The Department of Music offers a diverse program of musical studies, including appreciation, history/literature and theory courses, as well as ensembles and applied music lessons at all levels in voice, piano, organ, harpsichord, stringed instruments, brass, woodwind and percussion instruments.

The music department works with students as individuals and in groups to develop performance skills and knowledge of music theory, history and literature. Music students share a personal relationship with faculty whose work as teachers, performers and scholars keeps them and their students in touch with the realities of today’s musical world.

Music majors may choose one of three areas of concentration: music education, performance and history/literature-theory. The music education concentration culminates in student teaching and certification. The performance concentration requires a senior recital, and the history/literature-theory involves a completing a major research project. As a result of their learning in classes, individual lessons and ensembles, graduates are well-prepared to teach in K-12 schools, graduate study in music, or continued avocational participation in music as members of ensembles or as individual performers.

Latest News

PIanists Moschenross and Andrews

Piano recital opens Chamber Music and Jazz series Friday

Guest pianists Ian Moschenross and Julia Andrews will present the season’s first concert in the Chamber Music and Jazz at Ripon series Friday at Ripon […]

Music instructor Andrew Schaeffer will perform virtually June 23

Adjunct Instructor of Music Andrew Schaeffer, organist, will be featured in a hybrid virtual/live performance Wednesday, June 23, at Sinsinawa Mound in Sinsinawa, Wisconsin. The […]

2021 Distinguished Educator Award to be presented to Sandra Polcyn

Sandra Polcyn will receive the 2021 Distinguished Educator Award during Ripon College’s Commencement. While the ceremony is limited to graduates and their families, the event […]


A headshot of Erin Bryan.

Bryan, Erin K.

Assistant Professor of Music and Voice Area Coordinator

[email protected]

Adjunct Instructor of Music Mishan Han

Han, Mishan

Adjunct Instructor of Music, Orchestra Conductor

[email protected]

Jessica Jensen posing with her trumpet

Jensen, Jessica A.

Adjunct Instructor of Music (Brass)

[email protected]

man with a conducting stick

Mackenzie, Deb

Adjunct Instructor of Music (Piano)

William Nelson

Nelson, William

Adjunct Instructor of Music (Saxophone)

[email protected]

Sandra Polcyn

Polcyn, Sandra

Adjunct Instructor of Music (Oboe, Bassoon)

[email protected]

Sackman, Marc

Adjunct Instructor of Music (Flute)

[email protected]

Toby Shucha Portrait

Shucha, Tobin C.

Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Music Education and Bands

[email protected]

Charles Stephan

Stephan, Charles

Adjunct Instructor of Music (Cello, Bass)

[email protected]

Truesdale, Todd

Adjunct Instructor of Music (Percussion, Voice, Musicology)

[email protected]


Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. We also work collaboratively with Ripon College Career and Professional Development to help match your interests and skills to concrete goals and construct a plan for professional success offering personalized career counseling, off-campus learning opportunities and an online job board with potential to connect with local, national and international employers. Our collaboration with Student Support Services provides tutoring and additional academic and skill development, as well as tools to help with note-taking, exam preparation, goal-setting and time management. Likewise, Mentors in the Franzen Center provide in-depth, one-on-one or group mentoring for students about class projects and college-level writing, and can share problem-solving strategies to overcome academic obstacles.

Advising at Ripon

Off-Campus Study

Studying off-campus, whether internationally or domestically in the United States, is an experience bound to change your view of the world. In general, full-time students in good academic standing are eligible to apply for admission to off-campus programs.

Learn more about Off-Campus Study


Requirements for a major in Music | 48 credits in music, including the following:

  • MUS 010 (5 semesters): Recital Attendance (0 credits)
  • MUS 111: Foundations in Music (4 credits)
  • MUS 121: Music Theory I (4 credits)
  • MUS 221: Music Theory II (4 credits)
  • MUS 330: Music History 1400–1750 (4 credits)
  • MUS 331: Music History 1750–1900 (4 credits)
  • MUS 332: Music History 1900–present (4 credits)
  • 6 semesters of lessons: MUS 100, 140, 240, 150, or 250.
    Cannot include piano lessons or lessons at the 050 level. (6 credits)
  • 4 semesters of MUS 102 or piano lessons– MUS 150:09, or
    250:09. (4 credits)
  • 6 semesters of ensembles– MUS 190 (6 credits)
  • MUS 500. Can choose either recital or project option. (2 credits)
  • At least 6 additional credits in Music (6 credits)

Requirements for a minor in Music | 22 credits in music, including the following:

  • MUS 010 (3 semesters): Recital Attendance (0 credits)
  • MUS 111: Foundations in Music (4 credits)
  • MUS 121: Music Theory I (4 credits)
  • 2 music history courses (MUS 330, 331, or 332) (8 credits)
  • 1 semester of lessons– MUS 100, 102, 140, 240, 150, or
    250. Cannot include lessons at the 050 level. (1 credit)
  • 1 semester of ensembles– MUS 190 (1 credit)
  • At least 4 additional credits in Music (4 credits)

Career Tracks

Music majors from Ripon College have successfully pursued careers in public school and studio teaching, performance, higher education, church music, and other professional fields.

Unique Opportunities

  • Through the Department of Educational Studies, certification in instrumental music, choral music and general music is available in early childhood/adolescence (birth-grade 12).
  • Students of any discipline, on the basis of audition, can participate in Chamber Singers, Choral Union, Jazz Ensemble, Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Orchestra.
  • Chamber Singers tours annually over spring break.


Choral Union

Choral UnionRipon College’s Choral Union is open to students, faculty, staff, and community members and presents at least one concert per semester. Through the ensemble’s repertoire, singers are exposed to a variety of musical styles, time periods, languages, instrumental collaborations, and high-quality texts. Additionally, Choral Union frequently performs with other ensembles. Recent collaborations not only include the college’s orchestra and Chamber Singers, but also the Green Bay Civic Symphony. Highlights of the 2014–15 season include Brahms’s Schicksalslied, Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, and Thompson’s Frostiana. Please contact Dr. John C. Hughes, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities, for more information ([email protected]; 920.748.8788).

Chamber Singers

Chamber SingersChamber Singers is Ripon College’s premier choral ensemble and is open to students of all majors through a rigorous audition process. Chamber Singers primarily performs advanced unaccompanied literature; however, instruments occasionally join in performance. The ensemble presents at least one major concert per semester, as well as several other concerts on and off campus as musical ambassadors for the college. In January 2017, Chamber Singers will tour four Midwestern cities. Please contact Dr. John C. Hughes, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities, for more information ([email protected]; 920.748.8788).

Jazz Ensemble

Jazz EnsembleThe Ripon College Jazz Ensemble is a big band that plays music from the earliest jazz through the most contemporary jazz styles. From within the group, a number of different jazz combos perform as well on the two major Jazz Ensemble concerts each year. Development of improvisation skills is a major goal of the group. The Jazz Ensemble also performs on a pops concert each year and occasionally at off-campus events.

Symphonic Wind Ensemble

Symphonic Wind EnsembleThe Ripon College Symphonic Wind Ensemble is made up of brass, winds and percussion. In recent years, the group has had approximately 50 to 55 members. It is largely a student group, although there are a few community members. The group performs two major concerts each year, as well as a pops concert and a concert of small ensemble music. Literature ranges from band classics from throughout the 20th century to transcriptions of music from other media, marches and lighter fare.


OrchestraUnlike many schools its size, Ripon College has a long-standing, vital College Orchestra. Made up of students and community members, the group puts on two concerts a year that feature orchestral works from all of the style periods of Western music. Concerts often feature guest soloists. Children’s concerts are another type of event that the orchestra puts on with some regularity.



Piano Masterclass with Ian Moschenross and Julia Andrews

Demmer Recital Hall
As part of their Ripon College residency, guest artists Ian Moschenross and Julia Andrews will present a masterclass working with students from Professor Deb MacKenzie’s piano studio. This event is free and open to the public. Join us in Demmer…[...]

Chamber Music & Jazz Series: Ian Moschenross and Julia Andrews, piano

Demmer Recital Hall
Guest artists Ian Moschenross and Julia Andrews join impressive forces on the Demmer Hall Steinway pianos. In a program entitled “Tragedy and Triumph: The C-Minor Piano Concerti of Mozart and Beethoven," Dr. Moschenross and Ms. Andrews will present Mozart’s Concerto…[...]

Brass Masterclass with Demondrae Thurman

Demmer Recital Hall
As part of his Ripon College residency, guest artist Demondrae Thurman will present a masterclass working with students from Dr. Jessica Jensen's brass studio. This event is free and open to the public. Join us in Demmer Recital Hall for…[...]

Chamber & Jazz Series: Demondrae Thurman, Euphonium

Demmer Recital Hall
Join us in Demmer Recital Hall for a recital by Demondrae Thurman, Euphonium.[...]

Chamber Singers & Choral Union Concert

Demmer Recital Hall
Join us in Demmer Recital Hall for our Chamber Singers & Choral Union Concert.[...]