Department of Music

The Music Department aims to provide a flexible career-oriented education to accommodate students' career options within the broad field of music.

The Claflin University Department of Music has been an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 2004, and its degree requirements are in accordance with the latest published regulations of that association. The Music Education Program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).


  • Policies and Procedures for Admission to the Department of Music
    Audition Policy
    Spring 2021 – Adjusted for COVID-19 

    Deadline for Auditions for Fall 2021 entrance: All components must be received and completed by March 26th, 2021 

    Hello Future Claflin Music Student! 

    We are excited for your interest in Claflin and we hope to make your audition process as easy as possible given the exceptional circumstances we are currently experiencing. It is unfortunate that you cannot tour the campus and meet our faculty in person, but we are happy to meet with you through a phone call or video conference if you would like to talk directly with us. You can set up a meeting by contacting the department chair, Dr. Isaiah McGee ( You may also e-mail any of the faculty directly if you have questions about Claflin, the music department, or the audition process. The contact information for the full music faculty can be found on the Claflin University Department of Music website.


    To apply to the Music Department, you will need to 1) complete the music department audition form (this is different from the general Claflin University application), 2) audition, and 3) complete a music theory diagnostic. The deadline for submitting all the components of the application is March 26th, 2021

    All parts of the application can be completed digitally. Detailed instructions are below. If you have questions or need assistance with any of these steps, please contact the Department’s Associate Administrative Assistant, Ms. Chung ( 


    1. Music Department Audition Form
      Complete the audition application form for the Department of Music which can be found on the department website. The completed form can be emailed or faxed to Ms. Chung ( Specific instructions can be found in the document. 
      Audition Form

    2. Audition
      For the audition, you will submit a video of you playing or singing. You may submit one long video of the entire audition or short videos for each section. Below are the audition requirements, followed by some helpful advice on creating and submitting your videos. If you have any questions about the requirements or submitting material, please contact Ms. Chung ( 


    Audition Requirements 

    1) Introduction and Questions 

    At the start of your audition video, introduce yourself and provide some background about your musical experience. Below is a list of questions we would like you to answer. Your answers can be as short or as long as you like, but typically students answer these questions in 3-5 minutes. 

    • What is your name?
    • What is your primary voice/instrument?
    • Do you play/sing anything other than your primary instrument?
    • How long have you been playing/singing?
    • What education have you received?
      • What school do you attend?
      • What school ensembles have you participated in?
      • Have you had private lessons?
      • Do you participate in any church music groups?
      • How comfortable are you reading music notation?
    • Why do you want to come to Claflin?
    • What is your intended major?
    • Why do you want to be in the Music Department?
    • What do you plan to do after you graduate from Claflin?


    2) Scales 

    You will perform scales to demonstrate range and technical ability. The specific requirements are listed below. Before performing each scale, tell us what is. 

    Example: “This is the F major scale, 2 octaves with arpeggio.” 

    • Vocal: Perform a major scale that demonstrates your vocal range
      • You may sing on any syllable you like
    • Piano: At least 2 major scales of your choice
      • One starting on a white key and one starting on a black key
      • Hands together
      • Two octaves
      • Include arpeggios
      • Optional - 2 minor scales (same requirements as above)
    • Instrumental: 2 major scales of your choice and 1 full-range chromatic scale
      • Major scales
        • One sharp key scale and one flat key scale.
        • As many octaves as possible for the key
        • Include arpeggios
        • Comfortable performance range if full range is not possible
      • Chromatic scale
        • Full instrumental range (if possible)


      3) Music 

      You will perform two pieces of contrasting style to demonstrate your musical ability. Before performing each piece, tell us the title and composer. 

      Example: “This is “Alma del core” by Antonio Caldara.” 

      • Vocal and Piano: Perform from memory if possible 
      • Instrumental: May perform a single piece. Etudes are acceptable as audition repertoire to provide contrasting material. 

    Helpful Suggestions About Recording and Submitting Videos

    1) Practical advice 

    • Perform in a location that allows us to see and hear you clearly. We realize you are likely recording somewhere in your house and there are limitations.
    • Frame the video to show your entire body (if possible). We want to assess your posture, technique, and expressive ability. 
    • You can record video using whatever device you prefer, but the simplest options are typically a cell phone or computer. 
    • Do a short test to see if your video and audio quality are good. It’s much less frustrating to troubleshoot problems on a test video than trying to rescue a 10-minute audition video. This also allows you to see if you can easily access, save, and upload the video file.
    • You do not need to perform with accompaniment. If you do perform with a recorded accompaniment, try and have separate devices for playing the audio and recording. An easy setup is to have audio played through computer speakers while recording with a cell phone.
    • If you are recording using a portable device (phone or tablet), prop it up on a stable surface to keep the image in the video stable (just make sure the microphone isn’t covered).
    • Introduce everything you perform.
      • Tell us the keys of scales
      • Tell us composers and composition titles


      2) Submitting video files 

      There are a variety of ways to submit your video files to us. Make sure you clearly identify who you are and what you are sending in the body of the e-mail when submitting video files to us. 


    • Option 1 – Online video sharing service
      • Upload the video to a site (such as YouTube) and provide a link to the video via e-mail to Ms. Chung ( Videos uploaded to YouTube can be marked an “unlisted,” meaning only individuals with the link can find the video.
    • Option 2 – Link to a file in the cloud
      • Save your file(s) to a cloud-based storage service (such as Dropbox or iCloud) and provide a link to the file or folder via e-mail to the Department Associate Administrative Assistant, Ms. Chung ( 
    • Option 3 – Send a video file
      • Send a video file to the Department Associate Administrative Assistant, Ms. Chung (


    1. Music Theory Diagnostic

    Complete the online music theory diagnostic. This short test is designed to assess your knowledge of fundamentals of music notation and music theory (clefs, note names, rhythm and meter, and scales). The test is not timed, but it should not take you more than a half hour to complete. A link to the diagnostic will be e-mailed to you after you submit your application and recordings.



    We look forward to hearing from you!

    Music Department Faculty

  • Dates for Audition


    More than a quarter-of-a-million dollars available to both undergraduate music majors and non-majors who demonstrate superior musical ability.


    Saturday, January 30, 2021             

    Saturday, February 13, 2021

    Saturday, February 27, 2021        

    Friday, March 26, 2021             

    Indicates the last audition date for Music Scholarship Eligibility 


    Play or sing two contrasting classical pieces from different eras

    *Sight-read musical excerpts* Scales* Letter of recommendation from

    an ensemble director or private instructor* Music Theory assessment


    In order to audition you must reserve a date and time.

    Please email Ms. Denise A. Chung at or call 803-535-5193


    Auditions are open to all students, but scholarships are only awarded to

    admitted students.  For more information contact:

     Department Chair: Dr. Isaiah McGee | 803.535.5234 |
Theory: Dr. Jeremy Robins  | 803.535.5320 |
Music Education: Dr. Laura Keith | 803.535.5298 |
Voice: Dr. Darius Gillard | 803.535.5236 |
Piano: Ms. Helen Meacham | 803.535.5564 |
Piano: Dr. Eunjung Choi | 803.535.5355 |
Choir: Dr. Jason Dungee | 803.535.5605 |
Jazz Band: Mr. Endre Rice | 803.535.5047 |
Ethnomusicology: Dr. Heather Buffington-Anderson 803.535.5076





music-centerThe Department of Music is housed in the newly constructed University Music Center. The 1.8 million dollar structure is home to the University Bands, the University Choral Studies area, and the departmental administrative office. It also houses several teaching studios, classroom space, practice rooms, and a state-of-the-art audio/visual technology center.

Adjacent to the Music Center is the Whitaker V. Middleton Fine Arts Center. This facility contains several teaching studios, classrooms, and practice rooms. It also houses the Daniel C. Moss Auditorium, a 600-seat performance hall used for concerts, theatrical productions, recitals, and lectures.

In close proximity to the Fine Arts Center is Minister’s Hall, the University’s newly renovated Performing Arts Center and one of our most historic campus structures. It contains the 200-seat Ernest E. Finney, Jr. Auditorium, which provides an additional forum for master classes, chamber performances, faculty and student recitals, guest artists, workshops, and lectures.

  • Useful Forms and Documents
  • Credit Hour Definition
    Claflin University Department of Music Credit Hour Definition 

    Claflin University uses Carnegie units to measure semester credit hours awarded to students for course work. Academic credit is recorded in semester credit hours. One (I) fifty (50)-minute lecture period per week for one semester, or the equivalent time in laboratory work, constitutes a semester hour. 

    Lecture Classes (Traditional Class): A semester credit hour consists of the equivalent of at least one (I) hour (SO-minute period) per week of"in-class seat time" and two (2) hours per week of out-of-class student work for fifteen (15) weeks. A standard three (3) semester credit hour lecture class meets for at least forty-five (45) contact hours per semester, plus a minimum average of six (6) hours of activities outside of the classroom per week for fifteen (15) weeks. 

    Laboratory Classes: A semester credit hour consists of the equivalent of three (3) hours of laboratory work per week for fifteen (15) weeks. 

    Directed Independent Studies (includes Distance Education): Instructors should make adjustments so that the total number of hours of work required by students is equivalent to that of a traditional class that meets face-to-face. 

    Classes offered in a shortened format: The hours are prorated so that the classes contain the same total number of hours as if the classes were scheduled for a full fifteen (15) week semester. 

    Graduate and Professional students: The required academic work normally will exceed three (3) hours per credit per week. Additional information is outlined below for the Music Unit as it relates to specific courses in the Music department. 

    Credit Hour Definition specific for the Department of Music at Claflin University 

    The following constitutes the definition of a semester credit hour for various modes of instruction in the Department of Music that is consistent with the University's definition of credit hour. Music courses follow the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) required for awarding credit. Normally one semester hour of credit represents at least three hours of work each week for a period of fifteen weeks. 

    In lecture classes, such as music history normally one semester hour credit hour of credit is given for SO-minute session plus two hours of homework each week of the term. 

    For ensembles, like laboratory classes, normally one semester hour of credit is given for two to five 90-minute rehearsal sessions per week, depending on the ensemble. 

    For applied lessons, normally one semester hour of credit is given for each three hours of practice, plus the necessary individual 30-minute lesson per week with the instructor. For example, a two semester credit hour applied lesson would meet for two 30-minute lessons per week. 

    For music seminar, which is a laboratory class with the applied area, is zero hours of credit for one hour of class attendance, performance, and a suggested six hours of practice time that are acquired via applied and small ensemble combined practice times, per week, for 15 weeks 

    For online hybrid, and other nontraditional modes of delivery, credit hours are assigned based on learning outcome that are equivalent to those in a traditional course setting, forty-five ( 45) hours of work by a typical student for each semester hour of credit. Syllabi for each course will contain the appropriate credit hour from the list above. Each course should then follow this definition. 
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For more information on the Department of Music, please contact:

Dr. Isaiah McGee

Dr. Isaiah McGee 

Associate Professor of Music and Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences
phone: (803) 535- 5234

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