Clark's Music program offers students an abundance of experiences in music theory, instrumental and vocal performance training, music appreciation and music history.
Courses are designed to prepare the music major for advanced studies while providing the non-major with the skills and background to enjoy music as a cultural pursuit.
The Clark College Music Department hosts a variety of concerts and programs, like the annual Jazz Festival, that are open to the public and most are free.
For show information and concert dates, visit our music events page.
Degrees and Certificates
Develop Your Musical Talent at Clark
At Clark, faculty bring professional experience to help develop a student's interests while building a foundation of musical aptitude for a rewarding career in the arts. Areas of focus include concert band, jazz ensemble, orchestra, and choir. If you are interested in a specific area, we encourage you to contact the music department staff to assess your needs and goals.
Courses: MUSC 180, 181, 182, 280, 281, 282
Open to students with experience performing on brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. The Clark College Concert Band performs a wide spectrum of standard concert band and contemporary wind ensemble literature in a minimum of one concert per quarter. Topics include musical excellence, and skills for teamwork and leadership.
No auditions are necessary to enroll, but the student must be able to perform on their instrument at a level commensurate with the difficulty level of the music being performed. Before enrolling, students may also be asked to meet with the director and/or provide a recommendation from a prior music director or musical peer of the instructor’s discretion, in order to assess if the student’s goals are appropriate for the overall goals and needs of the Clark Bands.
Dr. Doug Harris, Director of Bands
Courses: MUSC 195, 196, 197, 295, 296, 297
Open to students who perform on saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, piano, bass, and drum set. Topics include performance techniques of jazz styles and repertoire and introduction to a wide variety of jazz subjects from improvisation and jazz history to understanding Latin/Afro-Cuban jazz rhythm. Additional topics include musical excellence and skills for teamwork and leadership. Jazz improvisation skills are not required, but strong music reading skills are required and instrumentation in the ensemble is limited.
Acceptance into the ensemble will be assessed at the beginning of the term by audition. Students may also be asked to meet with the director and/or provide a recommendation from a prior music director or musical peer of the instructor’s discretion in order to assess if the student’s goals are appropriate for the overall goals and needs of the Clark Bands.
Dr. Doug Harris, Director of Bands
Women's Choral Ensemble, Chorale, Concert Choir
Courses: MUSC 137, 138, 139, 237, 238, 239, 153, 154, 155, 253, 254, 255, 183, 184, 185, 283, 284, 285
There are three choirs at Clark College. Membership in all three choirs occurs either by audition (see attached audition evaluation) or by interview/recommendation. The Choir Director will accept vocalists by requesting prospective choir members to perform a pre-chosen piece indicative of the level of skill necessary, by interview, or by recommendation.
Students will be contacted by the choir director for an audition/interview to determine acceptance for that term. Vocal balance in each choir is essential to the success of the choir; therefore, the needs of the choirs are fluid. Students interested in singing in a Clark College choir are encouraged to contact the director before the beginning of each term to determine needs of the choir for current or future terms.
Dr. Jacob Funk, Director of Choirs
Courses: MUSC 150, 151, 152, 250, 251, 252
The Clark College Orchestra is a collaborative music organization composed of students, faculty, and community members. The Orchestra Conductor will accept musicians by requesting prospective members to play a pre-chosen piece indicative of the level skill necessary, by interview, or by recommendation. Students who enroll in MUSC& 150, 151, 152, 250, 251, 252 will be contacted by the conductor for an audition/interview to determine acceptance for that term.
Each term the music selections for the Orchestra change, and therefore the needs of the Orchestra are fluid. We encourage all students interested in the Orchestra to contact the conductor before the beginning of term to determine Orchestra needs for current or future terms.
Dr. Don Appert, Music Department Chair, Orchestra Music Director
There are several scholarships available for music majors and for students taking various music courses. Scholarships are based on several factors including financial need, GPA, and number of credits.
Please contact Dr. Don Appert for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-992-2195.
Employment opportunities for Musicians exist in a variety of formats: professional performer, composer, conductor, music educator, and administrator/salesperson/director in a music related business.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment forecasts for Musicians are projected to grow at a rate of 4%, with a median wage in the Portland-Vancouver metro area estimated at $21.29.