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NNU Music



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Whether you're planning to major in music or just want to keep performing during your college career, the NNU Music Department provides opportunities for musical growth and fulfillment. Along with our outstanding majors, we have nine active ensembles featuring hundreds of NNU students; including both music and non-music majors.

Department Chair Label


Department Chair Name
Dr. Philip Miller
Department Chair Phone Number
Department Chair Email Address

Music at NNU

Whether you're planning to major in music or just want to keep performing during your college career, the NNU Music Department provides opportunities for musical growth and fulfillment. NNU students participate in a variety of ensembles and private study with NNU faculty members and professional musicians from the Boise Valley, including members of the Boise Philharmonic Orchestra which performs monthly on campus. At NNU you can compose, arrange, and record your music in the iMac-based Center for Digital Media along with our newly renovated recording studio. On campus you'll perform in state of the art facilities such as the Brandt Center's 1500-seat concert hall and intimate recital halls. Our ensembles perform frequently, traveling locally, throughout the Northwest and internationally. Internships teaching at local schools, working with area churches, or studying a semester in Nashville's Contemporary Music Center are opportunities that set our students apart, giving them real-world experiences and placing them in high demand upon graduation.

Program Objectives

  • Developing in the entire university community an ongoing knowledge and life-long appreciation of the arts
  • Educating, counseling, and nurturing those students who are professionally interested in various areas of art and music and/or obtaining a music degree
  • Fostering the incorporation of the arts into authentic worship experiences

Music Ensembles

  • University Choir and Orchestra--University Choir and Orchestra is one of our lead ensembles for music in the churches and fulfills the role of public relations for NNU. Under the direction of Dr. Philip Miller, this ensemble features over 100 students from a wide variety of majors across the campus. They perform extensively throughout the region and internationally. Their dynamic concerts feature music from hymn settings, contemporary Christian, gospel, classical choral/orchestral repertoire and a cappella settings. High demands of excellence are placed on this group and the students are outstanding ambassadors for the Lord, NNU and music.  
  • Bella Voce-- Under the direction of Dr. Judy Marlett, Bella Voce is NNU's women's choir that performs a repertoire of classics, world music, and sacred music. Bella Voce performs on campus and at churches and schools in the region. They also host an annual Treble Choir Festival on campus and have been featured at IMEA conventions.  
  • Northwesterners--Directed by Quinn Van Paepeghem, Northwesterners is a select vocal jazz ensemble. The Northwesterners enjoy an outstanding reputation and have been featured in state and regional conventions. The ensemble has been active in jazz commissions with recent compositions coming from Dave Barduhn and Kirk Marcy. They are also featured on sample recordings on the Sound Music Publications jazz site. This group performs in a wide variety of venues in the Boise Valley and across the Northwest including churches, civic clubs, community and campus events. 
  • Chamber Ensembles--Chamber groups are formed each semester by audition and according to need and instrumentation. There are normally several chamber ensembles, including a string trio or quartet, a woodwind ensemble, brass quintet, piano ensembles, percussion ensemble, etc.  Chamber Groups are directed by coaches in the appropriate discipline. The groups perform in campus recitals and concerts, at banquets, and other venues.
  • Concert Band--The Concert Band is our primary instrumental ensemble at NNU. This ensemble performs at least one concert on campus each semester, travels off-campus in the fall for a service project, and takes a weekend tour each spring. Directed by Dr. Casey Christopher, the group is open to instrumentalists by placement audition.
  • Jazz Combos--Jazz studies are a growing field in the NNU Music Department. Dr. Casey Christopher guides a wide variety of jazz experiences, including facilitating a variety of small jazz combos each semester. Our top two combos, Jazz Revival and Jazz Renaissance have been featured regularly at regional festivals including the Sun Valley and Lionel Hampton jazz festivals. The combos learn improvisational techniques and perform in a variety of campus and community venues. The combos are open to all students by audition.


There are multiple scholarships available to you through the Department of Music which are available for both majors and non-majors. The amount varies depending on ability, need, and the number of ensembles in which you will participate. You can schedule a time to meet with NNU music professors on the NNU campus or during one of our concert trips in the region.
Call the music department at (208) 467-8413 or email to schedule an audition time.
If you are unable to perform in a live audition, you may submit a recording of yourself. Please email the recording or link to the email address above, or mail a DVD or CD to: NNU Department of Music, 623 S. University Blvd., Nampa, ID 83686.

Hughes All Steinway Campaign

NNU is joining the ranks of an extremely elite group of colleges, universities and music conservatories as an All Steinway School.

Steinway's name is synonymous with quality and excellence. By receiving the designation of an All Steinway School, the excellence of NNU’s music program will be amplified throughout the Northwest and across America. NNU will be the smallest university in the country to receive this designation!

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