Music

Frequently Asked Questions

What careers do graduates of the music department pursue?

A large number of CSB/SJU graduating music majors become music teachers in grades K-12. Many become liturgical music directors, and some offer services as private music teachers. Some music majors pursue a performance career, often continuing music studies in graduate school. Recent graduates include:

Instrumental
  • Clarinetist, Toledo Symphony Orchestra
  • Cellist, Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra
  • Violinist, Kansas City Symphony
Keyboard
  • Doctoral student, piano, Catholic University
  • Second place national winner, American Guild of Organists Student Competition
Liturgical Music
  • Faculty member, St. Paul Seminary
  • Director of Liturgical Music, St. James Cathedral, Orlando, Florida
Music Education and Administration
  • Director of Resource Development, Artspace Projects, Inc.
  • Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs; Director of Graduate Studies, Florida State University
Vocal/Choral
  • Cast member, Minnesota Opera production of “Little Women”
  • Member, Chicago Lyric Opera Chorus
  • Founder of National Catholic Youth Choir
What practice/performance facilities are utilized by students?

The Benedictine tradition places a high value on the role of the fine arts in society, as is immediately evident in a tour of CSB/SJU’s superior music facilities. “CSB and SJU not only talk about supporting the arts,” says Greg Walker, professor emeritus of theory and composition, “but they provide the resources needed for an excellent music program.” In addition to the Benedicta Arts Center’s 1,078-seat concert hall, the Escher Auditorium (preferred by many professional groups for recording and performance) and the 300-seat Gorecki Family Theater (one of the best equipped and most flexible theater facilities in the Upper Midwest) at CSB, the Abbey Church, Gertken Organ Studio and the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater at SJU provide additional high-quality performance space.

A large selection of practice rooms with pianos and organs are available on both campuses. The music library houses a superb collection of compact discs, records, listening equipment, and scores.

What performance opportunities are available for students?

Performance opportunities are built into both the music major and minor programs. In the junior and senior years, music majors frequently present hour-long recitals open to the college community and to the public. The Student Performance Series provides an opportunity for students to perform pieces that they are working on in a semi-formal setting with an audience of supportive peers. In addition to solo performance opportunities, numerous choral and instrumental ensembles are open to both majors and non-majors. There are also many performance opportunities outside of our campuses.

See our comprehensive list of the academic year’s music events.

Do I need to audition for ensembles? If so, how?
Choral Assessment and Auditions

Students who would like to participate in one of our touring ensembles – Chamber Choir, Men’s Chorus, and Women’s Choir – must complete an audition for placement. You will be able to indicate your preference when you complete your online audition application. No audition is required to join the All-College Choir.

Choral assessment and audition process

Instrumental Ensemble Auditions

All auditions for the 2021-22 academic year for Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and Orchestra will be completed by online video submission. Cell phone videos are acceptable if that is the only equipment available.  If you are auditioning for multiple ensembles, you will need to complete separate submissions for each ensemble.

Instrumental ensemble audition process

Is it possible to participate in multiple ensembles? Can students participate in music and other extra-curricular activities?

Absolutely! Students at CSB/SJU value the liberal arts and pursue a well-rounded lifestyle. Therefore, many students often participate in various types of groups, in academics, the arts, and athletics. Many music students play or sing in more than one musical ensemble, and several participate in both musical ensembles and athletic activities. Schedule conflicts can arise, however, so clear (and early) communication between students, professors, and activity directors is key to being successful as a busy music student.

Are music scholarships available?

Yes! To learn more and to apply, visit the Art, Music, and Theater Scholarship Information page.

Contact the Music Department
College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University

Dr. David Arnott
Chair, Music Department

CSB BAC A119
320-363-5717

SJU Music 112
320-363-2132

Kelly Brueske
Coordinator, Music Department

CSB BAC A116
320-363-5796

SJU Music 110
320-363-3371