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Pursuing a Career in Music?

Our vision is to grow continually as a comprehensive music program, with pre-professional training opportunities, that prepares students to excel as thoughtful, resourceful, and responsible citizens with a passion for serving God, the Church, and the world. Music majors are prepared to pursue careers in performance, music education, and music ministry.

Music students must choose one Track within the music program: Applied Music, Music Education Vocal/General, or Music Education/Instrumental. Music Education students can choose to add Grades K-12 licensure in order to be prepared to teach in public schools.

The music department produces several major concerts each year and numerous smaller programs in churches, schools, and civic organizations. The department encourages student participation in national conferences and festivals and prepares students for internships with music professionals in the community. The department frequently invites guest artists to campus for performances and workshops to enhance students’ growth as musicians and music educators.

The B.A. in Music is designed to educate students in all areas of musical arts in an academically rigorous and pre-professional environment that integrates faith, scholarship, service, and career. Our goal is to create distinctive performances and to encourage exploration of our culture through the performance of thought-provoking, challenging, as well as entertaining music.

The Music Education tracks are designed to prepare highly qualified, entry-level professional music educators. Graduates will exhibit academic and technical competence and appreciation for diverse abilities and cultures in school, community, and professional settings.

In addition, a minor in music is offered at King to allow students who are interested in studying music to participate and learn while pursuing other degrees.

Participation in some ensembles is open to all students, regardless of major.

Be an essential member of the following:

  • Symphonic Winds
  • Jazz Band
  • Instrumental Chamber Ensembles
  • King Chorale
  • Small Choral Ensemble (audition only)
  • Individual applied lessons are offered in every area (woodwinds, brass, percussion, voice, piano, organ)
"The music education program at King University not only prepared me for the workplace, but it transformed me into a whole new musician. I entered the program with a passion for music, and while I left the program with that same passion, it was blossoming like never before."
Adam McCracken, 2014
March of the Belgian Paratroopers by Pierre Leemans King University Instrumental Ensembles Concert - March of the Belgian Paratroopers by Pierre Leemans
Lux Aurumque by Eric Whitacre King University Instrumental Ensembles Concert - Lux Aurumque by Eric Whitacre
Giles Farnaby Suite for wind band by Gordon Jacob King University Instrumental Ensembles Concert - Giles Farnaby Suite for wind band by Gordon Jacob
Enchanted Spaces by Samuel Hazo King University Instrumental Ensembles Concert - Enchanted Spaces by Samuel Hazo
Tenor Madness by Sonny Rollins King University Jazz Band presents Tenor Madness by Sonny Rollins
Perdido by Duke Ellington King University Jazz Band presents Perdido by Duke Ellington
Moment’s Notice by John Coltrane King University Jazz Band presents Moment’s Notice by John Coltrane
Blue Skies by Irving Berlin King University Jazz Band presents Blue Skies by Irving Berlin

Music Coursework

  • To view all required courses for a BA in Music, click here.
  • To view all required courses for a Minor in Music, click here.
  • To view course descriptions, click here.


Questions? Contact our faculty.
Susan Nicholson
Assistant Professor, Chair, Department of Music and Director of Instrumental Studies

Adjunct Faculty

  • B.M. Violin Performance, University of Maryland
  • M.M. Violin Performance, Florida State University
  • D.M. Musical Arts in Violin Performance, Florida State University

Dr. Marianna Brickle is an orchestral and chamber musician, recitalist, and educator based in Johnson City, Tennessee. In the summer, she is on faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan, where she teaches aspiring young violinists and performs with faculty ensembles. During the year, she is Music Director of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Johnson City, and staff pianist for Milligan University. She performs with the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra, and the Symphony of the Mountains. Before relocating in 2020, Marianna was a contracted violinist for the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Ocala Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Gulf Coast, and Valdosta Symphony. She also has played with the Fairfax Symphony and Ashlawn Opera Festival in Virginia. She is an alumna of the National Orchestral Institute, Brevard Music Center, Round Top Institute and Festival, and the Duxbury Music Festival in Massachusetts.

Marianna holds both Doctor and Master of Music degrees in Violin Performance from Florida State University where she served as assistant to Corinne Stillwell. Additionally, she holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance from the University of Maryland where she studied with David Salness. During her studies at UMD, she worked with members of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Guarneri String Quartet. In 2016, Marianna was on the faculty of the FSU String Orchestra Camp, and in the summers of 2014 and 2015, was a Marian Anderson String Quartet Teaching Fellow.

Marianna performs with her husband David Brickle as the Brickle Duo. They have performed together as guests of CUNY Staten Island, and in Puerto Rico as guests of Puerto Rico Baptist College. In 2020, they performed for the Wiregrass Music Teacher’s Association in Alabama, and in 2021 gave a virtual faculty recital at Milligan University. Marianna enjoys programing lesser-known American music alongside more traditional classics. Her treatise, “Rooted in America: the Roy Harris and Henry Cowell Sonatas for Violin and Piano,” offers both historical and musical analysis of two overlooked pieces of the violin/piano repertoire.

  • B.S. Music Education, Tennessee Tech University
  • Work towards a M.M.E. at East Tennessee State University

Mr. Steven Cooper (adjunct Instrumental Music Instructor), is from Kingsport, TN and is a graduate of Sullivan Central High School, Blountville, TN (1981). Mr. Cooper received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education, K-12, from Tennessee Technological University in 1990. He studied Trumpet under Dr. Charles Decker. While working toward his BS degree Mr. Cooper marched for the Spirit of Atlanta (1981) and Cavaliers (1983) Drum and Bugle Corps, Soprano Bugle and was/is highly sought out as field show designer and trumpet instructor. Upon graduation from college Mr. Cooper taught the next 30 years for the Sullivan County School System as Middle School Band and Orchestra Director and assistant High School Band Director. Duties also included school web designer, computer/network tech coach and Astronomy Enrichment classes. Mr. Cooper retired from Sullivan County Schools in 2018 and is now adjunct at King.

Mr. Cooper is currently performing as Lead Trumpet for the Tri-Cities Jazz Orchestra as well as the Jonesborough Rhythm Express and Jonesborough Repertory Theater. As adjunct brass instructor at King, Mr. Cooper also performs with various King instrumental and vocal ensembles.

  • Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.), East Tennessee State University
  • M.M., University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Jane DeLoach Morison received her Bachelor of Music Education (summa cum laude) from East Tennessee State University where she was twice named Most Outstanding Music Student. She received the Master of Music degree in Performance Studies (piano) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and has completed further study at L’académie de musique de Sion in Switzerland.

As Artistic Director of the Mountain Empire Children’s Choral Academy choirs under her direction have performed at places as diverse as Carnegie Hall, the Festival of the Aegean (Greece), Ireland, American Choral Director Association divisional and state conferences, and the Bristol Motor Speedway.

Morison is on the faculty at King University and the Virginia Suzuki Institute, and has directed and taught at Emory & Henry College, the Montreat Worship and Music Conference, Barter Theatre Youth Academy, and the UNC-Greensboro and ETSU Summer Piano Camps. Morison currently serves as the Virginia ACDA State Membership Chairman.

Morison is in demand as a choir clinician, a pianist, and a vocalist. For her work in the performing arts and music education she was honored by Minds Wide Open: Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts (2010), and Virginia Celebrates Children in the Arts (2012). In 2019 she was the recipient of an AAME Arts Achievement Award.

  • B.M.E. Music Education, Winthrop University
  • M.M. Percussion Performance, University of Miami
  • D.M.A. Musical Arts in Percussion Performance, University of North Texas

Dr. Jason Nicholson is a multi-faceted percussionist and educator based in Logan, UT. He is Associate Professor of Percussion at Utah State University (USU), where he has taught since 2009. Equally, at home in the world of classical percussion, drum set, and world percussion, Dr. Nicholson has been described as “a gifted performing artist and highly-regarded percussion pedagogue.”

Dr. Nicholson is a highly in-demand performer in many genres including solo, chamber, orchestral, world music, rock/pop, and jazz. He recently appeared as a featured performer with the Aggie Music Project (USU’s faculty jazz ensemble) at several internationally renowned jazz festivals, including the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Umbria Jazz Festival, the Viennes Jazz Festival. He was also a featured performer at the 2015 World Saxophone Congress in Strasbourg, France. Dr. Nicholson has worked as an active freelancer in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, and Utah, including in performances with the Corey Christiansen Trio, Charles Craig Trio, and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. He can be heard performing drum set and percussion on numerous recordings such as Nate Ostemiller’s, If I Should Care; The Aggie Music Project’s, Starless Night; the USU Chamber Singers’, Devotion; and with the University of North Texas Wind Symphony on their Percussion Palooza (with the UNT percussion faculty and Keiko Abe), Altered States, and Transformations.

Dr. Nicholson has received many awards throughout his career, including the Caine College of the Arts (CCA) Teacher of the Year (2019), the CCA Researcher of the Year (2013), the Outstanding Graduate Percussionist of the Year at the University of North Texas (2006), Award for Academic Merit at the University of Miami, and the Presser Award for an outstanding undergraduate music major from Winthrop University. Dr. Nicholson received a Bachelor’s in Music Education from Winthrop University, a Master’s in Percussion Performance from the University of Miami, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Percussion Performance from the University of North Texas. He has studied with many well-known pedagogues; his major teachers include B. Michael Williams, Rick Dior, Mark Ford, Christopher Deane, Ed Soph, Robert Schietroma, Keith Aleo, Ed Smith, Jose Aponte, Poovalur Sriji, Fred Wickstrom, Steve Rucker, Louis Abbott, Steve Bagby, Peyton Becton, and Carol Stumpf. He is a D’Addario Performing Artist, a Tama/Bergerault Educational Artist, a Zildjian Educational Artist, and is a member of the Black Swamp Educational Team.

  • Bachelor of Music (B.M.), Westminster Choir College
  • M.M. Manhattan School of Music

Kathryn Thomas holds a Master of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music, where she was the recipient of a full merit scholarship, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey where she was a recipient of the James E. Thomson Award for Vocal Excellence.

Ms. Thomas toured with The National Opera Company in the role of Mimì in Puccini’s La Bohème and performed the role of Emilia in the American Premiere of Handel’s Flavio at the Westminster Opera Theater.  Among many solo recitals and concerts is her European debut as soprano soloist in Fauré’s Requiem at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy under the direction of Joseph Flummerfelt.  Ms. Thomas has participated for 10 summers in the Spoleto Festival in Spoleto, Italy where she worked with composer Gian Carlo Menotti in several of his operas and choral works, including a video recording of Amahl and the Night Visitors.  She is a featured soloist on the recording, O Magnum Mysterium, in which Joseph Flummerfelt “reunited some of the Westminster Choir’s most talented singers from recent years.”  Ms. Thomas again joined other Westminster Choir alumni in the making of Like As A Hart.

Ms. Thomas has appeared as guest soloist in the Singing City Choir Anniversary Concert in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with the Kingsport Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Tennessee, with the Bristol Concert Choir and Orchestra in Bristol, Virginia, with the Pennsbury Community Chorus in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and most recently with the Leipzig Youth Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig, Germany. A highlight for her was singing for Dame Joan Sutherland at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia.  Ms. Thomas has appeared as a soloist in many performances at the Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City.  She was also a member of the chorus of the Opera Company of Philadelphia. 

Ms. Thomas has been on the voice faculty at Cairn University, The College of New Jersey, Bucks County Community College, and Washington & Lee University.