One of the many programs available to aspiring young singers and musicians at Bellevue College is the music department, headed by Chairman Thomas Almli.
Classes in the department typically have small class sizes, allowing students to receive personal attention from instructors. There are also credited private instruction courses available through the college. Through the music department faculty and outside tutors, students are able to receive private instruction and credit at the same time. Bellevue College has courses for complete beginners and programs for budding professionals.
There are a variety of musical courses and three different performance groups which students can participate in. Classes include Music Theory, Music History, Vocal Performance, Guitar and Piano. There are also classes involving music technology and audio production. BC’s vocal jazz ensemble, Celebration, has won several awards and traveled to perform in a variety of venues and festivals in Washington, out-of-state and abroad since its inception in 1977. There is also a concert choir and an instrumental jazz band. All three groups hold private auditions. Contact Thomas Almli for vocal auditions and instrumental coordinator Jim Sisko for the jazz band.
In a recent study done by Stanford University, it was shown that music has a positive effect on the brain. Sisko described music as, “a vehicle of self-expression. It is an extra outlet for creativity. I don’t know what life would be like without music. It is a very important part of our life.”
Bellevue College’s Core Music Theory program is a two-year sequence. Music theory students interested in a four-year music program outside of Bellevue College have the experience necessary and the option to continue as such. Through this course students learn how to compose music and practice good habits for developing musicianship. It is designed to improve students’ sight singing and ear training, two of the key elements to becoming a successful musician.
Another course offered at Bellevue College is MUSC 116, The History of Rock and Roll. This course offers an in-depth history of the genre, from the development of blues to today’s modern rock ‘n’ roll. Jesse Becker, a Running Start student enrolled in the course, remarked, “It is a very interesting class. I’ve always enjoyed rock ‘n’ roll, and now getting to learn about the history is very awesome.” Students learn how to identify different styles of music from various musical traits and characteristics.
On Nov. 7, the music department will be hosting a jazz night. Directed by Almli, the night will feature the Bellevue College Jazz Ensemble with special guest pianist John Hansen.
For more information regarding classes or events hosted by the music department. Visit their website here.