Department of Music

Department Achievements

A musician looking to the future can feel security in knowing their years of practice can open doors to a wide variety of career options. Graduates with a degree in music find work as performers, teachers, and specialists in fields related to the industry.

Many of our graduates also go on to continue their musical studies in advanced degree programs, or to gain admission into nonmusical graduate programs such as law and medicine.

The field of music provides countless opportunities for finding a fulfilling and rewarding career. Many of our graduates make a living as performers, teachers (K-12 and university), composers, producers, and music directors. Others choose careers as song writers, technicians, private instructors, and in variety of jobs within the entertainment industry. Our department’s graduates are highly sought after by school principals, graduate schools and other music-related employers. The job placement rate is essentially 100%.

Students are instructed by faculty who are active in performance and scholarship and who serve on professional organizations at the local, regional, state, and national levels. The faculty, highly trained at leading institutions across the country, are well prepared to provide students with relevant instruction in the art of performance and music education, as well as provide high quality experiences in ensemble performance. This excellent staff, along with the students, form a “music family” dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in music.

Faculty members, proud of the one-on-one contact they have with students, are committed to the development of each student. They are all active in academic advisement and in assisting students during their college careers and careers after graduation.

Awards & Competitions



Dr. Susan Carter, Director of Vocal Studies, placed 2nd in the National Opera Association’s 2012 undergraduate opera scenes competition as director of “The Telephone”. Adrienne Collins, sophomore, Donovan Jones, freshman and Kyle Minx, junior performed in the one act opera. Universities from across the nation submitted videos of productions with 5 university opera programs chosen to compete. Dr. Carter decided to take this winning scene to the finals in Memphis which proved to be a winning choice.




Adrienne Collins, junior, was chosen from 300 international applicants to compete in the 2013 George London Vocal Competition held each year in New York City. Adrienne, junior, studies with Dr. Susan Carter, Director of Vocal Studies, and has excelled in competitions and performances over the last 3 years, placing 1st in the 2010 NATS competition, 2012 Classical Singer finalist, 2012 NOA Finalist, 3rd place in the 2011 NATS competition and 2013 Classical Singer competition.




Kaitlyn Christian, sophomore; Sarah Waters, senior; and Adrienne Collins, junior; all placed in the 2013 Classical Singer Competition held in Kansas City with finals in May in Boston. 6 singers were chosen from the area to proceed to the finals with these 3 talented singers from Missouri Western State University. Kaitlyn and Adrienne study with Dr. Susan Carter and Sarah studies with Jennifer White.


Alumni Profiles

Fuchs “In my current position, I now see my experience as a student at Missouri Western from a unique perspective. It is clear to me that the quality of instruction and level of musicianship at Missouri Western during my years as a student was simply outstanding and amazing. The environment was rich and alive with energy and inspiration. We were all truly blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful faculty and friends. What a great time in my life!”

Craig Fuchs, ’84

Chair, Department of Music and Director of Bands

Pittsburg State University

Wielgman_0004_sv “My ‘golden opportunity’ at Missouri Western was opportunity! Be it vocal or instrumental, the Music Department at Missouri Western was available to me in so many ways. The faculty was extremely supportive and helpful. The best endorsement I can give Missouri Western, and specifically the Music Department, is that I was better prepared than the majority of students at Indiana University when I came here for my master’s degree.”

Thomas Wieligman, ’83

Executive Administrator of Instrumental Ensembles and Special Performance Activity

Indiana University

“My ‘golden experience’ at Missouri Western was the personal attention I received from faculty in every department. Professors all across campus were committed to my education and success. I received practical training in performance, pedagogy and professional etiquette from the Music Department that I use every day.”

Jason Riley, ’96
St. Joseph, Mo.

Haenni “At Missouri Western, teachers and students alike are encouraged to make a difference. The emphases on community contribution and lifelong learning make the Missouri Western education unique. I left Missouri Western equipped with knowledge, experience, and a sense of passion for music and teaching.”

Mary Ann Haenni, ’81

Director of Vocal Music

Savannah R-III School District