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Music Performance at Catawba College

The music performance concentration at Catawba College is ideal for students interested in a performance career, a private teaching career, and/or graduate studies in performance. Designed to allow students to focus their music studies in voice or a particular instrument with the goal of developing as a performer, our program prepares professional musicians to function as both practitioners and artists in the musically inclusive world of the 21st century who exhibit not only technical competence, but also a broad knowledge of music, and an understanding of and appreciation for the artistic process.

Our focus on providing a richly diverse, intensive and inclusive curriculum that leads each student to develop his or her personal artistic vision while embracing our commitment to liberal studies is a hallmark of our program. We believe in honoring the past, reveling in the now, and forging the future as professional musicians and performers.

Acceptance in the performance concentration is based on an audition prior to enrollment.Only the most proficient undergraduate musicians are accepted into the performance concentration and graduation from this concentration representsthat the student has achieved a high degree of musical, artistic and technical accomplishment.

As a performer, the professional musician performs music alone or with a group, either small or large, of other musicians. In addition to solo recitals, you will have the opportunity beginning your first semester of study to join one of Catawba's many and varied performing ensembles and participate in numerous concerts, recitals and stage productions including:

Catawba's ensembles have performed at Carnegie Hall, Hard Rock Café (NYC) and toured along the east coast and Mid-Atlantic states. In addition to performing in Catawba's ensembles, music performance majors regularly showcase their talents in recitals and other productions as part of their studies.

As a Catawba College performance major, you will have opportunities to gain "real life" experiences through hands on teaching, conducting, and assisting opportunities with the Catawba College Community Program. Piano majors are afforded opportunities to accompany private lessons and solo/ensemble performances in the department.


Based on small class sizes, you'll also receive personal attention from faculty members who excel as performers and scholars. The Department of Music's faculty combines a passion for teaching with a rich array of performing and production experience. Some of our distinguished faculty includes:

Christina Pier
(Instructor of Voice)
Soprano Christina Pier is the recipient of numerous prestigious honors and awards including a 2003 Grand Finals Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a George London Award, a Sullivan Award, and two Palm Beach Opera Competition Awards.  In addition, she received the Anna Case Mackay Grant from the Santa Fe Opera, the Gilbert Artist Award from Florida Grand Opera, a Sosenko Trust Grant and an Ian Gorin Memorial Award.

JackMurray.jpgJack Murray
(Instructor of Woodwinds)
Murray is in much demand as a woodwind player, playing saxophone, clarinet,flute, and oboe in Broadway shows, symphony orchestras, jazz bands, rock bands and recording work. Jack has toured with The Four Tops, The Temptations, and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and has appeared with Michael Feinstein, Linda Eder, Natalie Cole, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Kenny Rogers, Manhattan Transfer, Slide Hampton, Jon Faddis, Patti Austin, Rosemary Clooney, Steve Allen, Bernadette Peters, Nancy Wilson, Johnny Mathis, Barry Manilow, Linda Ronstadt, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, John Pizzarelli, Gladys Knight, and Clark Terry.

Kristopher Irmiter
(Instructor of Voice)KrisIrmiter.jpg
A Grammy Nominated artist who has performed in all 50 states and throughout Canada, Bass-Baritone Kristopher Irmiter is one of the most sought after low voices in the US and has appeared with San Francisco Opera, L'Opera de Montreal, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Baltimore Opera, Atlanta Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Utah Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Arizona Opera, and Florida Grand Opera among many others.

For more information about the performance concentration at Catawba, including auditions and scholarships, contact Dr. Julie Chamberlain at or  (704) 637-4106.