Whether students aspire to be music teachers or performers, the music major will prepare students with the comprehensive skills on which they can build fulfilling careers. From instrumental to vocal, a music major will become a well-rounded in all areas of music theory, history and appreciation. Vocal and Instrumental Music scholarships are available for up to $3,000 per year on a renewable basis.
Music majors often become vocal teachers, music liturgists, and music instructors. Graduates have been employed by organizations like the Cedar Rapids Community School District, Iowa City Community School District, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, and Four Oaks, using their music major to launch careers centered around their talents. Other students pursue advance degrees at such reputable institutions like the University of Northern Iowa and University of Wisconsin, Madison.
The accomplished music faculty provides music students at Mount Mercy with several unique internship opportunities. Students have completed internships with various arts organizations such as Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, one of only two professional opera companies in Iowa, and Orchestra Iowa, the largest nonprofit performing arts organization in Iowa. The training and connections established through these experiences are invaluable in the performing arts, especially when formed at a young age. Very few colleges or universities in Iowa are able to provide their undergraduate students with such substantial opportunities with significant professional arts organizations.
Students are encouraged to take applied vocal or piano lessons to further hone natural talents, or to discover new musical gifts. Music majors enjoy learning through the Mount Mercy Choir, Madrigal Singers, Jazz Connection, Singing Men of Mercy, University Band, and Handbell ensemble. All ensembles except Jazz Connection and Madrigal Singers are open to students without audition. The University Band participates on campus as a pep band for athletic events, as well as a concert band. The University Choir typically goes on a spring break performance and service tour to locations such as New Orleans, LA, New York, and Denver, CO. The University Handbells is an ensemble that participates in concerts on campus, in the community, and for events in Campus Ministry.
In addition to performing at athletic events, concerts on campus and at campus events throughout the year, students also have a variety of performance opportunities in the Cedar Rapids community. Through participation in the Mount Mercy Choir, students have sung alongside community choirs in Orchestra Iowa’s annual-season opening concert, Brucemorchestra!, on the lawn of Brucemore. Mount Mercy’s location in Cedar Rapids makes it easy for students to audition for roles with large local performance organizations, and students have benefited by singing in the chorus alongside professional opera singers with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, and cast in musicals with Theatre Cedar Rapids.
Music majors enjoy Band Club, a group bringing together anyone who wishes to express their instrumental music talent. The club performs for talent shows and sporting events, as well as throughout the community.