The School of Music, housed in Duerksen Fine Arts Center, has developed programs in music education, music performance, pedagogy, history/ literature, conducting, and theory/composition which are significant in size and quality and are highly acclaimed throughout the nation. In part, this is due to Wichita State's urban setting, affording cultural diversity with excellent opportunities for faculty and students.
Performers of percussion instruments may pursue one of three degrees: Bachelor of Music Education, Bachelor of Music in performance, or Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis on liberal arts courses. These programs combine performance with musical development, including teaching of music and the general education component of university studies.
Music performance graduates of Wichita State have the basic credentials for graduate-level performance programs and successful performance careers. Music education graduates are prepared for teaching positions in preschools to high schools. Graduates with the BA have a generalist degree, combining a music emphasis with a background in traditional liberal arts.
Both individual performance skills and ensemble experience are central to the percussion program at Wichita State. The School of Music offers an excellent variety of performance opportunities through a wide range of large and small ensembles. These include two concert bands, a symphony orchestra, two jazz ensembles, and athletic bands.
Faculty members in the School of Music are artists/teachers who have significant professional training and experience. Their successful careers span all facets of the professional world. Moreover, they are committed to the personal musical development of each individual. Students also have the opportunity to attend frequent brass and percussion master classes and performances by internationally known guest artists in solo and chamber recitals.
All incoming freshmen and transfer students are required to audition prior to acceptance. All Kansas high school graduates are eligible to apply for admission into the percussion program. Applicants must have adequate performance background. The audition provides placement within the appropriate program. Transfer students must satisfy music performance and academic expectations relative to their levels at the time of transfer.
There are many work-related opportunities in the city of Wichita for students to earn extra income and gain valuable experience as musicians and teachers. They serve as private instructors solo performers, members of jazz and pop ensembles, as well as members of community and metropolitan orchestras. Students may also audition for the Wichita Symphony Orchestra as vacancies occur.
Students are encouraged to participate in organizations such as Collegiate Music Educators National Conference and Student Music Teachers Association, as well as Sigma Alpha Iota, Mu Phi Epsilon, Kappa Kappa Psi, or Tau Beta Sigma.