Student with sheet music

Step into the spotlight with WCJC’s Music program. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced musician, our program offers a unique and supportive environment to hone your skills, collaborate with others, and explore your passion for music. 

Program Details

Learn more about our Music program and find course descriptions in the WCJC Catalog.

Academic Maps

Our two-year Associate of Arts degree through our music program provides an excellent academic foundation for those interested in a career in music, transferring to a four-year institution, or having a desire to benefit as lifelong learners. All music ensembles, music theory, sight singing and ear training, music literature, and music appreciation courses are available to the music and non-music majors. Private lessons are offered to the music major in woodwinds, piano, organ, voice, brass, and percussion. The Music Department is housed in the Duson-Hansen Fine Arts Building on the Wharton Campus. 

Visit our Academic Maps for more information on semester courses:

After graduating from WCJC’s Music program, you’ll be prepared to transfer to a four-year institution to earn your Bachelor of Arts. With a B.A. in Music, you can find an exciting career in a number of roles, including:

  • Music Therapist
  • Musician
  • Musical Instrument Repairer and Tuner
  • Musical Composer and Director
  • Singer
  • Sound Engineer 

Find more information, including wages and education requirements, on Career Coach!

Music students

Taking a Music Class? Apply for a Music Scholarship

Join the Ensemble

Participating in one of our ensembles is an excellent opportunity to share your musical talents with the community. Develop and showcase your skills with other students who share your appreciation for the benefits we all receive from a cultural arts experience. Meet students from all over South Texas with whom you share a common interest. Take a break from the regular classroom routine of books and papers for a chance to use and express your creative abilities.
Choir student

WCJC Choir

The WCJC Choir is a non-auditioned choir open to all students, both music majors and non-music majors. This ensemble generally presents 2-3 concerts each semester on campus. In addition to a wide variety of repertoire, including classical, folk songs, spirituals, Broadway tunes, and popular songs, the WCJC Choir has also performed excerpts from several major works, such as Handel's Messiah, Mozart's Coronation Mass, Brahms' A German Requiem, and Rutter's Gloria. There is no audition for the WCJC Choir. Sign up and start singing!
Chamber Singers

Chamber Singers

The Chamber Singers are a smaller, more select ensemble specializing in more advanced music styles from the Renaissance to the 21st century. It is also open to both music majors and non-music majors. Lighter musical styles include madrigals, vocal jazz, swing, and various a cappella arrangements. You must audition to be considered for Chamber Singers.
Concert Band

Concert Band

The Concert Band studies musical literature from the Renaissance to the present day through the performance of transcriptions and original band works. Emphasis is on preparing and performing concerts throughout the semester to provide a cultural arts experience for various audiences. The band rehearses Monday thru Friday and earns one credit hour toward graduation.
Jazz Band

Jazz Band

The Jazz Band allows students to perform music from within the jazz idiom. This includes Swing, Latin, Funk, Rock, Fusion, Dixieland, and Modern Jazz. Ample opportunity is also available for the learning and developing of improvisation skills. Jazz Band rehearses thrice weekly and earns one credit hour towards graduation.

Join Us for a Performance or Production

Stay up-to-date on our performance schedule and join our mailing list to get the latest updates from our music department.

Meet the Faculty

Have questions about our Music program? Contact one of our faculty members. 

Joe Waldrop attended Tyler Junior College, where he received his Associate of Arts Degree in 1980, and the University of Texas at Tyler, where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1984. He taught in the public school system of Texas for 14 years as a band director. He received his Master's in Music Performance Theory from Southwest Texas State University in 1995 and his School Administrators Certificate from Texas A&M University in 2003. Mr. Waldrop joined the staff of Wharton County Junior College in August of 2004, where he directs the Pioneer Concert Band, WCJC Jazz Ensemble, teaches music theory, ear training, and sight singing, and applies lessons on percussion and woodwinds.

Office: Wharton Campus, Fine Arts Building 122
Phone: 979-532-6366

Karl Paoletti Jr. received a music performance and vocal pedagogy doctorate from The University of North Texas. He has presented master classes and recitals at Western Kentucky University, Winthrop University, Stephen F. Austin University, Valdosta State University, Georgia Governor's Honors Choir, and South Korea Baptist University in Daejeon, South Korea. Dr. Paoletti has presented research in singing voice science at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Conferences in Chicago and Boston and the Care of the Professional Voice Symposium in Philadelphia.

Office: Wharton Campus, Fine Arts Building 117
Phone: 979-532-6447

Debra Lemson received her Master's in Sacred Music from Southern Methodist University and has been on our Music staff since 1979. She teaches Music Appreciation, Survey of Music Literature, as well as piano lessons.  Mrs. Lemson also provides piano accompaniment for the WCJC choirs. 

Office: Wharton Campus, Fine Arts Building 118
Phone: 979-532-6910

Brittany May is an Instructor of Music at the Sugar Land Campus, teaching Music Appreciation and American Music. Before joining the music faculty at WCJC, Dr. May taught music courses at Houston Community College, Lee College, and Lone Star College-North Harris. 

Office: Sugar Land Campus, Brazos Hall 222
Phone: 281-243-8555

Shane Blume studied vocal music education at Sam Houston State University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1998. He then studied the exciting field of Kodaly Pedagogy at Sam Houston State University, earning a Master of Music degree in 2002. He then taught as a choir director in public schools in Texas for ten years. He currently teaches beginner piano and singing in Stafford, Tx.


Rochelle Waddill received her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Harding University and her Master of Music degree in Voice from the University of Houston. She has taught in private and public schools since 1999 and has been with WCJC since 2010. Due to a strong emphasis on opera during her studies at the University of Houston, Rochelle sang for the Houston Grand Opera Chorus for 13 years before taking off to spend more time with her kids. She teaches Music Appreciation, American Music, and Private Voice lessons for WCJC.


Lewis Pilot received his Bachelor of Arts in Music (summa cum laude) and Master of Music from Colorado State University and has completed his doctoral coursework in musicology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he also held the position of Student Representative for the American Musicological Society, Rocky Mountain Chapter. Mr. Pilot has taught music appreciation at Wharton County Junior College since 2009.


Biography coming soon

Additional Information

Our major concerts are generally on Tuesday or Thursday evenings on campus. A list of concert dates, times, and locations is given to the choir members on the first day of each semester. This gives the members plenty of time to change work schedules and notify instructors if class time is missed.

There is no cost for choir folders, music, concert dresses, tuxedos, or choir shirts. The only out-of-pocket expenses are for choir tours to pay for what is not covered by fundraisers and money for those who make the Texas Two-Year All-State Choir in San Antonio.

Although there are no UIL competitions at the college level, choir members can audition for the prestigious Texas Two-Year All-State Choir, which performs at the Texas Music Educators' Association. Some of the most respected choral directors in the country are selected to be clinicians for this All-State Choir. Many choir members from WCJC are selected each year to participate in the Texas Two-Year All-State Choir.

Vocal music majors generally participate in both the WCJC Choir and Chamber Singers. Come and sing in our choirs! You will enjoy singing and will improve your technique along the way! 

Administrative Master Syllabi

Archived Administrative Master Syllabi

Related Programs

Explore More