Welcome from the Music Department Chair

The art of music can be either a great force for good or a great force for evil. But, when viewed as a treasured gift lovingly bestowed on humanity by God, the Creator, music becomes a sacred trust demanding reflection, understanding and stewardship if one is to maximize this gift. Since God created humankind and music, it should be the thankful joy of Christian musicians to use music in an offering of gratitude for the gift given, an offering refined through dedicated, disciplined study and informed and methodical practice. Please remember that attitude and motivation are critical factors to the success of a musician. The practice room can be a lonely place but is also the place where you develop your skills and where you demonstrate the level of dedication you have to your art. It is our desire, at Washington Adventist University, to provide you with the best possible musical education so that you might better be prepared to add your musical talents in praise of the Creator at a time when the cacophony of the human struggle tends to obliterate the rightful place of music, as extended prayer, in the world.


Preston Hawes, Assistant Professor of Violin at Washington Adventist University, is interviewed by Spectrum Magazine online on continuing the legacy of the late Dr. Virginia-Gene Rittenhouse, WAU Professor Emeriti.  link - http://spectrummagazine.org/article/alita-byrd/2012/09/04/touring-shadow-virginia-gene-rittenhouse

Michael PattersonMichael Patterson, a senior music piano performance major at Washington Adventist University, and aspiring composer and orchestral conductor spent his summer in South Africa and California - but not at the beach.

After performing as principal oboe and piano soloist with the New England Youth Ensemble in over 25 concerts in South Africa during the month of June, Michael returned to his home in central California and immediately began organizing a concert for his 73-piece ensemble, the PianoForte Symphony Orchestra, first organized by Michael when he was just 18 years old.

South Africa Music Trip 2From Takoma Park to Pretoria, Washington Adventist University’s Collegiate Choral and New England Youth Ensemble, serve and inspire through the gift of music.

On their fifth visit to South Africa this summer, partly sponsored by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, the group performed at the University of South Africa, Pretoria; Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg; University of the Free State, Bloemfontein; and Stellenbosch University. Concerts were also given in four cathedrals – St. George’s, Cape Town; St. Michael and St. George, Grahamstown; St. Michael and All Angels, Queenstown; and St. Paul’s, Durban, among others.

“It was a really great experience” said senior religion and music major, Ramone Griffith. “The concerts were well attended, but getting to interact with the people was one of my favorite parts of this tour.”

On Friday February 17, at 1pm, Grammy award winning conductor Herbert Blomstedt gave a 2 hour lecture and Q&A to a small but intent crowd of approximately 25 in the rehearsal hall of the newly constructed Leroy and Lois Peters Music Center. One of the worlds most respected and revered orchestral directors he is still vibrant and strong at the age of 84, directing the NSO in a series of 3 concerts at the Kennedy Center that weekend.

Sporting a black eye from a minor fall shortly before the first concert, Blomstedt light heartedly opened the session assuring the audience that his black eye was not a result of the critics taking issue with his interpretation of Brukner the night before. Far from it, the critics raved.

Department Contact

Dr. James Bingham, Chair
Phone: 301-891-4025
E-mail: jbingham@wau.edu
Peters Music Center, Room 103

Music Information