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Music Programs

From workshops and events featuring some of the nation’s finest musicians to numerous opportunities to participate and enjoy the sounds of the SWCC Ensembles and the Community Chorus, the Music Department at Southwest is a pleasure for all music lovers.
For more information about Music Programs at SWCC, or the Community Chorus and Children’s Choir, please contact:
Dr. Joseph Trivette, Music Department, Dickenson Hall, 276-964-7381,

southwest virginia community college faceboook

About the Music Program at Southwest Virginia Community College

The Music Program serves students and the surrounding community to provide music education and cultural enrichment and experiences

The Music Program offers an Associate of Arts degree with a Music Specialization and an additional Advanced Studies Certificate in Music. Students who graduate from this program are prepared to transfer to the university level as juniors into programs that earn baccalaureate degrees in Music Performance, Music Education, Music Therapy, and Music Industry.

History: From 1970 – 1993, Dr. Sam Schulken directed a very successful music program at Southwest. Numerous music teachers throughout Southwest Virginia owe much to him. The ongoing Schulken legacy is evident in our current music program. The Schulken Music Library and Practice Suite houses many volumes of his music as well as the Yamaha grand piano which he donated to SWCC. Significant collections of manuscripts, choral and band material acquired under his leadership make up an important portion of the music library. The music program is also very proud to have a music scholarship named in honor of Dr. Schulken.

The current music program is directed by Dr. Joseph Trivette who came to SWCC in August 2000 as the Albert Endowed Chair of Music. Under Dr. Trivette’s leadership, Southwest Virginia Community College is pleased to continue the legacy and prominence of a music program that is unique among community colleges.

Dr. Joseph Trivette holds the following degrees:
• Ph.D. from Florida State University, 2003 – Music Education, Piano Pedagogy Emphasis.
• M.M. from Appalachian State University,1997 – Music Performance: Piano
• B.M. from Appalachian State University,1993 – Music Education and Performance

Music Classes, Ensembles & Events

At SWCC, music classes include music theory, music history, music appreciation, class piano, voice, piano and instrumental lessons, classic rock and country guitar, and jazz improvisation.  Due to the freedom of an individualized program design, Dr. Trivette is able to match students with expert musicians/teachers from the area and beyond, to create unique opportunities for music students. For instance, piano majors at Southwest are able to take private lessons from Pavlina Dokovska of Mannes College of Music, (New York). She and many other guest faculty members are world-class performers.

Ensembles at Southwest include the SWCC Community Chorus, SWCC Jazz Vocal Ensemble, SWCC Jazz Ensemble, and Southwest Virginia Children’s Choir. Under the direction of Dr. Trivette, SWCC choirs have performed at Duke Chapel, the Washington National Cathedral and Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington, D.C., St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Church of St. Mary the Virgin, and Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York.

Successful events presented by the SWCC Music Program include SWCC Band Day, Jazz-America’s Music program, and Chamber Music Institute. There are also the SWCC Recital Series and solo and duo/trio piano recitals. Student ensembles and soloists perform on the campus of the college and at numerous community and private events.

The Music Program also is a vital partner in the Southwest Virginia Community College Festival of the Arts each spring. This program brings professional musicians from all over the world to perform for our community, provide lessons and guidance for our students, and even accompany them in festival events.

2018 music program graduates
Music Program Graduates l-r Tracey Brooks, Hannah Burks, Bethany Dye, Tyler Stilwell, and Hunter Sparks.
Southwest Virginia Children's Chorus sings for worship at first presbyterian church norfolk virginia
The Southwest Virginia Children’s Choir sings for worship at First Presbyterian Church, Norfolk, Virginia.
childrens choir
Southwest Virginia Childrens Choir Sings on the USS Wisconsin,Norfolk VA Memorial Day Weekend 2018
swcc swings jazz cover

Nobody Swings Like Southwest Virginia Community College has arrived and we couldn’t be more pleased! Copies are available for $10 each and the proceeds go to the SWCC Music Program!

SWCC Community Chorus and Children’s Choir

The Community Chorus practice begins each fall in September and is active in providing choral programs for holidays and special events in the community throughout the year. Enroll in MUS 137, Chorus, a 1 credit class.

The Chorus meets for practice beginning in September each Monday from 7-9 pm in Dickenson Hall.

children chorus
Children’s Chorus – Duke University Performance
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Davis Hall is temporarily closed for repairs. Day & night classes in Davis Hall are canceled on April 17 & 18.