Lillian Coolbrith-Jones ’11 performs her song “Flowers” with the Great Woods Chamber Orchestra.
Opportunities abound at Wheaton for student songwriters!
Students may take classes and lessons with Prof. Delvyn Case, a composer and arranger whose former students have won a Grammy and have written songs with Brandy, Nelly, Keyshia Cole, Ray J, and H.E.R.
Wheaton’s introductory course is MUSC 208: Songwriting, which is offered in alternate years. Students study songs by legendary artists in a variety of genres then write and refine original songs in a workshop format. The course ends with a live public performance entirely produced by students. While no songwriting experience is required to take the course, students must have facility playing basic chords on piano or guitar. Interested students should contact Prof. Delvyn Case at firstname.lastname@example.org before registering
Advanced students may pursue independent studies with Prof. Case throughout the remainder of their Wheaton careers. In the past, these have resulted in the creation of full-length albums and solo shows on campus and beyond. Select students have also created orchestral arrangements of their songs and have performed them with Wheaton’s Great Woods Symphony Orchestra.
Under the auspices of the Haas Visiting Artist Program, songwriting students have participated in concerts and masterclasses with songwriters including Catie Curtis and Anne Heaton.
Additionally, student-led opportunities for songwriters to develop their art include the Songwriting Club, the Music Co-Op, and the student-run recording studio.
Alumni of Wheaton’s songwriting course are now professional singer-songwriters active in the New York City, London, Boston, Providence, Asheville, and Northampton music scenes. Wheaton songwriting alumni include artists working in genres as diverse as hip-hop, soul, pop, indie-rock, and folk, including: