oboe
Jaroslaw P. Szurek, Lecturer, Music Appreciation, Assistant Librarian
David Walbert, Lecturer, Guitar


The Division of Music is preparing musicians to enrich society through a diligent pursuit of excellence.

General Information

Music study at Samford University is essentially a threefold program, including training in basic musicianship, training in specialized professional areas, and studies in the liberal arts. The core of the program is musicianship-continuous study in music performance, including solo and ensemble experiences, along with extensive work in music theory and history. In specialized areas, such as teacher training, composition, and music and worship, requirements include training and experiences in the special skills and knowledge appropriate to the respective degree program to equip the graduate to function effectively on the professional level. The liberal arts requirements contribute to the breadth of knowledge appropriate for the professional musician.

The Division of Music in the School of the Arts is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music, and the teacher education program is accredited by the Alabama State Department of Education. In addition to the academic programs, a wide variety of ensembles offer opportunities to both music and non-music majors for meaningful experiences in music making. University ensembles include A Cappella Choir, University Chorale, Samford Opera, Opera Workshop, Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Jazz Band, and numerous chamber ensembles.

Undergraduate Programs and Requirements


Composition Major (B.M.)  

Music Major (B.A.)   
Music Major (B.S.)  

Music Major: Instrumental Music Concentration (B.M.E.) 
Music Major: Vocal/Choral Music Concentration (B.M.E.)  

Music & Worship Major (B.M.)  

Performance: Instrumental Music Major (B.M.) 
Performance: Organ Major (B.M.) 
Performance: Piano Major (B.M.) 
Performance: Piano Major w/Pedagogy Emphasis (B.M.) 
Performance: Voice Major (B.M.)  



Music Minor 
Minor in the Arts (MUSC)  *
Worship Leadership Minor  *

The Division of Music offers undergraduate programs that meet requirements for the bachelor of arts, the bachelor of science, the bachelor of music education, and the bachelor of music degrees. Degrees offered through the graduate program include the master of music and the master of music education. The music division also offers minors in music, the arts*, and worship leadership*.


*The minor in the arts is interdisciplinary, offered in cooperation with the Division of Visual Arts and the Department of Theatre and Dance. The worship leadership minor is also interdisciplinary, offered in cooperation with the Department of Religion.

Student Objectives

Bachelor of Arts in Music: This degree is designed for students desiring to major in music within the framework of a liberal arts degree. The degree is intended to serve the needs of undergraduate students who are interested in a broad program of general studies and who wish also to develop their musical skills and knowledge.

Bachelor of Music in Composition: This degree is designed for students pursuing a career in the field of music theory and/or composition. Most students in this field continue their study with graduate-level work in the discipline.

Bachelor of Music in Music and Worship: This degree is designed for students committed to vocational music and worship ministry. The program includes coursework in music, worship, ministry, and religion, and a supervised experience in a congregational setting.

Bachelor of Music in Performance: These degrees (instrumental music, organ, piano, and voice) are designed for students highly motivated toward excellence in performance. The student combines studies in basic musicianship and music history with concentrated emphasis in the major performance area.

Bachelor of Music in Performance: Piano with Emphasis in Piano Pedagogy: This degree is designed for piano majors who have a strong interest in teaching as well as performance.

Bachelor of Music Education in Music: This degree (with concentration options of instrumental music and vocal/choral music) is designed for students who wish to prepare for a career as a K-12 music educator and leads to the Alabama Class B teaching certificate. Practical experiences in teaching music are provided in the greater Birmingham area.

Bachelor of Science in Music: This degree is designed for students who would like to combine premedical studies with concentrated studies in music.

Admission Policies

Students desiring to major or minor in music must be admitted to the Division of Music in addition to gaining admission to the University. All prospective music majors and music minors must audition in their principal performance area(s) and take a music placement examination. If not admitted, a student may re-audition. A maximum of two (2) auditions is allowed in a single performance area. Non-keyboard majors must also complete a piano placement.

Appointments for auditions and placement examinations will be scheduled upon receipt of School of the Arts application materials, which can be obtained by contacting the Arts Recruiter, School of the Arts, Samford University, Birmingham, AL, 35229. Students will be notified by mail of the results of the auditions and will be admitted for registration as music majors only if they have acceptance notices sent by the dean of the School of the Arts.

Transfer students desiring to major in music must audition in the principal performance area(s) and take a placement examination in music theory and piano to determine both acceptance and transfer of credit. Transfer of credit for other music courses is determined by either placement examinations or review of the student’s previous work in an equivalent course.

Non-music majors desiring instruction in applied music may register for private or group instruction only with the permission of the associate dean.

Grade Restrictions

No grade below C- in music courses which are required for a degree with a major or a minor in music will count toward fulfillment of degree requirements. Any grade below C- in sequenced courses (such as Theory and Class Piano) requires that the class be successfully repeated in order for the student to advance to the next course in the series.

Recital Requirements

All students seeking a degree in music must present a half-hour degree recital (MUSC 4698). Composition and all performance majors have additional performance requirements associated with their SOA 470 Senior Project enrollment. Consult your advisor for details.


Students with an undergraduate major in music must register for at least one major ensemble each semester in residence. As a general principle, music majors will enroll in major ensembles associated with their principal applied performance area. At Samford University the following groups are defined as major ensembles: A Cappella Choir, University Chorale, Musical Theatre Ensemble, Samford Opera, Opera Workshop, Orchestra, Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Marching Band.

The following guidelines also apply:

  1. All keyboard principals must fulfill two of the required major ensemble credits by taking MUSC 1740 (Accompanying) for two semesters. Keyboard principals may fulfill two additional credits of major ensemble requirements by taking two additional credits of MUSC 1740.

  2. All vocal principals must take at least four semesters of a major choral ensemble. Vocal performance majors must also take a minimum of two semesters of Samford Opera or Opera Workshop.

  3. Music and worship majors may substitute MUSC 1750/3750 (Worship Arts Ensemble) or MUSC 1751/3751 (Campus Worship Team) for up to four credits as a major ensemble.

  4. Music and worship major with an instrumental or keyboard performance principle must take at least two semesters of a major choral ensemble.

Piano Proficiency

In order to graduate, all non-keyboard majors must complete the piano proficiency examination. Such students must enroll for piano study each long semester until the piano proficiency examination has been passed. All degree candidates must complete piano proficiency requirements before enrolling in a senior recital. Music education majors must complete all piano proficiency requirements before enrolling for student teaching.

Upper Level Status

Each music major will be evaluated for approval for upper level status at the end of two years of music study. Consult the Division of Music Manual for Undergraduate Studies for more details.


One of the most important aspects of a music major’s educational experience is the area of performance. The requirements for number of credits in performance appear in the curricular tables for the various degrees in music.

Progression Policy for Bachelor of Music Education

Once admitted into the bachelor of music education program with a major in music, a 3.00 GPA requirement must be maintained in all areas: cumulative, major courses, and education courses. These GPA requirements also pertain to graduation and certification.

General Education: University Core Curriculum and Distribution Requirements

General Education Distribution Requirements are noted in the individual degree tables. In those cases where a requirement is not specified, see General Education Overview  in the Howard College of Arts and Sciences introductory pages for a list of required and applicable courses.



    MajorMinorInterdisciplinary Minor


      Music - Undergraduate - CompositionMusic - Undergraduate - ConductingMusic - Undergraduate - Music & WorshipMusic - Undergraduate - Music EducationMusic - Undergraduate - Music History & LiteratureMusic - Undergraduate - Music TheoryMusic - Undergraduate - Performance-RelatedMusic - Undergraduate - Ensembles

      The 1000-level courses are designated for the first four successful semesters of ensemble participation.

      The 3000-level courses are designated for junior and senior music majors only.

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