Visual & Performing Arts Majors


The Grand View Music Department offers real opportunities for involvement, leadership, and making a difference. You can be involved in ensembles, go deeper and take private lessons, challenge yourself to study the structural and aesthetic principles of music through music courses, or blend the love of music with a sense of vocation by majoring in Music or Music Education. At all levels, you'll benefit from innovative teaching, personal attention, small class size, and rich opportunities for development and leadership. Our professors are recognized as engaging teachers and experts in their field who care about their students' development.

Grand View’s Music Department offers a major in Music, Music Education and Church Music, as well as a Music Minor.
Music Major

This degree offers a foundation in music and prepares students for a variety of music-related careers.  Music Majors study theory, history and participate in ensembles.  Graduates can go on to professional careers as musicians or go to graduate school in their chosen field.

Music Education Major
This program prepares students for careers as music teachers in elementary, middle, and secondary schools.  Students study classroom management techniques and human development while still learning theory and history.  Graduates of the Music Education Major benefit from learning and combining two disciplines into one.

Church Music Major
The major in Church Music is a combined program of study in music and religion.  You’ll  learn music theory and history while also studying religious theology and philosophy.  Like Music Education Majors, graduates with a degree in Church Music benefit from learning and exploring in two majors simultaneously.
Music Minor
Students with a minor in Music benefit from being able to combine a passion of music with their chosen program of study.

Nielsen Concert Series
This three-concert series brings notable performers from around the world to the Grand View campus.  Click HERE for the 2013-14 schedule.

The choir is touring this spring, click HERE for the full schedule and details!

Explore all of Grand View's Fine Arts Events HERE.

return to program details

Courses and Requirements

Department Courses in the Core:

  • Introduction to Music
  • Music Appreciation
  • Music in Society
  • Music of the World
  • History and Theory of Medieval & Renaissance Music
  • History and Theory of 20th Century Music

Prerequisite Courses:

  • French I (or approved substitute)

Strongly Recommended:

  • Survey of Western Civilization to 1660
  • Survey of Western Civilization from 1660 to Present
  • Music Appreciation

Courses Required of All Majors:

  • French II (or substitute)
  • All Music Majors are required to attend a minimum of TEN concerts/performances each semester.
  • Grand View Choir OR
  • Instrumental Ensemble OR
  • Kantorei (OR other approved ensemble)
  • Music Majors are to be enrolled in Ensemble every semester of residency and accumulate a minimum of 6 semester credits.
  • Music Theory I
  • Music Theory II
  • History and Theory of 17th & 18th Century Music
  • History and Theory of 19th Century Music
  • History and Theory of Medieval & Renaissance Music
  • History and Theory of 20th Century Music
  • Conducting

12 Credits Hours in a Single Applied Area:

  • Internship AS NEEDED
  • Senior Recital
  • Piano Proficiency (Prior to Junior status)

Free Electives:

  • Music Methods: Elementary
  • Instrumental Methods
  • Instrumental Methods II

See the Reference Documents section below for more detailed course  requirements, or for detailed course descriptions, please go to the current catalog HERE.

Stan Dahl – Percussion
Kathryn Duffy - Choir, Music History and Theory, Conducting (Chair)
Kathryn Duffy chairs ther music department, directs the Grand View choir and teaches courses in Theory and History of Music, Music Appreciation, and Conducting. She believes in challenging students to explore the richness of music and to claim this richness in their own life – whether as a part of a career in music, an avocation, or just as an informed and interested listener.  To that end, she seeks out ways to help students nurture their intellectual curiosity and allow themselves to be fully engaged by their subject matter. Beyond the academic arena, she enjoys a good mystery, traveling, needlework, and spending time with her husband, Steve, and two sons, Paul and Mark.
Lois Harms – Piano, Clarinet, Organ
Joy Harrison – Voice, Music Education
Charles Miranda – Strings
John Nielsen – Voice, Music Education
Sue Odem – Double reeds, Saxophone
Sue Odem received a Bachelor of Music degree in oboe from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the Master of Music degree from Drake University. She is a member of the Des Moines Symphony and performs frequently with church, university, and choral groups throughout central Iowa. She enjoys working in a number of chamber ensembles - the Des Moines Symphony Woodwind Quintet, the Bruch Trio, the Amadeus Trio, Lyric Winds, and Oboelisk, a double reed ensemble.  She is also an adjunct instructor of double reeds at Simpson College and Central College, in addition to teaching a large private studio of oboe and bassoon students. At Grand View, she gets to explore what music means in other cultures when she teaches Musics of the World.
Aaron Powell – Guitar
Aaron Powell has a Masters of Music Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (2003) where he studied with Douglas Niedt. He is also an alumni of Simpson College (1999), graduating with a Bachelor of Music Education. He has been an instructor of guitar at Grand View since the fall of 2005. He has performed as a guitarist with the Des Moines Metro Opera, Des Moines Playhouse and Des Moines Symphony. He appears in recital in various fine arts series and forums throughout the state and in the midwest. He has appeared as a performer in the master classes of notable guitarist such as the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Sergio and Odair Assad, Antigoni Goni and Christopher Parkening.
Sonya Siebert – Piano
Richard Thimmesch – Band, Brass, Instrumental Methods
Richard Thimmesch began playing trumpet in his school band in 1963, and hasn't stopped playing yet! Music is his passion! He graduated from Ankeny High School, earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Iowa, and master's degree from Southern Oregon University in music education. After conducting marching bands, concert bands, jazz bands, pep bands, pit orchestras, and teaching lessons to every kind of instrument, he retired from public school teaching, and started teaching music at the university level. Performing remains a significant part of his life as he performs with the Central Iowa Wind Ensemble, A Touch of Brass, and at many civic, church, and private functions.
Jeanne Witt – Flute
(See the faculty section under Visual and Performing Arts for more information about full-time music faculty.)



The music department offers voice, instrumental and piano scholarships for qualified students (by audition only). Scholarships are awarded in amounts up to $3,000 and are renewable each year provided the student continues in good standing in his or her music activities.

Pro Musica Scholarships
Pro Musica Scholarships are available for music majors as well as non-majors. To be eligible you must respond to the scholarship invitation as a new student and be accepted for admission. The terms of the scholarships are that you participate in an ensemble and take private lessons in your major area with continuous good standing in both areas.

During audition, students are required to perform two pieces or movements in contrasting style from the standard concert repertoire. For specific instructions and more information, or to register for the scholarship audition day, contact the music department. The music department also encourages choir students to improve their musicianship by partially subsidizing their piano or voice lessons.
For information about auditioning for a scholarship, please click HERE.  The registration deadline is typically during the first week in February.

Music scholarships may also be awarded at Scholarship Days.

Lutheran Music Program Scholarship
$1,000 available to alumni of the Lutheran Music Program (Lutheran Summer Music) for students majoring in music, music education, or church music. Recipients may also audition for an additional Pro Musica Scholarship.


Grand View's music ensembles are open to all students, regardless of major, by audition.

Grand View Choir
The Grand View Choir performs for major college events, including Julefest, the annual Grand View Christmas celebration, Honors Convocation, and Baccalaureate, and tours each year during spring break.  In recent year the Choir has toured to Colorado, Ohio, Mississippi, Texas, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Minnesota, Wisconsin, Canada, Denmark, Germany, California and Washington State.  It made its first overseas tour in 2005 and returned to Europe to tour in 2009.  Membership in the choir is open to student of all major by audition. The choir is touring this spring, click HERE for the full schedule and details.

Kantorei is a small vocal ensemble which sings a wide variety music and makes many off-campus appearances. Literature can consist of Christmas carols, madrigals, jazz standards, part songs, and a host of other styles. Membership is selected by the director from the students in the Grand View Choir.

Grand View Instrumental Opportunities 
Grand View offers individual and group instrumental performance opportunities. The instrumental music large ensemble performs a wide variety of music from the middle ages to contemporary compositions. Smaller groups are formed for various performances including pep band and to accompany choral pieces. Membership is open to students of all majors.

The Grand View Band is comprised of music majors, music minors, and interested non majors.  We perform for the World Food Prize ceremony, Family Day and Julefest in the fall, a spring concert in March, along with playing at the Spring Soiree, Honors Convocation and Commencement.
The Pep Band is made up of people from the Grand View Band and plays at football and basketball games.
Jazz Combo performs at the spring concert and the Spring Soiree.



Students in the Grand View Music Department are encouraged to complete optional internships.  Internships are available in recording studios and art management.  Students following the Music Education program of study will complete 2 semesters of practicum and one semester of student teaching.