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Are you passionate about music? Musical inspiration and talent is a gift to both the performer and the audience. Great music and art can point us to truth, goodness, and beauty.

The Music program at MVNU provides students with training from seasoned professionals, offering experiences in classical and contemporary music in a variety of venues. Students have the opportunity to participate in numerous choral and instrumental music ensembles, events and special performances, study abroad trips, and more. Scholarships are available to music majors and minors as well as non-majors. Guided by outstanding faculty with a commitment to faith-based liberal arts education, students are able to develop their God-given talents and abilities in music.

  • Learning abroad — As an MVNU Music major, you will have the opportunity to study abroad in Hungary, Spain, Austria, Italy, England, Ireland, Israel, and Jordan.
  • Professional success — Our grads are in high demand worldwide, working in places like Hawaii, Kenya, and Australia (Hillsong).
  • Practical experience — You will have extensive opportunities to gain hands-on experience in your area of expertise, such as music and worship internships, student teaching, conducting department ensembles, various regional competitions, membership in multiple choral and instrumental ensembles, and more.
  • The MVNU Music department’s mission is to promote creativity and encourage music potential so that students can excel in the skills, knowledge, and appreciation gained in the musical arts, developing into Christ-like leaders influencing their community and beyond.

The faculty of the Music Department are talented musicians and excellent instructors. All are respected in their discipline on campus and in other professional settings. They reflect a wide range of abilities as accomplished vocalists, pianists, instrumentalists, conductors, and clinicians.

Adjunct Faculty and Staff

  • Rebecca Abbott – Organ, Music and Worship, Staff Accompanist
  • Sabina Anderson – Treble Singers
  • Susan Armstrong – Voice
  • Cary Dachtyl – Percussion
  • Tiffany Damicone – French Horn
  • Charla Dryburgh – Staff Accompanist
  • Zakk Jones – Guitar
  • Adrienne Lape – Clarinet/Sax
  • Ivan Leavitt – Pep Band
  • Juan Carlos Ortega – Strings/String Ensemble
  • Jenny Packard – Flute/Flute Choir, Woodwind Meth.
  • Dr. Jim Puckett – Composition
  • Stephanie Sikora – Voice
  • Jeremy Smith – Low Brass/Jazz Band
  • Carrie Vail – Voice

Check out the catalog for a complete list of the requirements, courses, and objectives for the Music program!

MVNU Music majors spend much of their time in the R.R. Hodges Chapel and Fine Arts Center. The first floor of the Chapel features the Thorne Performance Hall, which features a new Shigeru Kawai piano. This is where Music majors perform their senior recitals. There is also a large band room in which you will learn and practice. The second floor of the Chapel holds fully equipped musical classrooms, such as a keyboard lab for piano class. There are also multiple small practice rooms with pianos and outstanding acoustics for student use.

Our graduates can be found in places like: Kenya, Hawaii, and Australia. Many are employed as music educators, worship leaders, professors, choir directors, sound engineers, and more!

  • Collegians Chorale: This 40-50 member SATB ensemble performs frequently on campus for events such as chapel, Advent service, Christmas Festival, Spring Concert, Baccalaureate, and is an integral group in the annual Choral Union presentation of Handel's Messiah.

    The choir tours the educational region of Ohio, West Virginia, and eastern Kentucky, and also performs the National Anthem for professional athletic games and the MVNU Cougars.

    Every third or fourth year, Collegians Chorale takes a mission/concert tour abroad. Past trips have taken them to Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Portugal, Spain, France, Bulgaria, Russia, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and The Czech Republic. Most recently in May, 2017 Collegians returned to Croatia and Italy. This choir performs a wide variety of styles including sacred classics, hymn arrangements, folk, gospel and contemporary. Collegians Chorale meets Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 4:40-5:40 p.m. for 1 credit hour. The choir is directed by Dr. Robert Tocheff.
  • Treble Singers Women's Choir: This women’s ensemble numbers 25-35 members and presents a spring concert on campus, performs in chapel, and tours churches on the educational zone fall and spring semesters. Treble Singers join other choirs for the Choral Union presentation of Handel's Messiah in December. This group meets Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 4:40-5:40 p.m. for 1 credit hour. The choir is directed by Mrs. Sabina Anderson.
  • Goliards Chamber Ensemble: This chamber ensemble numbers 14-20 members and presents fall and spring campus concerts, selected off-campus concerts, and regional tours. Repertoire consists of a cappella chamber choir literature. Goliards rehearses Tuesday and Thursday 3:20-4:20 p.m. for .5 credit hour and is directed by Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett.
  • Music Stage Production: This course provides students an opportunity to prepare and present scenes from an opera or a full operatic production, a Broadway musical, or a musical showcase depending on the semester. The course is taken for 1 credit and rehearsal times are determined at the beginning of each semester. It is directed by Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett.
  • Flute Choir: The Flute Choir performs at concerts on campus, as well as appearing at the annual Central Ohio Flute Association Festival. This ensemble meets Tuesdays at 10:20 a.m. Flute Choir can be taken for .5 credit hour and is directed by Mrs. Jennifer Packard.
  • Jazz Band: The Jazz Band performs contemporary, popular, and Big Band jazz music. This ensemble presents fall and spring concerts and performs frequently in other campus activities and at local public schools. The Jazz Band rehearses on Thursdays 6:30-8:30 p.m. Jazz Band can be taken for .5 credit hour and is directed by Mr. Jeremy Smith.
  • Pep Band: The Pep Band plays for home basketball games with rehearsals beginning in September and continuing through February, depending on post-season games. Pep Band can be taken for .5 credit and is directed by Mr. Ivan Leavitt.
  • Symphonic Wind Ensemble: This ensemble is the traditional concert band at MVNU and performs regular fall and spring concerts on campus. The Wind Ensemble also presents concerts and workshops for area schools, most recently for River View High School and Polaris Christian Academy. The ensemble meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 3:30-4:30 p.m. Wind Ensemble can be taken for 1 credit hour and is directed by Dr. John Packard.
  • Chamber Winds: Chamber Winds features many of the top musicians in the instrumental program at MVNU. The ensemble performs literature which is diverse and challenging, showcasing the individual talents of each musician. They perform regularly for concerts on campus as well as for events in the community. In 2010, Chamber Winds traveled with Collegians Chorale on a mission/concert trip to Austria, Switzerland, and Italy. Members are chosen by audition and rehearsal times are arranged each semester. Contact Dr. John Packard for more information.
  • String Ensemble: This ensemble performs at labs and selected ensemble concerts and is directed by Mr. Juan Carlos Ortega. It generally rehearses once a week, currently for zero credit.
  • Percussion Ensemble: This ensemble is formed when there is sufficient student interest and budget availability. It is a zero credit ensemble and is directed by Mr. Jim Puckett.

MVNU Music Department Ensembles have the opportunity to travel not only locally but on MVNU's educational region of Ohio, West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and beyond. This includes Collegians Chorale, Treble Singers Women's Choir, Goliards Chamber Choir, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band and Chamber Winds. Periodically our ensembles travel abroad on concert/mission trips, the most recent being the Collegians Chorale trip to Croatia and Italy in 2017.

Many of our music students connect with Music and Ministry teams coordinated by the Admissions Department, and are given the opportunity to minister at churches, camps and retreats on MVNU's region.

For other service learning and academic travel possibilities, visit

Scholarships Audition Dates
  • Oct. 7, Oct. 28*, Nov. 11, Jan. 20, and Feb. 17
*Above dates are also MVNYou Visit Days except for Oct. 28th.

Music Scholarships are talent-based awards, open to all students regardless of major, and awarded through an audition before MVNU music faculty. Scholarship awards range from approximately $650–$2,500 for one academic year and are available for voice, piano, guitar, most wind and string instruments, percussion, organ and composition. Awards specifically for music majors can be as high as $3,500. All prospective students considering music as a major are expected to audition for consideration.

To be eligible for a scholarship, students must agree to study privately at MVNU on the instrument (or voice) on which they auditioned; register for one of the MVNU Music Department ensembles each semester of the award year; and maintain a good academic standing. All music scholarships are renewable for the next year as long as the student continues to meet the above requirements.

Deadline to submit the application form is one week prior to your audition/visit. Applicants can also send in an audition via recording if a visit is not possible. Guidelines, information, application, and recommendation forms for music scholarships can be found at

If you have questions regarding the music program or music scholarships at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, please contact Tressa Daley, Music Department Secretary, at (740) 392-6868 ext. 3000, or Dr. John Packard, Music Department Chair, at ext. 3001.

*** Early audition applicants (those who have completed all materials by December 1), will be offered priority consideration for a scholarship. Applicants are required to submit a recorded audition or audition in person at one of the above dates prior to December 1st. ***

See the MVNYou day visiting page for schedule and registration if you plan to visit on one of the scheduled MVNYou days.

Our graduates have continued further study at:

  • Eastman School of Music
  • The Ohio State University
  • Baylor University
  • Belmont University
  • Kent State University
MVNU’s Music program ranked in the top 15% for Best Value by

"Both my B.A. in Music Performance and A.S. in Business Administration could not have prepared me better for my future. I also enjoyed the smaller class sizes, the personalized teaching experience and the professors’ devotion to each student."

Sutton (Massie) Higginbotham '15

For more info


For Immediate Questions

Tressa Daley
Administrative Assistant for the Department of Music
740-397-9000 ext. 3000