Cumberland University Marching Band

Music Matters at

Cumberland University

Studying music at Cumberland allows you to create something beautiful. Join our growing community and we will help you align your passion for music with a meaningful career. It’s time to rise and share your gift with the world.

The Cumberland University Music Program offers music education to all students wishing to take private lessons, music courses, or to participate in one or more of our instrumental and choral ensembles. Students can choose to earn Associate or Baccalaureate degrees in General Music, Music Performance, or Music Education. 

Students in the classroom at Cumberland University

Variety of Course Offerings

Course offerings include studies in Music Theory, Sight-Singing, Ear-training, Dictation, Music History, Jazz, Rock, Pop,  Music Theater, Classical Literature, Improvisation, Arranging, Marching Band Management and more. Our small class size and excellent student-to-faculty ratio enable us to tailor our course offerings to your needs or interests. 

Cumberland University Graduates

A Degree to Move You Forward

Music Alumni from CU have gone on to lead successful careers in music and many other disciplines. We are actively recruiting music students at Cumberland University and would love to share all CU has to offer. 

Why study music at CU?

“Music is beautiful. It’s an expression of human experience we use when words and images fail to convey what music can express about the range of human emotions. We all recognize that in how we enjoy music every day, but it’s also why scoring is so important to film, tv, even video games. Studying music at Cumberland allows students to create something beautiful; if you have a talent and passion for music, what could be more fulfilling? 

Studying music in college teaches people to work together in creative expression, to direct groups of people through complicated work, and about the value of hard work in mastering rigorous technical challenges. These skills transfer easily into multiple career tracks, even if unrelated to music.”

Dr. Eric Cummings, Dean of the School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts

What Our Graduates Say

Advance Your Career

Josh Parker, Class of 2012 

“My experience at CU was fantastic. As a music major, I learned the skills I needed to advance my career as a musician. I now play guitar professionally in a band, do studio work and have released an instrumental album.”

Positive and Personal

Gabe Lamog, Class of 2011

“The faculty and staff at Cumberland University made my learning experience positive and personal. I loved the smaller campus environment. The smaller class sizes made it easier to communicate with  the professors. I am proud to be an alumni of CU and encourage students to attend.”

Community Minded

Ashlee Sexton, Class of 2004 & 2009

“Cumberland was a great choice for my education and has enhanced my life in so many ways. I became a better musician, educator, and leader because of the opportunities I was afforded at CU. I love the ties Cumberland has in the community. I continue to be impressed with the caliber of musicians and teachers from CU.”

Meet Our Faculty

Lee Austin

Lee Austin

Instructor of Music, Program Director

A. Wayne Ray, III

Instructor of Music and Director of Athletic Bands

Performance Scholarships

Performance scholarships are awarded at the discretion of the ensemble director or program director based on academic performance, performance success, and future potential. Fine Arts Scholarships support several areas of fine arts including band, chorus, art, and theatre.

Cumberland University Marching Band


Auditions are scheduled on specific dates and consist of a prepared selection, sight-reading, and scale or rudiment performance. Admission to the music program at CU is contingent upon audition results. Spring 2023 auditions will be held on Saturday, February 25 in Alumni Hall from 11am-3pm, and Saturday March 25 in the Heydel Performing Arts Center from 11am-3pm. 

*Students need to sign up for an audition if they plan to major or minor in music OR if they will need a scholarship in their first semester. You do not need to sign up for the above audition dates if you are planning to participate in one of the ensembles and do not need a scholarship. Please contact A. Wayne Ray for band at and Sandy Elliot for choir at


Sign Up

Auditions are held throughout the year and take approximately 15-20 minutes and begin at 11:00 am. Dates are listed on the events calendar below. To sign up for an audition time, click the link below. 


Concert Band

The Cumberland University Concert Band is the main instrumental music ensemble in the music program. This group performs traditional concert band and small ensemble literature. 

Jazz Band

The Cumberland University Jazz Band is a combination of both big band and combo ensembles. Admission into the CU Jazz Band is by audition only. This ensemble is the premier instrumental performing group at Cumberland.

Marching Band

The Cumberland University Phoenix Marching Band is a modern, university-style marching program. The band performs at all football home games, and at all home, in-conference basketball games (men and women). The marching program is a year round ensemble and performs everything from traditional march material to pop/rock tunes in pep band. The marching program is growing quickly and has a place for every performer whether that be in the front ensemble, color guard, drumline or wind line. 

Music Events

  • Friday, Feb. 24 - Voice Class I

    Heydel Fine Arts Center – 12:00 PM

  • Friday, March 3 - Student Recital I

    Heydel Fine Arts Center – 12:00 PM

  • Friday, March 24 - Voice Class II

    Heydel Fine Arts Center – 12:00 PM

  • Friday, March 31 - Student Recital II

    Heydel Fine Arts Center – 12:00 PM

  • Thursday April 13 - University Band/Jazz Ensemble Concert

    Heydel Fine Arts Center – 7:00 PM

  • Friday, April 28 - University Choir Concert

    Baird Chapel – 7:00 PM

Contact us. We’re here to help.

If you have any questions about our music programs or need any help through your next steps, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Program Director, Lee Austin at or Band Director, Wayne Ray at We’re here to help guide you through this process and discuss your future at Cumberland University.

The Admissions Office is open Monday through Friday from 8am to 4:30pm CST. Please contact the Admissions Office at 615-547-1246 locally or 800-467-0562 to speak with our Enrollment Specialist or email

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