Students holding music books while singing in a choir on stage

College of Arts & Sciences

Music

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Trilla Lyerla

Chair

Department of Music and Theatre

Department Office: Owens Musical Arts Building 201

The Sounds of Success

About

Extraordinary performance opportunities and personal attention from a talented, experienced faculty make Baker University’s music program one of the best in the region.

Music students have the advantages an intimate, small college affords plus the performance opportunities of much larger schools.

Whether lighting up the electric atmosphere at a football game or performing during the traditional and magical Christmas Candlelight Vespers, our music students are immersed in a culture of exploration and learning from day one.

Male student playing the clarinet at a band concert

The first step on campus…

…often leads to the first audition. Every student gets a shot at the spotlight with none of the waiting your turn that happens at larger schools.

Broadway at Baker presents State Fair performance
Male student playing the clarinet at a band concert
Students holding music books while singing in a choir on stage

Exceptional Experience

01/03

Heard ‘Round The World

Baker ensembles have hit the road to tour and perform on the California coast, throughout Europe, and at the Kauffman Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Award Tour

Our vocal and instrumental ensembles consistently bring home awards from regional and national competitions.

Music Labs & Forums

Each Tuesday during the fall and spring semesters music labs or forums provide another opportunity for music students to gain performance experience.

Competitions & Selections

  • Vocalists compete in the regional auditions for the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
  • Pianists compete in the Kansas Music Teachers Association collegiate auditions and in the Music Teachers National Association Young Artists’ Competition.
  • Instrumentalists are nominated and selected to perform in the Kansas Intercollegiate Band.

Music Course Descriptions

Vocal Ensembles

Practice your art

Music ensembles are an integral part of the performing arts at Baker University. Performance opportunities abound, with student musicians showcasing their talent in a variety of ways. Students need not be music majors to join an ensemble, they just need a passion for making music.

The auditioned Concert Choir and Chamber Singers are open to all, as is the nonauditioned Treble Choir.

Vocal Ensembles

Instrumental Ensembles

Showcase your talent

Whether you’re a tuba player or a master cellist, Baker’s Music Department has a home for you. Students can choose from five instrumental ensembles: Symphonic Band, Orchestra, Wildcat Pep Band, Jazz Ensemble, and University Chamber Ensemble.

Music ensembles are an integral part of the performing arts at Baker University. Performance opportunities abound, with student musicians showcasing their talent in a variety of ways. Students need not be music majors to join an ensemble, they just need a passion for making music.

Instrumental Ensembles

Ensemble Rehearsal Schedules

Careers

Graduates of our music program go on to become renowned professional musicians and leading music educators in their districts.

Male student playing the baritone at a band concert

Scholarships

The Department of Humanities gives these awards with financial prizes to be applied to the following years tuition:

  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship
  • Dr. Irene Murphy Memorial Scholarship
  • Etta and Orin Murphy Scholarship Kahle Endowed Scholarship
  • Kahle Endowed Scholarship
  • The Moorman Prize for Prose Writing
  • The Moorman Prize for Poetry Writing
  • Jefferson-Greiner Scholarship
Students holding music books while singing in a choir on stage

Music Events

Meet the Faculty

Dr. Trilla Lyerla
Professor of Music, Chair of the Department of Music & Theatre
B.A., B.M. University of Kansas; M.A., D.M.A. University of Iowa
Expertise: piano, music theory, world music
Office: Owens 200
785.594.4500
trilla.lyerla@bakerU.edu

Dr. Tom Becker
Adjunct Teaching Artist
B.M. University of Nebraska at Omaha, M.M. Northwestern University, M.A. University of Denver, Ph.D. University of Kansas
Expertise: guitar
Office: Owens 106
785.594.4578
tom.becker@bakerU.edu

Will Cooper
Adjunct Teaching Artist
Expertise: trumpet
Office: Owens 106
785.594.4578
will.cooper@bakerU.edu 

Jim Funkhouser
Adjunct Teaching Artist
Expertise: French horn, composition
Office: Owens 106
785.594.4578
jim.funkhouser@bakerU.edu

Brian Jackson
Adjunct Teaching Artist
B.M.E. Wichita State University; M.A. Baker University
Expertise: percussion, drumline, percussion ensemble
Office: Owens 101
785.594.8478
brian.jackson@bakerU.edu

Lisa Jackson
Adjunct Teaching Artist
B.M. Eastman School of Music, M.M. University of Akron
Expertise: violin, viola
Office: Owens 100
785.594.8383
lisa.jackson@bakerU.edu

Ray James
Instructor of Music
B.M.E Murray State University, M.M.E. Wichita State University
Expertise: music education
Office: Owens 202
785.594.4507
rjames@bakerU.edu

Edward Laut
Adjunct Teaching Artist
M.M. Catholic University of America, B.M. Indiana University
Expertise: cello
Office: Owens 100
785.594.8479
edward.laut@bakerU.edu

Dr. Robin Liston
Coordinator of Academic Advising, Professor of Music
B.M.E. The Ohio State University; M.M., Ph.D. University of Kansas
Expertise: music education, music history
Office: Library 120
785.594.4508
robin.liston@bakerU.edu

Dr. Ryan Olsen
Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Ensembles
B.M.E., M.A. University of Missouri at Kansas City; D.M.A. Arizona State University
Expertise: choral ensembles, choral music education
Office: Owens 102
785.594.4504
rolsen@bakerU.edu

Dr. J.D. Parr
Instructor of Woodwinds
B.M. Washburn University, M.M. Michigan State University, Ph.D. University of Kansas
Expertise: jazz ensemble, music education, woodwinds, music theory
Office: Owens 202
785.594.4507
jd.parr@bakerU.edu

Dr. Frank Perez
Associate Professor & Director of Bands
B.M., B.M.M.E., M.M.Ed. Thorton School of Music, University of Southern California; D.M.A. University of Kansas
Expertise: wind ensembles, athletic bands, low brass, music technology, music education, electro-acoustic music
Office: Owens 215
785.594.4579
fperez@bakerU.edu

Dr. Mark Pretzel
Director of Orchestral Activities
B.M., M.M. University of Cincinnati; M.M. Bowling Green State University; D.M.A University of Missouri at Kansas City
Expertise: orchestra, piano, conducting
Office: Owens 100
785.594.8383
mark.pretzel@bakerU.edu

Marci Ziegler
Associate Professor of Music
M.M. University of Kansas
Expertise: applied voice, class voice, vocal pedagogy, opera & musical theatre workshop
Office: Owens 203
785.594.8421
mziegler@bakerU.edu

Parmenter and long student center

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