Dr. Joshua Harris leads a workshop on analog synthesizers

Dr. Joshua Harris leads a workshop on analog synthesizers

Dr. Joshua Harris works with a student in the SArPA Studio

Dr. Joshua Harris works with a student in the SArPA Studio

A piano student performs a senior recital in Mills Chapel

A piano student performs a senior recital in Mills Chapel

Four musicians with traditional Arab instruments

Tetrachord, a traditional Arab music ensemble, performed as part of the Gager Concert Series in October 2021

From day one, music students focus on making music and collaborating with faculty in our state-of-the-art studios.

Music

The performing arts major at Sweet Briar is strongly interdisciplinary, allowing students to pursue one area in great depth while encouraging collaboration with other performing arts as much as possible.

We recognize that students may be interested in specific disciplines, so the performing arts major has three tracks — dance, music and theatre. We also offer minors in dance, music, musical theatre and theatre.

Practicing piano in the Rehearsal Hall

Practicing piano in the Rehearsal Hall

Musicians standing with instruments in front of a brick chapel.

Daisy's Harp 2017

Students performing with guest performer Tom Teasley

Students performing with guest performer Tom Teasley (Credit: Sweet Briar College)

A computer screen with visual code

Visual code in Max for audio reactive video

Korean and American musicians perform as part of the Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022

Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022 (Credit: A E Thomas)

Korean and American musicians perform as part of the Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022

Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022 (Credit: A E Thomas)

Korean and American musicians perform as part of the Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022

Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022 (Credit: A E Thomas)

Korean and American musicians perform as part of the Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022

Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022 (Credit: A E Thomas)

Korean and American musicians perform as part of the Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022

Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022 (Credit: A E Thomas)

Korean and American musicians perform as part of the Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022

Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022 (Credit: A E Thomas)

Korean and American musicians perform as part of the Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022

Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022 (Credit: A E Thomas)

Korean and American musicians perform as part of the Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022

Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022 (Credit: A E Thomas)

Korean and American musicians perform as part of the Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022

Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022 (Credit: A E Thomas)

Korean and American musicians perform as part of the Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022

Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022 (Credit: A E Thomas)

Korean and American musicians perform as part of the Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022

Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022 (Credit: A E Thomas)

Korean and American musicians perform as part of the Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022

Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022 (Credit: A E Thomas)

Korean and American musicians perform as part of the Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022

Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022 (Credit: A E Thomas)

Korean and American musicians perform as part of the Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022

Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022 (Credit: A E Thomas)

Korean and American musicians perform as part of the Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022

Symposium on Korean Music, August 2022 (Credit: A E Thomas)

Students in Music in Global Context in a gamelan workshop on a field trip to University of Richmond, August 2022.

Students in Music in Global Context in a gamelan workshop on a field trip to University of Richmond, August 2022. (Credit: A E Thomas)

Students in Music in Global Context in a gamelan workshop on a field trip to University of Richmond, August 2022.

Students in Music in Global Context in a gamelan workshop on a field trip to University of Richmond, August 2022. (Credit: A E Thomas)

Students in Music in Global Context in a gamelan workshop on a field trip to University of Richmond, August 2022.

Students in Music in Global Context in a gamelan workshop on a field trip to University of Richmond, August 2022. (Credit: A E Thomas)

Diali Cissokho, a griot from Senegal, performs on kora at SBC for a Ramadan iftar.

Diali Cissokho, a griot from Senegal, performs on kora at SBC for a Ramadan iftar. (Credit: A E Thomas)

Students in Creative Practice for Wellbeing in a workshop on West African drum with Senegalese guest artist Diali Cissokho.

Students in Creative Practice for Wellbeing in a workshop on West African drum with Senegalese guest artist Diali Cissokho. (Credit: A E Thomas)

Students in Creative Practice for Wellbeing in a workshop on West African drum with Senegalese guest artist Diali Cissokho.

Students in Creative Practice for Wellbeing in a workshop on West African drum with Senegalese guest artist Diali Cissokho. (Credit: A E Thomas)

Students in Creative Practice for Wellbeing in a workshop on West African dance with guest artist Hilary Cissokho.

Students in Creative Practice for Wellbeing in a workshop on West African dance with guest artist Hilary Cissokho. (Credit: A E Thomas)

Students in Creative Practice for Wellbeing guest artist Diali Cissokho.

Students in Creative Practice for Wellbeing guest artist Diali Cissokho. (Credit: A E Thomas)

Students in Creative Practice for Wellbeing guest artist Diali Cissokho.

Students in Creative Practice for Wellbeing guest artist Diali Cissokho. (Credit: A E Thomas)

Babcock Performing Arts Center

Babcock Performing Arts Center (Credit: A E Thomas)

Students in Creative Practice for Wellbeing try out Appalachian square dance.

Students in Creative Practice for Wellbeing try out Appalachian square dance. (Credit: A E Thomas)

Students in Creative Practice for Wellbeing try out Appalachian square dance.

Students in Creative Practice for Wellbeing try out Appalachian square dance. (Credit: A E Thomas)

Students in Creative Practice for Wellbeing with Latin dance guest artists Sam, Louisa and Jacqueline.

Students in Creative Practice for Wellbeing with Latin dance guest artists Sam, Louisa and Jacqueline. (Credit: A E Thomas)

Akropolis wind quintet plays an aleatoric music game created by Rachel Davis (Performing Arts '22)

Akropolis wind quintet plays an aleatoric music game created by Rachel Davis (Performing Arts '22) (Credit: A E Thomas)

Akropolis wind quintet plays an aleatoric music game created by Rachel Davis (Performing Arts '22)

Akropolis wind quintet plays an aleatoric music game created by Rachel Davis (Performing Arts '22) (Credit: A E Thomas)

Akropolis wind quintet plays an aleatoric music game created by Rachel Davis (Performing Arts '22)

Akropolis wind quintet plays an aleatoric music game created by Rachel Davis (Performing Arts '22) (Credit: A E Thomas)

Akropolis wind quintet plays an aleatoric music game created by Rachel Davis (Performing Arts '22)

Akropolis wind quintet plays an aleatoric music game created by Rachel Davis (Performing Arts '22) (Credit: A E Thomas)

Students in Music in Global Context on a field trip to University of Richmond, August 2022.

Students in Music in Global Context on a field trip to University of Richmond, August 2022. (Credit: A E Thomas)


Music Events

Alma Ensemble is a classical chamber ensemble that focuses on performing and commissioning works by female composers. Founded by flutist Sarah Wardle Jones, clarinetist Michelle Smith Johnson, and pianist Erica Sipes, Alma Ensemble is dedicated to championing women in music, connecting with audiences, and promoting music education. Born from a desire of the founding members to create music that is empowering and personally resonant, Alma Ensemble regularly performs chamber music by women composers while exploring performance practices outside the traditional classical paradigm. As part of their mission, Alma Ensemble also actively commissions and programs new works by women composers.

All performances in the Gager Concert Series are FREE and open to the public. Just check in at the guard gate and let them know you are here for this event. SBC also offers campuswide FREE parking. 

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The Janet Lowrey Gager Community Concert Series is made possible by the support of the late Forrest Gager, in memory of his wife, Janet, who served as Sweet Briar’s director of public relations. The series features classical music from around the world performed by Sweet Briar College faculty and students, as well as guest artists.

This event is partially supported by a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Kay Rooney is a professional violinist whose experience includes performing with several orchestras and ensembles in the most prestigious and historical venues of the world, such as Carnegie Hall in NYC, Symphony Hall and Jordan Hall in Boston, Teatro Amazonas in Brazil and The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. She enjoys playing music from the baroque period to contemporary music with ensembles, singers, and orchestras.

Her musical collaborations include working with intimate chamber ensembles, such as ME2/strings, which advocates for mental health in sharing music, the newly established Roanoke Baroque and Boston Festival Orchestra, to larger symphony orchestras such as the Roanoke and Lynchburg Symphony Orchestras, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Portland Symphony Orchestra, and the Boston Pops Orchestra.

Work with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Odyssey Opera and Boston University’s Marsh Chapel Collegium led to several recordings of her work. She also enjoyed collaborating with singers to perform with Odyssey Opera, Opera North, Opera Roanoke and Opera on the James.

Based in Lynchburg, Rooney is a member of the adjunct faculty at Sweet Briar College and Randolph College, where she teaches violin and viola. She also welcomes students of all ages into her own private studio. She holds a master’s degree in violin performance and a performance diploma from Boston University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. 

All performances in the Gager Concert Series are FREE and open to the public. Just check in at the guard gate and let them know you are here for this event. SBC also offers campuswide FREE parking. 

The Janet Lowrey Gager Community Concert Series is made possible by the support of the late Forrest Gager, in memory of his wife, Janet, who served as Sweet Briar’s director of public relations. The series features classical music from around the world performed by Sweet Briar College faculty and students, as well as guest artists.

Join us for this music recital of student Emma Evans ’26 featuring works on cello and voice. This event is free and open to the public. 

Students studying voice and instruments privately with faculty instructors will present a variety of works for solo and chamber ensembles.


Recent News

Music and Philosophy Students Travel to Vienna

During the Spring 2023 3-week term, two classes traveled together to Vienna to make connections between music, art, and philosophy. They saw operas, concerts of historical and contemporary music, and visited museums.

Read More

Composing Outside the Box

It’s not every day that a composer’s style combines Philip Glass and Beck and yet, that’s exactly what music professor Joshua Harris does. And now, his creativity and innovation have been recognized by the Barlow Endowment at Brigham Young University: he’s been commissioned to compose a new piece for Hub New Music next year.

Read More

 

Want to learn more?

Learn more about our ensembles and music facilities.