Student Handbook

 Table of Contents


1.  Mission Statement

2.  Music Department Faculty and Staff Information

3.  Building Hours

4.  Building Usage, Facilities, and Equipment

5.  Advising and Registration

6.  Transfer Students

7.  Ensembles and Ensemble Requirements

8.  Applied Lessons (Private Lessons)

9. Applied Lesson Numbering System

10.  Seminar – Policy & Procedures

11. Faculty Accompanists

12. Assessments and Juries

13. Degree Recitals

14. Degree Plans

15. Student Issues and Grievances

16. Student Responsibilities

17. Music Societies and Organizations

Mission Statement top

The Department of Music and Theatre is committed to both degree-producing and extra-curricular arts programs. The music department offers the Bachelor of Arts Degree with three degree concentration options: Music Teacher Certification( EC-12), Performance or General. The EC-12 Option is designed for students wishing to become certified public or private school music teachers in the state of Texas.  The Performance Option is intended for students with the aptitude to pursue professional careers as concert performers and/or music instructors at the university level.  The General Option requires a minor subject area outside of music and offers a broad-based university education with a primary concentration in music and a secondary concentration in another field of study.

Music Department Faculty and Staff Information top

Also, you may visit for additional information.

Dr. Mark W. Phillips
Professor and Head,
Concert Band,
Phone: 936.261.3336
Dr. Wendy Isaac Bergin
Associate Professor,
Orchestra Director, Theory,
Ear-Training, Flute Ensemble
Phone: 936.261.3312
Mr. Ricardo Brown
Associate Director of Bands, Business Manager, Adjunct Instructor, Jazz Band I
Phone: 936.261.3321
Mr. Ralph Chapman
Assistant Director of Bands, Adjunct Instructor, Woodwind Studio (Single and Double   Reeds), Jazz Band II
Phone: 936.261.3318
Dr. John Cornelius
Associate Professor, Collaborative Pianist, Piano Studio, Theory, Ear- Training, Composition 
Phone: 936.261.3309
Mr. Jeffrey Freeman
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Low Brass Studio, Music Technology, Chamber Brass Ensemble, Low Brass Ensembles
Phone: 936.261.3316
Mr. Brandon Hopkins
Assistant Director of Bands, Staff Arranger (Low Brass,  Pep Band)
Phone: 936.261.3317
Mr. Larry Jones
Instructor, Assistant Director of Bands, Percussion Studio
Phone: 936.261.3319
Dr. William McQueen
Adjunct Instructor,    Trumpet Studio
Phone: 936.261.3330
Ms. Christine Moore
Music Librarian, String Studio
Phone: 936.261.3322
Mr. Robert Sanders
Adjunct Instructor, Pianist, Jazz Band, Afro-American Music, Music in    Contemporary Life
Phone: 936.261.3324
Dr. Vicki Seldon
Associate Professor, Collaborative Pianist, Piano Studio, World Music
Phone: 936.261.3325
Dr. A. Jan Taylor
Assistant Professor, Director of Choirs, Music Education
Phone: 936.261.3327
Mr. Leon Turner
Adjunct Instructor,
Voice Studio,
Phone: 936.261.3329
Dr. Timmey Zachery
Director of Bands, Wind Ensemble, Trumpet Studio
Phone: 936.261.3314
Ms. Annamarie Zmolek
Adjunct Instructor, Voice Studio
Phone: 936.261.3334

Building Hours top

Hobart Thomas Taylor Building Hours

  • Monday – Friday 7AM to 11PM
  • Saturday – 8 AM to 6 PM
  • Sunday – 1PM – 9 PM

*  For Emergencies call Campus Security (936) 261-1375

Building Usage, Facilities and Equipment top

The music facilities are designed for practice, rehearsal, and studying.  Meetings by any organizations must be scheduled with the Music Department Office.  Music majors, take care of your building and make sure your fellow Panthers respect your department.  Practicing is not allowed in the hallways on the first or second floor during class hours 8-5.   Please refrain from loud conversation in the hallways to avoid disturbing classes and lessons.  Departmental approval is needed before posting flyers and posters to bulletin boards in the building.

Practice Room and Keycard Policies

The practice rooms are open for use by music majors and other students taking music classes.  The four practice rooms with grand pianos are reserved for piano majors and minors.  Four practice rooms for percussion are  also available as follows: 2F244, 2F245, 2H269, 2A275, and 2A276

Faculty members are requested to turn in lists of students needing keycards.  Students will then pick them up  in the Music Office. (Keycards should be returned to the music office at the end of each semester.) No personal items should be left in practice rooms. Please keep practice room doors closed when practicing.  Absolutely no eating or drinking is allowed in the practice rooms!!

 Classroom Usage

Students who have received permission to use the classrooms for rehearsals and/or meetings should return all music stands and chairs to their respective locations.  Students are not authorized to use the classroom computers; these are designated for faculty use only.  Please leave classrooms neat and ready for classes the following day.


The Dr. Robert A. Henry Music Library is a place for study, research and listening.  Located in room 1F155 (halfway down the west 1st floor hallway), students will find space for individual and group study, equipment for listening and computers.  The listening collection consists of DVDs, CDs, cassette tapes and LPs (records) of many styles and genres of music.  Check the Music Library webpage to find out what recordings, scores and books are available in the Music Library.  (Books, scores and LP recordings: go to the catalog at bottom of page; CDs, DVDs and cassette tapes: go to the Music Finding Aide located in the middle of the left hand column. The Music and Performing Arts (Music Online), an online database of streaming audio, music scores and full -text reference books, is available on the Music Library webpage.  The reference collection includes material for basic music research – e.g. dictionaries, (both music and foreign language) and the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. The library is staffed by a professional music librarian.  Library hours are posted on the door.

Music Computer Laboratory

Located in room 2D240, the Music Computer Lab is available to all students majoring and minoring in music.  There are 15 seats with software available for ear-training, music theory, notation, audio/ video editing, and Microsoft Office.  Students can print documents and have access to MIDI keyboards, and the internet.  Access is granted using university login credentials.


A limited number of lockers are available to all students majoring and minoring in music and are located near room 2D240.  Lockers are checked out through the faculty locker manager.  Larger lockers may be shared between 2-3 students.


The student lounge is located on the 2nd floor, Rm. 2D239.  Since it is a public space, music students should keep the lounge in a neat and presentable manner.  Since the lounge shares adjoining walls with faculty teaching studios, students should also be mindful of the noise levels in the lounge.

Music Department Office Procedures

  1. Always check with the Administrative Assistant first before entering the Department Head’s office.  Whenever possible, make an appointment to speak with the Department Head.
  2.  Please check with the Administrative Assistant before using any office equipment (phone, copier, fax machine, hole puncher, etc.)
  3. Items found in classrooms, practice rooms, or restrooms (textbooks, purses, phones, wallets, keys or any other valuables) should be brought to the Music Office.
  4. Be courteous and friendly when entering the Music Office. It will be appreciated.

Advising and Registration top

Freshman Students Only

Freshman music majors entering the University have two (2) advisors, one at University College (UC) and one in the music department.  These advisors work together to make sure that you take the correct courses in your first year.  Freshman who enter during the Summer Session will have Dr. Mark Phillips, Music Department Head, advise them on their fall semester music classes only.  Entering freshmen must audition for the department and take the Music Theory Placement Exam before registering for fall classes!!!

  1. Entering freshmen should see the music advisor for advisement before seeing the advisors at University College (UC). Advisement forms must be signed by the music advisor before they are taken to UC College.
  2. As the fall semester begins, the Music Department Head will distribute the freshman list to other music advisors.
  3. At the end of the freshman year, all students will be advised by the music advisor only.

Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors

Students must see their music advisor before registering.  After being advised, students will receive a pin number from the advisor which must be used in order to register.

Deadlines for Registration

All registration changes must be processed no later than 5 pm. the Friday classes begin in Fall and Spring Semesters.  This includes any overrides that the Music Department Head needs to process for music classes.  Check with your advisors often!  Submit those changes early!!!!

Transfer Students top

The Office of the Registrar evaluates transfer credit in partnership with the Music Department Head.  If transfer credits from another university have not been applied, please check with the previous institution to see if they have been sent.  Then check with the Registrar and/or the Music Department Head for status.

Ensembles and Ensemble Requirements top

All Music majors must be enrolled in a large ensemble for eight (8) semesters as part of their degree program.   The following university ensembles fulfill the large ensemble requirement.  Consult with your music faculty advisor and the degree plan in order to insure the proper course enrollment.

  • University Choir – (all voice and piano majors)
    • (MUSC 1121, 2121, 3121, 4121)
  • University Band – (all wind, brass, and percussion majors)**
    • (MUSC  1111, 2111, 3111, 4111)
  • University Wind Ensemble (all wind, brass, and percussion majors)**
    • (MUSC 1171, 1181, 2171, 2181, 3171, 3181, 4171, 4181)
  • University Orchestra (Mandatory for String Majors)
    • (1161, 2161, 3161, 4161)

** In order to properly complete the large ensemble requirements, winds, brass, and percussionists must complete four (4) semesters of University Band and four semesters of University Wind Ensemble

** Instrumental students receiving scholarships from the band department may have additional requirements in order to remain on scholarship.  Please consult the band student handbook for those details

Students should not enroll in smaller ensembles to fulfill degree requirements.  However, the department encourages students to enroll in other ensembles for elective credit.  Below are brief descriptions of all ensembles:

University Choir (Concert Chorale) – The Concert Chorale is the official performing choral ensemble of the University’s Department of Music and Theatre and is open for membership through audition.  The organization includes music majors and minors, as well as students who are enrolled in academic disciplines throughout the university.  The Chorale’s repertoire spans several centuries of choral art music, including works by African-American composers, with a noted emphasis on the performance and presentation of the African-American spiritual.

Chamber Vocal Ensemble (PV Singers) MUSC 1131 – The PV Singers is a small vocal ensemble that specializes in the choral repertory from all historical periods of music. The group is made up of members from the University Concert Chorale who are selected by audition.  Students who are selected for the ensemble must be co-enrolled in a University Choir course and sing in that ensemble as well.

University Band (The Marching Storm) – The Marching Storm Band is open to all qualified musicians who pass the audition requirements.  The 300-member band has earned national and international acclaim.  It is also the University’s largest public relations organization, representing the University in many prestigious events on the campus and throughout the State of Texas.

University Wind Ensemble and Concert Band – The University Wind Ensemble and the University Concert band perform original music and transcriptions written by the world’s greatest composers with a special emphasis on the long and unique legacy of original music for the wind band.

University Orchestra – The University Orchestra is open by audition to music majors, music minors, and non-majors.  String, wind, and percussion players are encouraged to apply.  The orchestra has performed with the Concert Chorale and the Classic Dance Ensemble and accompanied faculty and student soloists.  There are two 90-minute rehearsals per week and two concerts each semester.  Scholarships are available for qualified students.  The University Orchestra is the large ensemble for string majors.

Jazz Band I & II (MUSC 1141) – The jazz band affords students the opportunity to play standard literature from all style periods of jazz, ranging from early jazz, swing, big band, bebop, and modern repertoire.  In addition, the band serves as a performance laboratory for students to actively develop proficient skills for improvisation.  Membership may be obtained by audition.

Percussion Ensemble (MUSC 1171) –  The University Percussion Ensemble affords percussion students the opportunity to study and perform the standard literature for percussion ensemble.  Interested students should play an audition before enrolling in the course.

Brass Ensemble (MUSC 1151) – The University Brass Ensemble is a course offering that consists of the study and performance of music specifically written for chamber brass in varying configurations.  Interested students should audition before registering for the course.

Flute Ensemble – All flute majors enrolled in applied flute courses are required to participate in Flute Ensemble.  Qualified non-majors are admitted by audition. Flute Ensemble rehearses two hours per week: one hour under the Director’s supervision and one hour independently.

Clarinet Choir – The Clarinet Choir affords woodwind students the opportunity to play standard chamber music written for clarinetists. Students interested in performing with a chamber clarinet choir may obtain membership by audition. The choir’s repertoire spans a few decades of European-classical music and American Jazz literature. The Clarinet Choir is a small ensemble performance group provided by the PVAMU University Band Program.

Saxophone Choir – The Saxophone Choir affords woodwind students the opportunity to play standard chamber music written for saxophonists. Students interested in performing with a chamber saxophone choir may obtain membership by audition. The choir’s repertoire spans a few decades of European-classical music and American Jazz literature. The Saxophone Choir is a small ensemble performance group provided by the PVAMU University Band Program.

Trombone/ Low Brass Choir – All low brass majors enrolled in applied lesson courses are expected to participate in either Trombone or Low Brass Choir.  Qualified non-majors are admitted by audition.  Rehearsal schedule is set at the beginning of each semester.

Applied Lessons (Private Lessons) top

  • All music majors must be enrolled in private lessons each semester until the degree recital requirement is fulfilled; course numbers and semester credit hours are linked to the specific concentration (see numbers below).
  • The day and time listed next to the course number is for registration purposes only!!!; See your private instructor to schedule a specific day and time for the lesson; Make sure that you are enrolled in the correct private lesson number and section (The section numbers are linked to specific instructors).
  • The student is responsible for having the appropriate materials: sheet music, metronome, music dictionary, etc. Please consult your private instructor before purchasing any items.

Applied Lesson Numbering System top

* Per year, students enroll in the same lesson number twice (2X); each course must be passed with a minimum of “C” before enrolling in the next semester’s course; Students should not enroll in an applied music course number more than twice (2x). The mid-level proficiency exam in performance must be passed at the end of the 2000-level of lessons before enrolling in the 3000-level.

* 1 SCH courses are designated for students with an EC-12 concentration (Music Education;  2 SCH courses are designated for students with a General concentration;  3 SCH courses are designated for students with a Performance Concentration.

Seminar – Policy & Procedures top

Music seminar is a weekly performance/presentation hour, open to the public, which is a degree requirement for music majors.  Seminar is scheduled to meet from 2-2:50 pm Tuesdays and Thursdays. (Students should not register for 2:00 pm classes on those days)

Seminar Policy

As both the listening and performing experience are integral to the development of young musicians, the Department of Music & Drama requires that all music majors attend first and foremost the weekly Seminar, as well as many of the live concerts given during the school year by students, faculty, ensembles, and guest artists and groups. Attendance at the weekly Seminar gives students the opportunity to hear a wide selection of repertoire, both vocal and instrumental, outside their individual spheres. In observing their peers, students gain insight into the aesthetic and technical aspects of performing.  They learn about the importance and consequences of careful, intense preparation, and they develop audience etiquette.

Upon completion of the four-year degree plan, and by the time of the Senior Recital, music majors must have attendance credits for (a total of) 120 performances, which can include Seminars, recitals, or concerts, in order to 1) be permitted to perform the Senior Recital, or 2) graduate.  Mr. Leon Turner will track the attendance.

To fulfill this requirement, it is recommended that Music Majors attend 15 performances per semester, for eight semesters. However, what matters is that the total number of concerts attended meets the Seminar Attendance Policy requirements by the time of the Senior Recital.

This policy will apply to incoming Freshman, Fall 2007, and all entering Freshman thereafter, as follows:

Freshmen 8 semesters = 120 credits

This policy will apply to all current upperclassmen, beginning Fall 20017, as follows:

Sophomore 6 semesters = 90 credits
 Juniors 4 semesters = 60 credits
 Seniors 2 semesters = 3- credits
Transfer Students 15 credits per semester at PVAMU

Current (2007-08) certification students are exempt.

Students performing the Senior Recital during Fall 2007 are also exempt.

If the student, nearing the Senior Recital, is in arrears, and there are not enough concerts taking place on campus, that student may make up the difference by attending concerts outside of campus, in Houston, Austin, or elsewhere.  The student would then bring programs to Mr. Turner as proof of attendance.

Seminar Procedures

Attendance – All students are required to keep the Tuesday and Thursday 2:00 PM hour available for seminar.  Students must sign in at the front entrance to the Recital Hall at every seminar in order to receive attendance.  credit by the designated faculty member.  Students who wish to receive seminar credit for attending outside concerts must bring a copy of the concert program to the faculty member in charge of seminar.

Audience Etiquette – Students in the audience are expected to model professional conduct during the performances and presentations.  Cell phones should be silent and put away.  Students should be attentive and supportive during performances – no talking.  Men in the audience should remove their hats.

Seminar Performers

  •  Dress Code – Men (Professional Dress, see below)
    • Acceptable:
      • Suit or Coat and tie
      • Long-Sleeved Shirt and Tie with Slacks
      • Collarless Dress Shirt and Slacks
      • Dress Shoes
    • Not Acceptable: Jeans, T-shirts, Sneakers, hats
  • Dress Code – Women (Professional Dress, see below)
    • Acceptable
      • Dresses or skirts of tasteful, professional length and fit
      • Nothing too short, too tight, too revealing
      • Dress Shoes
      • Dressy Pantsuit or Dress Pants and Blouse

 **If there are any questions concerning attire, consult your private instructor

Stage Etiquette – Before performing, each student should receive instructions from his/her applied teacher on state etiquette to review walking on/off, bowing, etc.)

Stage Hands – The music student organizations normally provide a stage hand for each seminar to assist with moving music stands and instruments

Faculty Accompanists top

Pianists are available to accompany students for seminar and degree recitals.

  • Please contact the pianist well in advance of the scheduled performance (2 weeks before for seminar; 3-4 months before for recitals).
  • Pianists will post available rehearsal times; the rehearsal is a commitment – please come well-prepared and notify the pianist of any cancellation or postponement.

Assessments and Juries top

Visit for additional information.

  • Theory Placement Exam – taken by freshmen before enrolling in any music classes; also taken by transfer students who have never taken music theory courses; the exam is administered in August and if needed, in January (first-time and transfer students).
  • Juries – At the end of each semester of study, all music majors in applied lessons perform individually before a faculty committee; the length of the jury may vary by concentration and the content is determined by the private instructor. The outcome of the jury is factored into the private lesson grade. Students playing degree recitals are exempt from a jury the semester of the recital performance.
  • Mid-level Proficiency in Applied Music – At the end of the sophomore year of private lessons (2000), music majors perform a longer jury in front of the faculty committee.  Each applied area has specific requirements for this mid-level proficiency; all students must receive a score of 80% or higher on the mid-level proficiency before enrolling in upper-level (3000 and above) applied lessons.  Students who do not pass the exam must re-enroll in 2000-level applied lessons for (1 semester) and then retake the exam at the jury at the end of the semester.
  • Mid-level Theory Proficiency – At the end of the spring semester Music Theory IV course (MUSC 2223), all students take the Theory Proficiency Exam; A minimum of 80% is required to pass this examination and advance to the 3000-level theory course Analysis I (MUSC 3212); Students who do not pass the exam at the end of the Spring Semester must retake and pass it by Mid-August in order to enroll in Analysis I in the fall.
  • Piano Proficiency Exam – All music majors except for piano majors must pass a piano proficiency exam before graduation (Music Education students must pass the exam before student teaching) Students should enroll in 4 courses: (Functional Piano I –IV) and any additional private piano lessons until the exam is passed.  The exam is administered during finals week in both Fall and Spring semesters.  If faculty is available, the exam may be given at the end of the 2nd summer semester (August).

Degree Recitals top

All music majors perform solo recitals as a graduation requirement.  Students in the EC-12 (Teacher Certification) and General concentrations perform one (1) Senior Recital in the second semester of 4000-level applied study.  Students in the Performance concentration perform two (2) solo recitals, one Junior Recital (at the end of 3000-level) study and one Senior Recital (at the end of 4000-level) study.

  • The repertoire for the recital is chosen by the private instructor; it may be entirely new repertoire or a combination of previously studied repertoire and new repertoire learned during the student’s previous seven semesters of study.
  • The private instructor will submit the date of the recital to the Music Office at the beginning of the semester in which the recital is performed after consultation with the student performer and the faculty member accompanying the recital.   At that time, the faculty member accompanying the student should be notified given all piano accompaniments.  Scheduling recital rehearsals is the responsibility of the student.
  • Approximately 10 days to 2 weeks before the recital performance, students must play a recital hearing (pre-recital jury before a committee of faculty  to determine the students’ readiness for the public performance.  The date of the hearing should be submitted to the office at the beginning of the semester and the date and committee members notified by the private instructor.
  • Students should bring the typed and formatted recital program to the pre-recital hearing for the jury. If the pre-recital jury is passed, the private lesson teacher will then submit the typed and formatted recital program to the Music Office for printing.
  • Public advertising of the recital is encouraged; however, posters, flyers, announcements, etc. are the responsibility of the student.  The Music Office only types the recital program.
  • All degree recitals are audio recorded by the department and the recordings are kept in the Music Library and archived as part of the student’s degree materials.

Degree Plans top

Visit for additional information.

PVAMU’s Music Program offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Music with the following concentrations: EC-12 Teacher Certification, General and Performance for voice, instrumental, and piano majors. Strings are excluded from the Performance concentration.

Student Issues and Grievances top

   Disputes and grievances between instructors and students should be resolved according to the following steps:

  • The student should make a scheduled appointment to discuss the issue with the instructor.  Many issues can be resolved with calm and respectful discussion.
  • If the resolution is not satisfactory to the student , the next step is to make an appointment with the department head to discuss the issue.
  • Any further discussion and resolution, should it be needed, will be handled by the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Student Responsibilities top

Time management is critical to your musical development.  It is the student’s responsibility to budget adequate time for practicing, studying, rehearsing, eating, sleeping, and outside employment if that is necessary.  Each student is encouraged to make musical and academic study the top priority!

Students are expected to buy, rent, or legally download all required textbooks, musical scores, and other materials for your classes and private lessons.  Your instructors can help guide you to find the most cost-effective ways of obtaining what you need.  Don’t hesitate to ask for advice – each faculty member has a wealth of knowledge.

Finally, your applied lesson is the centerpiece of your educational experience as a music major.  Be punctual, come prepared, and soak up everything your private teacher has to offer!

Music Societies and Organizations top

GRAMMY U – GRAMMY U is a unique and fast-growing community of college students interested in learning about and becoming a part of the music industry.    GRAMMY U events and special programs touch on all aspects of the industry and events are scheduled throughout the semester to give members a wide variety of experiences and professional development. The PVAMU chapter focuses primarily on the creation of new music and the business aspects of the industry.  Because we are part of The Recording Academy, Grammy U members have extraordinary access to the industry and its artists.

Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity – Kappa Kappa Psi is a fraternal organization that promotes the advancement of college and university bands through dedicated service and support to bands; comprehensive education; leadership opportunities; and recognition; for the benefit of its members and society.

The National Association for Music Education – NAME is to advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all.  It is open to all music majors.

Phi Mu Alpha Music Sinfonia – The Object of this Fraternity shall be for the development of the best and truest fraternal spirit; the mutual welfare and brotherhood of musical students; the advancement of music in America and a loyalty to the Alma Mater.

Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity – The Mission of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity is to encourage, nurture and support the art of music.  The vision of SAI is to be recognized throughout the world as the foremost fraternity that supports and encourages women musicians of all ages, races, and nationalities.

Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority – Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority provides service to collegiate bands, encourages the advancement of women in the band profession, and promotes and enriches an appreciation of band music through recognition, leadership development, and education of its members.

**** For more information, please see current members of these organizations

**** Student Organization members should get permission from the music office before posting flyers and notices on the bulletin boards.

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