A music group performs at North Central.

Music

In this section

Music at a glance

North Central’s Music major is for students who want to follow their calling in a music-related field, but don’t plan to pursue a performance career. Through participation in performance groups and ensembles, ongoing private lessons, and courses in music theory taught by highly-qualified professors, you’ll perfect your instrument of choice while gaining the skills and knowledge you need to pursue a career in a variety of music fields. Plus, North Central’s state-of-the-art facilities will give you opportunities to gain hands-on experience with the latest performance and recording technology.

Considering a career in worship leading? Check out our article on 7 reasons to get worship leader training.

What sets us apart

A student plays the keyboard.
Scholarships

We offer Music Scholarships worth up to $3,000 per year for Music Majors.

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Audition to earn a Music Scholarship

The College of Fine Arts awards Music Scholarships up to $3,000 per year for students interested in pursuing their calling as a musician. Scholarships are awarded based on an audition, an interview, and 2 letters of recommendation. These awards aren’t need-based and are renewable for up to 4 years, provided you continue to meet the scholarship requirements.

Visit our financial aid site to learn more about Music Scholarships and how you can apply.

A professor works with students in McPherson Studios.
State-of-the-art facilities

Our McPherson Studios feature the latest technology and recording spaces.

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Gain hands-on experience in our state-of-the-art facilities

McPherson Studios is North Central’s state-of-the-art recording facility, featuring the latest equipment and technology including a Pro Tools HD system (loaded featuring McDSPand Antares plug-ins) with a Digidesign Control 24 interface, Genelec and Westlake monitors, and a wide selection of microphones and outboard equipment. Our Control Room is a great place to work with comfortable leather sofas and a warm atmosphere. The Studio A recording room is over 1200 square feet with enough room to record a choir, a big band, or an orchestra. Studio A also features a Yamaha grand piano with full MIDI capability. There are two additional rooms when isolation is needed for the session.

Artists who have recorded with us:

  • Sara Groves
  • Ben Gowell
  • Kristi Northrup
  • David Pedde
  • David Juve
  • Sovereign Grace Music Kids Project
  • Jeff Kerr and River Valley Worship Team
  • David Santisteven
  • Emmanuel Christian Center Youth Worship Team
The North Central Concert Chorale.
Performance groups and ensembles

Pursue your passions in one of our world-class performance groups.

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Join one of our highly-talented performance groups

North Central’s performance groups and ensembles are the real deal. From premiere touring performance group One Accord, led by renowned singer/songwriter Jeff Deyo, to the multifaceted Mixed Choir, we offer opportunities for students of all interests and skill levels to get involved.

Here are some of the highlights:

One Accord
North Central’s premiere touring performance group, One Accord is composed of current students under the direction of singer/songwriter Jeff Deyo.

Worship Live
Worship Live serves as the primary worship team for our daily chapel services.

Soulful Prayze
Soulful Prayze is North Central’s multicultural worship team. The group performs music from a variety of cultures and leads North Central students in truly diverse worship experiences.

Concert Chorale
The Concert Chorale is an ensemble of fifty singers and instrumentalists under the direction of Larry Bach. The Chorale has traveled extensively throughout the United States and Europe, singing in churches, schools, and concert halls.

Mixed Choir
The Mixed Choir is a large ensemble made up of students with a range of experience levels and from a number of different majors.

Women’s Choir
This chorus consists of selected female vocalists that minister in a variety of university and community events. This group is open to students by audition only.

Jazz Workshop
Jazz Workshop is designed to facilitate instrumental improvisation through the study of various forms of jazz, popular, and world genres in a combo setting. The ensembles of Jazz Workshop perform at the Jazz at the Clay performance series, the NCU Jazz Concert, Songs of the Season, Partners for Progress, and a variety of city-wide opportunities. The NCU Fusion Ensemble, a part of the Jazz Workshop Ensembles, has been featured at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival.

  • Skills you’ll gain

    When you graduate from the Music program, you’ll be prepared to:

    • Perform your instrument with excellence
    • Apply written and aural music theory
    • Conduct
    • Play the piano proficiently
    • Teach music
    • Work with an ensemble
    • Understand music of other cultures
    • Understand the history of western music
  • Careers

    Our graduates succeed in a variety of jobs and careers. Here are some possibilities:

    • Music educator
    • Conductor
    • Private instructor
    • Worship Leader
    • Composer
    • Accompanist
  • Requirements

    To ensure that you’re prepared as an experienced, highly-skilled musician, we have a few requirements for our Music majors.

    • Ensemble participation—You need to participate in at least one ensemble each semester. You can choose from: Woman’s Chorus, Festival Chorus, Chorale (audition only), Rhythm Players, Jazz Workshop ( upperclassmen), String Ensemble
    • Recital performance class—You’ll register for this class each semester to prepare for your senior recital, perform on your primary instrument, and learn recital etiquette.
    • Recital attendance—You’ll be expected to attend all recital classes, senior recitals, and faculty recitals.
    • Conducting lab—This class serves as the choir for the senior recitals of Music Pastor and Music Education majors.
    • Applied lessons—You’ll take music lessons in one major instrument and one minor instrument. You can choose from the following: piano, voice, guitar, drums, bass guitar, violin, flute, cello, saxophone, trumpet and french horn. Piano is the minor instrument for anyone who isn’t a piano major.
    • Theory Placement Exam—You’ll take the theory placement exam before you enter the Music program or register for classes.
    • Jury exams—You’ll take final jury exams at the end of each semester. At jury exams, you’ll perform pieces you’ve studied that semester.
    • Piano proficiency—You’ll be required to demonstrate piano proficiency by the end of your fourth semester of theory.
    • Entrance audition (for transfer students and sophomores)—If you’re transferring to North Central or at sophomore status you’ll complete an entrance audition.
    • Senior project/recital—All Music majors need to complete a senior project and perform a senior recital to finish their degree. A junior recital will also be completed prior to approval for a senior recital.
  • Supporting programs

    We want you to be well-rounded and well-prepared when you graduate, so you’ll have the opportunity to choose a minor or supporting program so you can explore another area of interest. Here are some possibilities:

    • Intercultural Studies
    • Media Production
    • Music Pastor
    • Theatre
    • Urban Studies
    • Worship Leading

    See the full list of minors and supporting programs.

The Chorale performs.
Middle School Choir Director, Eden Prairie School District

Megan Johnson '15
Minneapolis, MN

"I loved that my classes were small enough that I was able to get to know my professor, and they got to know me as well. It made the classes more personal, and I wanted to do better because of it. I also loved that most classes started with prayer. That's not something you find everywhere and it was a huge blessing."

Requirements

All students must complete the General Education Core and Christian Studies Core. General electives may be added or an optional minor may be selected. You need 124 total credit hours to complete the Music degree.

Watch the new Worship Live single, performed and recorded by NCU students and alumni!

Meet the dean

Faculty Member Larry Bach.

Contact

lcbach@northcentral.edu
612.343.4703
Mensing

Larry Bach

Dean, College of Fine Arts

Currently in my 35th year, I continue to lead the College of Fine Arts as dean. I hold a B.A. in Vocal Performance from West Virginia Wesleyan, a masters in Conducting from the University of Minnesota, and a Doctorate in Choral Conducting from the University of Iowa. Over 35 years the College of Fine arts has grown from a single major of 10 students to 9 majors with over 150 students.

What are your areas of expertise?

Conducting, vocal music, worship leading

What do you love about teaching at North Central?

The students of course! I love being able to encourage students to grow and use their gifts to the very best of their abilities to glorify God.

What are your favorite classes to teach?

Conducting the Chorale and Teaching Conducting