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John Dally

Department of


Department of Music

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.

NNU Homecoming Concert

Music at NNU

The Department of Music program at Northwest Nazarene University offers an immersive and rich experience that will challenge you to standards of artistic excellence in music education, performance, technology/industry, theory/composition and worship leadership. By embracing the biblical commands to make music with both heart and skill, we invite you into this lifelong endeavor to engage your whole person.

Whether you are looking for a career or are just wanting to pursue your passion, the NNU Music Department offers challenging classes, private lessons, outstanding performance opportunities in award-winning ensembles and hands-on experiences engaging with music professionals.

NNU’s outstanding music faculty are music professionals and dedicated educators who are experienced in producing musicians who know and care deeply about music, teaching you how to invest your gifts in the broader Kingdom of Christ. Professors will walk side-by-side with you, empowering you to emerge from our programs with competitive skills in your craft and a deeply grounded faith.

There are also performance opportunities in a variety of ensembles, including choirs, band, orchestra and jazz.

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 & Orchestra—The University Choir & Orchestra is one of our lead ensembles for music in the churches and fulfills the role of public relations for NNU. 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 and community and campus events.
  • Chamber Ensembles—Chamber groups are formed each semester by audition and according to need and instrumentation. There are usually 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.
  • Wind Ensemble—The Wind Ensemble performs a wide variety of wind band literature, including traditional and contemporary works. The ensemble performs concerts on and off campus and tours once a year. Wind players may also audition to perform with the NNU Chamber Orchestra for full orchestra repertoire and as part of the University Choir & Orchestra. Directed by Dr. John Dally, the group is open to all NNU students by placement audition.
  • Chamber Orchestra—The NNU Chamber Orchestra is the newest ensemble at NNU and performs varied works for both full and string orchestras. Repertoire includes works from the Baroque era to the 21st Century. Additionally, string players perform and tour with the University Choir & Orchestra. Directed by Dr. John Dally, the group is open to all NNU students by placement audition.
  • Jazz Combos—Students in NNU’s Jazz Combos develop advanced improvisational skills in a variety of musical styles, learn to transcribe and arrange tunes, become familiar with performance etiquette and experience what it is like performing professionally at various venues on and off campus. Our top combos have been featured at regional jazz festivals including the Sun Valley and Lionel Hampton Jazz Festivals. Jazz Combos are open to all students by audition.
  • Concert Jazz Band—The NNU Concert Jazz Band is our premier jazz ensemble. The ensemble explores a variety of canonic jazz literature including compositions from the most influential big bands in history including music from Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Thad Jones, Buddy Rich, Maria Schneider, Stan Kenton, Tommy Dorsey and many more. The NNU CJB is open to all students, by audition, interested in studying authentic jazz literature and pedagogy.

Multiple scholarships are available to you through the Department of Music 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 music@nnu.edu 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.

University Children’s Choir

This year, NNU is creating a University Children’s Choir, an opportunity for local 4th – 8th grade students to participate in music enrichment, mentored by NNU faculty and staff. Rehearsals begin in September 2023 and will be held each Tuesday evening.


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