Department of Music

The Department of Music offers five programs of study in music, which include Music Education, Music Performance, Commercial Music, Theory and Composition, Associate of Arts in Music, Songwriting and Recording Technology.

Trevecca Nazarene University also offers studies in Worship and Music Business.

Trevecca Nazarene University is located in Nashville, Tenn., often referred to as the "Third Coast" due to the presence of many publishing and record companies located in "Music City, USA." As a result, students have opportunities for internships within every aspect of the music industry meeting and working with some of the finest musicians in the country. Graduates of the department have gone on to careers in music performance, worship leadership, public and private school education, private studio instruction, and various areas of the music industry.

If you are intending on majoring in music, please contact Dr. Eric Wilson at EWilson@trevecca.edu.

Trevecca Studios

Trevecca's Music Department houses two studios for students to get hands-on recording experience along with the capability for students to create well-produced digital recordings of original songs.

 

Please choose the name of the director to e-mail them for more information about the program.

Choral/Music Education: Dr. Thomas Lerew
Guitar/Bass: Prof. Jeff Cox
Jazz Studies: Dr. Matt Murdock
Keyboard Studies: Dr. Paul Christianson
Music Education/Orchestra: Dr. David Diehl
Scholarships: Susan Sims
Songwriting: Rev. Dr. Kim McLean
Studio Manager & Recording Technology: Prof. Blake Houchin
Theory and Composition: Dr. Eric Wilson
Vocal Studies: Prof. Taylor McPherson
Wind/Percussion Studies: Dr. Matt Murdock

Instrumental Ensembles

Who can play in ensembles?
  • Any student regardless of their major
  • TNU faculty, staff, and members of the Nashville community

At Trevecca, we believe music is an essential part of the liberal arts education. Our goal is to provide an outstanding ensemble experience for all Trevecca students. Ensembles provide all students an opportunity for continued musical training, arts education, fellowship and spiritual growth. For music majors, we view the ensemble component of the degree as the practical, daily application of both the private applied study and the core degree music classes including written music theory, aural music theory and music history.

As a member of one of our ensembles, you will learn from expert faculty and take part in performances on and off campus. Our ensembles tour regularly within the Southeast Educational Zone of the Church of the Nazarene and abroad. A complete listing and information on all of our ensembles and their directors is available below. If you have questions or would like more information on getting connected with an ensemble, please contact the ensemble's director. 

If you’re interested in making music at Trevecca, we have a place for you!

Instrumental Ensemble Auditions

Instrumental ensemble auditions are held at the beginning of each year. All instrumental auditions are held in the Jackson Center for Music and Worship Arts and last ten minutes. Students should be prepared to play two short (30 seconds to a minute) excerpts of music – one lyrical and one technical, play scales, and/or sight-read. There will also be time to answer any questions you may have about the different ensembles we offer.

We will be happy to schedule auditions for students interested in joining an ensemble mid-year on a case-by-case basis. If you have questions or would like more information, email Susan Sims at smsims@trevecca.edu or call (615) 248-1536.

Guitar Ensemble
Guitar Ensemble gives students an opportunity to develop sight-reading skills and to improve classical and fingerstyle techniques in an ensemble setting.  Students explore improvisation and refine ensemble skills while playing classical, Latin, Celtic and popular selections. For more information about Guitar Ensemble, please e-mail director Steve Krenz at skrenz@trevecca.edu or call (615) 248-1292.
Commercial Ensemble

The Trevecca Commercial Ensemble is focused on performing contemporary pop, rock and rhythm and blues literature from 1950 through the present. The group’s members work on developing ensemble playing skills, sight reading, stage deportment and improvisation while collaborating with the Commercial Vocal Ensemble. This group is organized each Fall and Spring semester and is by audition only on the first weekend of September. For more information about Commercial Ensemble, please e-mail professor Jeff Cox at jcox@trevecca.edu or call (615) 248-1292.

Jazz Combo

 

Jazz Combo, under the direction of professor Jeff Cox, allows students to explore traditional jazz styles (swing, Latin, cool, bebop, contemporary) and develop improvisational skills in a small ensemble setting. For more information about Jazz Combo, please contact professor Jeff Cox at jcox@trevecca.edu or call (615) 248-1292.

Fuze and Element

Fuze and Element are organized each Fall and Spring semester and focus on today’s exciting contemporary jazz literature. These ensembles provide an excellent experience for advanced students to refine their improvisational skills performing in a small group setting. While covering a range of different styles within the contemporary jazz element, students are encouraged to submit arrangements and original compositions of their own choosing. This group is by audition only during the first weekend of September. For more information about Lab Band, please e-mail professor Jeff Cox at jcox@trevecca.edu or call (615) 248-1292.

New Music Ensemble

 

TNU New Music Ensemble is a lab ensemble for composers and students wishing to play/sing new and experimental music written by TNU composers as well as other living composers.  Music is adapted to the makeup of the personnel in the ensemble each semester, with opportunity for each member to play instruments other than her/his major-area instrument.

For more information about the New Music Ensemble, please contact Dr. Eric Wilson at ewilson@trevecca.edu.

Percussion Ensemble

The TNU Percussion Ensemble was founded on a foundation of a servant attitude during the 2001-2002 school year to prepare students for performance in small ensemble situations in the professional world. The focal point of the ensemble is the improvement of individual musicianship through cooperation within the ensemble as a whole. The ensemble seeks to help students turn their individual focus on self-improvement toward a broader focus on an ensemble as a whole, thereby adding greatly back to their own individual skills. Students may also find that they are able to reach their potential through the discipline and organization of musical practice and performance. While also being exposed to various genres of percussion ensemble music, students are given a better understanding and appreciation for people of different cultures and values. The TNU Percussion Ensemble is directed by Chris Jones. For more information about Percussion Ensemble, please e-mail him at cgjones2@trevecca.edu or call (615) 248-1288.

TNaz Jazz

TNaz Jazz performs music from the big band era through contemporary jazz.  In addition, the group performs popular vocal songs from Motown/Stax to present day.  The group has performed in every state in our district including performances at Disney, Sweetwater Sound in Fort Wayne, IN and Jackson Square in New Orleans.  The group has been recognized for outstanding musicianship on numerous occasions at the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival in Chicago. For more information about TNaz Jazz, please e-mail Dr. Matt Murdock at mmurdock@trevecca.edu or call (615) 248-1288.

Trevecca Symphony Orchestra

The Trevecca Symphony Orchestra is a full symphonic orchestra. The TSO operates purely by participation of union and non-union musicians, maintaining the integrity of each player’s efforts. The orchestra is non-competitive with a friendly atmosphere and no assigned seating (excluding principal players). The literature is stimulating with an eye toward a balance of historical periods. There is also a detailed rehearsal/performance schedule which provides weekly sequence. The Trevecca Symphony Orchestra is led by competent leadership who seek quality performance within enjoyable rehearsal regimen. The orchestra is directed by Elias Salazar. For more information about Trevecca Symphony Orchestra, please e-mail Elias Salazar at gesalazar@trevecca.edu or call (615) 248-1294.

Vanderbilt Band

Students at Trevecca are invited to participate in the "Spirit of Gold" Marching band through Vanderbilt University. Students play at all home games and receive an all-expenses paid trip to one away game. For details call the Vanderbilt band office at (615)343-BAND.

Wind Ensemble

The Wind Ensemble is a group comprised of about 40 Trevecca students, alumni and friends of the University. This group plays a wide variety of wind band literature from pop music to the standard Wind Band repertoire of the 20th and 21st centuries. Wind Ensemble is led by director Erin Elgass. For more information about Wind Ensemble, please e-mail Erin Elgass at epelgass@trevecca.edu or call (615) 248-1288.

 

Other ensembles offered: Brass Ensemble (contact Dr. Matt Murdock mmurdock@trevecca.edu), and String Ensemble (contact Dr. Davide Diehl ddiehl@trevecca.edu)

Choral Ensembles at Trevecca

At Trevecca, we believe music is an essential part of the liberal arts education. Our goal is to provide an outstanding ensemble experience for all Trevecca students. Choral and instrumental ensembles within the School of Music & Worship Arts are open to all students regardless of major. Ensembles provide both music and non-music majors an opportunity for continued musical training, arts education, fellowship and spiritual growth. For our music majors, we view the ensemble component of your degree as the practical daily application of both their private applied study and their core degree music classes including written music theory, aural music theory and music history.

As a member of one of our ensembles, you will learn from expert faculty and take part in performances both on and off campus. Our ensembles tour regularly both within the Southeast Educational Zone of the Church of the Nazarene and abroad. A complete listing and information on all of our ensembles and their directors is available via the navigation menu. If you have questions or would like more information on getting connected with an ensemble, please contact the ensemble's director. 

If you’re interested in making music at Trevecca, we have a place for you!

Choral Ensembles

Who sings in choirs at Trevecca?
  • Any student regardless of their major
  • Student athletes
  • Actors and members of the theatre department
  • Members of student government & residence life
  • Members of the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Band, and PR groups
  • TNU faculty, staff, and members of the Nashville community

Trevecca Sings!

Choral singing has a rich tradition at Trevecca Nazarene University. We seek to honor the Lord by continually raising the standard of excellence in choral singing so clearly inherent throughout the history of the university. We strive to provide outstanding choral ensemble experiences for all Trevecca students, preparing them for a lifetime of contributing to the church and greater choral world community. Each of our choral ensembles offers singers an opportunity for the refinement of their vocal and musicianship skills in a collaborative environment of fellow believers. At Trevecca you will sing choral music of all styles and varieties, including great choral-orchestral masterworks, and tour the world. Trevecca’s choral program also supports the activities of future church musicians, choir directors, and choral music educators by sponsoring a student chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. To learn more about the choirs we offer, contact Dr. Thomas Lerew at TELerew@trevecca.edu or call 615-248-1571.

TNU Singers

Established in the fall of 2016, the TNU Singers is the premier traditional choral ensemble at Trevecca Nazarene University. Membership is composed of the university’s most skilled singers across all academic areas of the university, not just music.  The ensemble strives for the highest levels of choral artistic excellence and performs a variety of repertoire from mass settings of the Renaissance era, to choral-orchestral masterworks, to contemporary compositions of today. In addition to performing on-campus concerts throughout the year, the TNU Singers showcase Trevecca’s choral program by singing at local schools and churches, and by touring throughout the southeast United States. The TNU Singers are conducted by Dr. Thomas Lerew.

TNU Singers Mission Statement:
As the Trevecca Nazarene University Singers, we aspire to glorify God alone as one body and one voice, bringing our best to Him and for Him, in musical excellence, intentional like-mindedness, and personal devotion

For more information or to schedule an audition for TNU Singers, please e-mail the director at TELerew@trevecca.edu or call (615) 248-1571.

We will be happy to schedule auditions for students interested in joining an ensemble mid-year on a case-by-case basis. If you have questions or would like more information, email Susan Sims at smsims@trevecca.edu or call (615) 248-1536.

Concert Choir

The Concert Choir offers an entry-level singing experience to students. This ensemble is non-auditioned and seeks to instill the necessary musicianship skills of aural and notational music literacy, ensembleship and vocal development necessary to audition into higher levels of the Trevecca choral music program. The repertoire consists of music from various historical eras of the Western canon as well as traditional and contemporary repertoire throughout the world. songs, to hymns, to spirituals, Concert Choir pursues sensitivity in their musicianship and excellence in performance.

For more information about Concert Choir, please e-mail the director, Dr. Thomas Lerew, at telerew@trevecca.edu or call (615) 248-1571.

Commercial Voice Ensemble

Commercial Vocal Ensemble (CVE) performs commercial music of varying genres and decades with an emphasis on artistry. The ensemble also focuses on background vocal skills, arranging, while including pedagogical elements to develop efficiency and longevity.

For more information about CVE, please e-mail Prof. Lamain at MLLamain@trevecca.edu

New Music Ensemble

TNU New Music Ensemble is a lab ensemble for composers and students wishing to play/sing new and experimental music written by TNU composers as well as other living composers.  Music is adapted to the makeup of the personnel in the ensemble each semester, with opportunity for each member to play instruments other than her/his major-area instrument.

For more information about the New Music Ensemble, please contact Dr. Eric Wilson at ewilson@trevecca.edu.

Testify: The Trevecca Gospel Choir

There’s nothing like the sound and experience of a dynamic choir lifting their voices in song! Testify, Trevecca's Gospel Choir, is known for its passionate and high-energy performances and its diverse repertoire. Their transcendent take on everything from traditional Gospel to contemporary Worship has made them a go-to source for live and studio performances with Zach Williams, Casting Crowns, Mandisa, NewSong at Winterjam, and more. Under the leadership of Director Mark Hosny, Testify frequently performs around Nashville and on tour. 

No audition is required, but interested singers should have a passion for worship and a desire to lift their voice to the Lord!

For more information about Testify, please contact Mark Hosny at mhosny@trevecca.edu.

ACDA at Trevecca

American Choral Directors Association

Founded in 1959, the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) is a nonprofit music-education organization whose central purpose is to promote excellence in choral music through performance, composition, publication, research, and teaching.  In addition, ACDA strives through arts advocacy to elevate choral music's position in American society.

Membership & Benefits

The student chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) at Trevecca exists to support the goals of the nationwide ACDA, to equip TNU choral students with the tools necessary to succeed in the worlds of professional and educational choral music and to support the efforts of choral ensembles within the School of Music & Worship Arts.

Membership in ACDA will benefit any student who may one day be in the position of directing a choir.  This includes music education students, vocal performance students, commercial music students, future worship leaders, and music composition students.  TNU-ACDA will help you by providing practical experiences and a deeper understanding of the choral field.  Nationally, ACDA membership consists of choral directors who represent more than one million singers across the United States. ACDA members teach choral music in public and private schools — kindergarten through senior high school — and at the college and university levels.  They conduct a variety of choral groups, including boy choirs, children's choirs, men's and women's choruses, junior and senior high school choirs, college and university choruses, ethnic choirs, vocal jazz ensembles, and symphony choruses.  They also conduct choirs in their communities and in the church.

In order to experience the full benefits of being a member, the student chapter encourages everyone to become a member of ACDA.  Student membership costs only $35 per year.

Activities & Events

We provide a chapter lecture series that brings experienced vocal music professionals to campus to share their knowledge and techniques.  We create opportunities to go off-campus to observe rehearsals or view performances of the highest caliber.  We maintain a fundraising program that provides assistance to chapter members attending ACDA conferences.  In an attempt to increase the excellence of everyone’s college choral experience, we work to recruit students for Trevecca’s choral ensembles.

Support Choral Music at Trevecca
Choirs at Trevecca rely on the help of our Friends of Choral Music throughout the year.  In addition to collaborating with us to set up concerts, we seek your assistance in meeting the financial needs of the choral program. The Friends of Choral Music fund exists to support the activities of the choral program that go beyond our normal operational budget. Most importantly, this fund seeks to allow students, for whom it would not be financially possible, to participate in our international choir tours. We make every effort to provide a yearly domestic touring experience free of charge to every student, however, travels abroad are often more costly than our students can afford.  The generous donations of our supporters facilitate many of our students wishing to participate in overseas tours to do so. If you are interested in helping the choral program and our exceptional students, please contact Dr. Thomas Lerew at TELerew@trevecca.edu or 615-248-1571.