Music scholarships for any major

Our Vision


Our music department is a place for music majors and non-music majors to come together and make music of the highest quality, whatever your instrument or interests. Music is too important to exclude non-music majors.


Receive world-class instruction from experts and active performers through a powerful major and industry-relevant concentrations. Perform music that is not only of the highest quality but also uplifting and inspiring.


Our music majors have a proven track record of success, enrolling in top graduate music programs across the country and directly entering the world of professional music-making and teaching. All who participate in our ensembles—music major or not—leave better equipped to raise the quality of music-making in their communities.

Join an Ensemble


Southern Virginia’s premier traveling acapella group.
Watch Accolade in Alex Boyé’s “Believer” Video

Bella Voce

“Beautiful Voice.” Southern Virginia’s women’s chorus.
Directed by Dr. Kyle Nielsen.

Chamber Music

Advanced mixed orchestral ensemble made up of various small performing chamber groups.
Directed by Megan Mason.

Chamber Singers

Southern Virginia’s elite mixed-voice choral ensemble.
Directed by Dr. Kyle Nielsen.

Choral Union

Community choral ensemble open to university students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the community.
Directed by Dr. Kyle Nielsen.

Commercial Music Ensemble

Contemporary music group for performance, composition, arranging, recording, and production.
Directed by Mark Milberger.

Concert Band

Wind ensemble performing new and classic repertoire.
Directed by Heather Dobbins.

Marching Band

The Marching Knights, including winds and drum line, performs at football games, parades, and pep rallies.
Directed by Heather Dobbins.

Men’s Chorus

Southern Virginia’s men’s choral ensemble.
Directed by Dr. Kyle Nielsen.

Opera Workshop

Showcasing operatic works and scenes every spring.
Directed by Dr. Eric Hanson & Dr. Mackenzie Romriell.


Large ensemble for strings, winds, brass, and percussion.
Directed by Dr. Jakob Hofer.


Scholarships available for solo and collaborative pianists. All pianists participate in masterclass-style instruction.
Directed by Dr. Keenan Reesor.

Vocal Chamber Music

Advanced solo and small group work in collaboration with Chamber Music. Learn how to build your brand while advocating and marketing art music.
Directed by Dr. Eric Hanson.

Meet Your Mentor

Heather Dobbins, M.M.

Director of Bands

Eric Hanson, D.M.A.

Music Department Chair & Director of Voice Studies

Mark Milberger, M.M.

Director of Commercial Music & Composition

Kyle Nielsen, D.M.A.

Director of Choral Studies

Keenan Reesor, Ph.D.

Director of Keyboard Studies & Musicology

Mackenzie Romriell, D.M.A.

Conductor of Bella Voce and Accolade

Jakob Hofer, D.M.A.

Director of Orchestra

Music Major

Students who participate in Southern Virginia University’s music program understand that music is a priceless and irreplaceable component of human life, occupying a unique position in our culture. It speaks to the intellect, emotion, and human soul in an essential way. The music program has a dynamic and varied music concert and performance schedule, presenting numerous concerts each year, including student recitals and ensembles.

The faculty consists of devoted teachers with expertise in choral, vocal, instrumental, theoretical, historical, and compositional techniques. We offer a broad range of courses, including music theory, music history, composition, and performance practices. Our private applied instruction is strong in vocal, piano, organ, strings, harp, guitar, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Instruction is provided by the university music faculty and is augmented by adjunct instructors drawn from the surrounding area.

Learn more about the Music Major.

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