Photo of Casper College student in the early childhood education program working with children.

Music Department

Casper College offers a modern and well-equipped program where students explore music technology, music education, music performance, musical theatre, or music in the liberal arts curriculum.

Join a half-century tradition of opportunity and excellence in music at Casper College. Perform in an exceptionally beautiful music building, where every detail ensures a real-world music experience for you.

Highly-qualified faculty are dedicated to providing comprehensive training and advising to help you achieve your career goals. Take advantage of small class sizes, where you can expect a great deal of individual attention from instructors. Perhaps the greatest strength of the Casper College Music Department is the variety of performing ensembles available to all college students, so you do not have to compete with upperclassmen to perform in your favorite groups.

Degrees

Casper College is a fully accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Associate of Arts degrees

Associate of Fine Arts degrees

Ensembles

Numerous performance ensembles offer you the opportunity to perform very early in your college career. Ensembles are open to all Casper College students.

College Band

Open to all students with experience on brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments.

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Jazz Combo

Small-group performance in various jazz styles. Emphasis on ensemble play and individual improvisation. Student arrangements encouraged.

Prerequisites: Jazz Improvisation-MUSC 2060, concurrent enrollment in MUSC 2060, or permission of the instructor.

Jazz Ensemble

This laboratory group is open to all students with previous instrumental music experience. The jazz ensemble performs at assemblies, concerts, shows, and on tour.

Prerequisites: Experience in music, preferably jazz. Students should be proficient on one of the following instruments: saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, bass, drums, or piano. 

Wind Ensemble

The goal of this music performance course is to provide the opportunity for you as a woodwind, brass, or percussion performer to come together with other like-minded (and like-spirited) musicians in an ensemble setting to rehearse and perform standard and emerging literature from the wind ensemble repertoire.

Prerequisites: Audition.

Collegiate Chorale

A large non-auditioned mixed choir open to all students regardless of their field of study. Emphasis is on a wide variety of choral literature, including music of diverse cultures.

Prerequisites: none.

Chamber Singers

A selected mixed chamber ensemble of 20-35 voices open to all students on campus regardless of their field of study. Emphasis is on a wide variety of choral literature appropriate for chamber choirs, including music from diverse cultures, musical time periods, and language.

Prerequisites: An audition with the instructor determines the final list of singers.

Opera Workshop

A performance-based class designed to provide experience and opportunities for singers interested in exploring the genre. Students will learn basic performance techniques and will improve their dramatic abilities through the performance of an operatic scene.

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Vocal Ensemble / Contemporary Singers

A small vocal ensemble open to all students. The course provides an opportunity to study and perform a variety of diverse popular styles, and culminates in a number of performances in various venues.

Prerequisites: Audition with the instructor.

Chamber Orchestra

A performance class open to all string players on campus. This course is designed to cover a variety of literature from primarily the Baroque era. Open to all students on campus, BOCES students and community members regardless of their field of study.

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Chamber Music

Designed to provide students with training in the ideal medium of chamber music (small ensembles, such as trio, string quartet, etc…), where they can apply and integrate all elements of their musical knowledge.

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Resources for Future Students

Handbook

This handbook has been prepared to answer many of the questions you may have about your study at Casper College. Read it, and it should serve you well. If you have additional questions, please contact any faculty member or me. We will be glad to help you. —Dr. Eric W. Unruh, Dean, School of Fine Arts and Humanities

Scholarships
  • 2021-2022 Music Activity Scholarship  — Awarded by the Casper College Music Department. Follow instructions detailed on the activity scholarship application.
  • Casper College scholarships — Both merit and need based scholarships are available. Scholarship awards are intended to recognize academic and other achievements, to encourage performance, and to assist as many qualified students as possible.
Music Theory Placement Exam

As a music major at Casper College, you will take four semesters of Written Theory, Aural Theory, and Class Piano. Your success in these classes is dependent upon already having had enough musical experience to be able to read music and to demonstrate a basic perception of pitch and rhythm. To make sure you are prepared for the core sequence of theory classes, as a new music major at Casper College you will be required to take the Music Theory Placement Exam.

Music Theory Placement Exam Details

As a music major at Casper College, you will take four semesters of Written Theory, Aural Theory, and Class Piano. These classes are designed to help you understand and fluently speak the language of music so that your performances are expressive and musical in nature, rather than “just playing the notes.”

Your success in these classes is dependent upon already having had enough musical experience to be able to read music and to demonstrate a basic perception of pitch and rhythm. To make sure you are prepared for the core sequence of theory classes, as a new music major at Casper College you will be required to take the Music Theory Placement Exam. This is a short (ten to fifteen minute) exam where you will do the following:

  • Identify the letter names of some notes written on your choice of treble, bass, or alto clef
  • Write a major scale of your choice on the clef of your choice
  • Identify some major key signatures
  • Relate different note values to each other (for example: how many eighth notes are equal to a quarter note?)
  • Draw missing barlines to make music fit a given time signature
  • Recognize by ear if one pitch is higher or lower than another pitch
  • Recognize the melodic shape of a recording you hear
  • Recognize the written rhythm of a recording you hear

If your placement exam indicates that you have some weaknesses in the above skills, you will be required to take Music Fundamentals during your first semester at Casper College. Music Fundamentals is a course specifically designed to introduce you to the basic elements of music and teach you how to read music notation, and it is offered as a supplemental course that you take along with the regular theory sequence. You are more than welcome to register for Music Fundamentals even if your placement exam doesn’t require you to take Music Fundamentals; many students find that the extra time and practice they get by taking Music Fundamentals helps them do better in their other classes.

You are encouraged to prepare for the Music Theory Placement Exam by practicing your music fundamentals over the summer. Some useful resources to help you prepare for the placement exam include:

We wish you every success as you start your education here at Casper College! If you have any questions about music theory or the placement exam, please feel free to send an email to our Music Theory Coordinator, Nathan Baker, at nbaker@caspercollege.edu.

Faculty

Nathan Baker
Coordinator of Music Theory & Trombone Instructor

Larry Burger
Sound Design & Audio Engineer Educator

Eugenie Burkett
Percussion Instructor

Gary DePaolo
Viola Instructor

Jennifer DePaolo
Program Director
Director of Chamber Orchestra
Strings Instructor

Cameron Fehring
Voice Instructor

Paula Flynn
Piano Instructor

Jane Hamman
Harp Instructor

Donna McIntire
Organ Instructor

Joshua Mietz
Jazz Ensemble Director
Instructor of Clarinet & Saxophone
Director of College Band
Executive Director of Kinser Jazz Festival

Jeremy Quick
Guitar Instructor

Katherine Smith
French Horn Instructor

Delores Thornton
Flute Instructor

Richard Turner
Bassoon Instructor

Veronica Turner
Voice Instructor

Zachary Vreeman
Director of Choirs

Don Williams
Trumpet Instructor