Attention: Pomona College is planning for a full return of students in fall. Learn More

Music Department Frequently Asked Questions for New Students

What performance opportunities are there in a normal semester?

The Department’s many performance opportunities include student recitals, performance classes, large ensembles, chamber music, junior/senior recitals, master classes and workshops, and the PCO concerto competition. The Department’s curricular ensembles include Choir, Glee Club, Orchestra, Band, Jazz Ensemble, Balinese Gamelan, Afro-Cuban Music Ensemble and West African Music Ensemble.

What performance opportunities are there in Spring 2021?

Although adjustments are necessary for virtual learning, students can still enroll in individual lessons and in our ensembles.

Do I need to audition for the ensembles?

Normally, the Orchestra, Choir, Glee Club, and Jazz Ensemble have auditions at the beginning of the semester. The other ensembles do not require auditions. For Spring 2021, students wishing to enroll in the Orchestra, Choir, or Jazz Ensemble should contact their respective faculty member by email before the semester begins. Read more.

Can I take an ensemble or lessons in addition to a full four-course load?

Yes. Ensembles are half-credit courses; lessons are offered either for half-or quarter-credit. You can register (i.e., pre-enroll) for the equivalent of 4.75 course credits from full and partial-credit courses. If one or more of those courses is a half-credit course, you can increase your load to 5.25 credits during the Add/Drop period.

How do I sign up for lessons?

Registration for Fall 2021 lessons begin in August. Please return to this page for more information closer to that time.

Can I take lessons on two different instruments?

For Spring 2021, by special permission only.

How will I know who will be my teacher?

Most instruments have one instructor; piano, voice, violin and guitar have multiple teachers. The faculty will place students with a teacher.

Will I be able to play chamber music?

Not for Spring 2021.

Can I use the practice rooms?

Not for Spring 2021.

What are the practice facilities like?

We have a few unlocked practice rooms with upright pianos. Access to our finer pianos and larger practice spaces is restricted to students taking applied music on a curricular basis (private lessons). Pomona is an all-Steinway school.

Will I be able to play a sport while participating in a music ensemble?

Our music ensembles are academic courses and attendance is considered mandatory. Some athletics coaches provide flexibility in order to accommodate students who want to do both. Check with your coach to identify conflicts.