CWU Department of Music
Phone: (509) 963-1216
Fax: (509) 963-1239

Important Information

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July 30, 2020

Dear music students, 

Although the instrumental ensemble directors have been anticipating a return to performing together in-person, current trends point toward online instruction as being the most appropriate mode for Fall quarter. Here are some additional details: 

  • Course fees will be waived for Wind Ensemble (MUS 266, 466, 566), Marching/Concert Band (MUS 287, 487, 587) and Symphony Orchestra (MUS 277, 477, 577)
  • The content of the courses will include a performance aspect in the form of a virtual ensemble.
  • Students should continue to prepare audition material for ensemble placement. 
  • !!! This decision does not impact Big Band…just orchestra, wind ensemble, and marching/concert band !!!

We are looking forward to a time when we can play together in a healthy and safe manner. We hope for this return in Winter quarter. 

Nikolas Caoile, Paul Bain, and T. André Feagin

July 28, 2020

Our webmaster will not be available to post updates during August. Please check your CWU email for any updates from the department and university. 

July 23, 2020

Due to social distancing guidelines:

  • Practice room time for Fall 2020 will be limited. Rooms will be reserved via a sign-up sheet with time to air out between users.
  • Lockers and instruments will be checked out by use of an online form submission / e-signature contract return process.

A more detailed policy will be released before classes resume in the fall.

July 22, 2020


Please welcome our new band director Dr. T. André Feagin who is coming to us from Colorado State University:


Dr. T. André Feagin previously served as assistant director of bands and assistant professor of music at Colorado State University. Prior to this appointment, he served as director of bands at Coastal Carolina University (South Carolina) and associate director of bands at the University of Texas at El Paso. His secondary teaching experience includes serving as director of bands at Watkins Overton High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (Tennessee).

July 21, 2020

Marching Band for the Fall quarter has been canceled.  Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Bands will begin with the start of classes.  See the website for audition information.

July 1, 2020

Due to the many changes we are facing from the Corona virus and required social distancing guidlines, we have assembled the following list for Fall 2020.

CWU Music technology and equipment recommendations for Fall 2020 

June 29, 2020

This page contains links to websites outside of . The views and opinions expressed on unofficial pages of Central Washington University faculty, staff or students are strictly those of the page authors. The content of such pages has not been reviewed or approved by Central Washington University.

The CWU Orchestra was invited to perform at the 2020 Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago.  This year’s conference is canceled, and Midwest has extended the invitation for the CWU Orchestra to perform at the 2021 Conference.

June 26, 2020

General Info

The university has 20,000 cloth facemasks in stock ready for fall distribution. With CWU requiring that students wear masks, this will be enforced in our building as well as in any face-to-face class meetings.  Exceptions are only for those who play wind instruments during a rehearsal (that is observing safe distancing).

The university is asking residential students to stay in Ellensburg for the ten-weeks of the fall quarter.

They are working on a plan for a phased move-in plan for students living in the residence halls.

This fall, the music building will have one-way traffic patterns in our building, along with clear entrance doors and exits.  The red chairs will be moved to storage, and the student lounge locked.  We are encouraging students to not linger in our building (this is what we must do, not what we want to do).

We are assuming that we will have an adequate number of hand sanitizer stations available in our building.  We have also requested sanitizing wipes for practice rooms and classrooms.

Weather permitting, outdoor class meetings, and practice will be encouraged.

Practice rooms

First-floor practice rooms will be available to be reserved during odd hours and second floor during even hours.  For those with slow or no internet, several practice rooms will be available for virtual lessons.  Some of these practice rooms will have computers that students can use, and others will have active ethernet plugins that students can plug their personal computers into (for virtual lessons only).  Social distancing requirements will only allow one person at a time to use a practice room.


We are planning on having recitals in the fall with the allowable audience/social distancing.  Students will be able to reserve seats for their families according to the max allowed in the concert or recital hall. Individual studios may have different requirements, and this will be up to each applied instructor. No recitals will be scheduled for fall until September 9.

Building hours and music office hours

Staff will be working remotely as much as possible, so the music office will have posted hours that may vary from week to week.  We will try to keep the building open during its regular hours; however, if social distancing is not respected, we will have to consider closing the building each evening and on weekends.

Convocation and recital attendance

The faculty waived this requirement for the fall quarter.  For those of you who want to make up scans from the past or want to get ahead, you will still have the opportunity to write papers. Please work with Dr. Caoile to do this.



All classes will be online, and the music building will remain closed through August 31.

Fall Schedule Proposal from the President

Even though it is not official yet, the President has suggested the following change in the fall schedule with an early start. 

Here is the recommended schedule:

Classes begin Wednesday, September 9

Last day of fall quarter classes Friday, November 13

Finals are scheduled for November 17-20

Fall Quarter

Each department has developed an alternate schedule for the fall quarter that will be implemented and posted when registration for fall opens up.  This alternative schedule includes in-person, hybrid, and online classes.  Remember that when scheduling classes, we need to respect any faculty who feel that they are too compromised to offer in-person classes.  Here is a summary of our fall classes:

Our fall schedule includes online theory, online history, online music education classes, hybrid methods classes, online general education, online piano class, mostly hybrid lessons (with some being all online), choirs all online (possibly with some small group work), hybrid instrumental ensembles with online and small group work (maybe evolving to larger groups as restrictions ease up).  There is no word on Marching Band or if we will have football, but it is doubtful that we could have 240 students in a group together fall quarter.

We have discussed using classrooms for applied lessons and a new procedure for practice room usage.  We are scheduling recitals for the fall quarter.  As long as the rules don’t get stricter, we will be able to have a limited audience.  There are still a lot of “what ifs” to answer regarding the fall quarter.

Recital scans for fall quarter 

The faculty decided to waive the recital/convocation attendance requirement for the fall quarter.  This means that we will add these scans to your total for the fall quarter automatically.  If you are behind on your scans, then you can use the online method that was used spring quarter to make-up some of these scans (Dr. Caoile can give you more information).


It looks like the University will be offering a virtual graduation for this year’s graduates.  The music department would like to do something special for our graduates as well, and you’ll be hearing more about this from Dr. Ms. Neurohr.


Mr. Norfleet announced his departure earlier this spring, and more recently, Dr. Pickett and Ms. Pickett announced their retirement.  The Pickett’s have been with our department for many years. They are part of the many successes that our department has experienced over the years.  While we want to congratulate the Pickett’s on their retirement and Mr. Norfleet on his new adventure, we are going to miss them here in the music department family.  We are currently conducting searches to replace both the band position and the piano position.  Both of these positions will be visiting professors for one year, and we hope to conduct national searches next year for permanent positions. With the international reputation of our department, we expect to attract the best artist/teachers in the country and have them in place for the fall quarter.


Fall Quarter Private Lessons

We know that the uncertainty of the fall is beginning to weigh on everyone's minds, especially when it comes to lessons.  As of this date, it is still too soon to know what private lessons will look like this fall.  We are at the mercy of the state in terms of distancing and other public health guidelines.  Faculty have already begun conversations about state and university policies on social distance, building and office/studio logistics, protective measures on sanitizing and equipment like plastic shields and masks, practice room access, recital options, and similar ways of making lessons as productive as possible.  We will post more details as they are decided, but we ask everyone to trust that we will always look for the best balance of things that will allow us to give you the best musical and technical education in the safest, most responsible, and health-conscious ways we can.



One of our biggest questions for the fall quarter is, will ensembles be able to meet face-to-face?

Remember that as of this message, there have been no decisions about the delivery of instruction at CWU for the fall quarter.  That being said, we believe that it will be challenging for large groups to meet face-to-face fall quarter.  If classes are allowed to meet, they will more likely be hybrid with a portion of the class meeting in person and a part of the course being offered online.

As we know, ensembles do not meet in a traditional classroom environment.  Our band, orchestra, choir, jazz band, and opera directors are all members of international organizations (in their respective areas) that are having conversations about how we can move forward in the fall with our ensembles. There are some very creative ideas floating around, but every university is different, so there is no one answer that will address every concern.  

We also still have a lot to learn about proper social distancing in an ensemble rehearsal/performance environment. Currently, we hear so many theories and findings that it is not easy to determine what information is sound.  Is proper social distancing for a choir 20 feet?  Today, we saw a report that moisture in the air still contained the virus eight minutes after someone with the virus yelled in a room.

Hopefully, our colleagues and experts around the country will be able to filter this information and offer guidelines for a safe rehearsal.  Currently, if we are allowed to meet in some capacity, we have a plan to work with small sections at the beginning of the quarter in hopes that as the quarter progresses, we will be able to put sections together and eventually be able to offer a final concert with the full group at the end of the quarter.

As we said before, no decisions have been made regarding the fall quarter, but whatever decision is made; this will not be a “normal” fall.


Marching Band

We are receiving questions about the marching band.  Just like all of our fall classes, we have made no decisions regarding the marching band in the fall.  Until decisions are made by the university, we are moving forward with our typical planning for fall classes.  

For the marching band, this means that you will sign up for the marching band class and you will receive information about fall quarter rehearsals and performances.  The marching band typically begins the year with a two-day camp (before classes begin) where they begin learning the music and work on marching fundamentals.  Once classes begin, they rehearse in the afternoons and perform at all home football games.  

For more information about the marching band, contact Professor Paul Bain at


It’s mid-quarter, and we will soon be finishing our first ever online quarter. With the decision that all summer classes will be offered online and all summer camps are canceled, the question on everyone’s mind is what has been decided for the fall quarter? The honest answer is, we do not know, no decisions have been made. We all want to be back on our beautiful campus with our typical face-to-face instruction, but we know that whatever decisions are made, fall quarter will be different.

All of the departments in our college have been asked to develop a “plan B” for the fall quarter. Plan “A” would be a typical face-to-face quarter. Plan “C” would be all online instruction. So a “plan B” would be something between the two, which would be some face-to-face, some hybrid, and some online teaching. So far, all of our fall planning has been thinking through “what if” situations. As the chair of the department, my every thought is consumed with the “what if” questions. 

if you are a student and are considering not enrolling, or taking a gap year in response to any decisions that are made regarding the fall quarter, I encourage you to reach out to your applied professor and Dr. Ms. Neurohr before you make any decisions. This conversation will help you make an informed decision and understand any possible repercussions of your choice.