Department of Music

Furman Honors Recital Competition


James Furman was born in Louisville, Kentucky.
He earned B.Mus. and M.Mus.Ed. degrees from the University of Louisville. In 1965, after teaching in
public schools, he joined the faculty of Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Connecticut, where he remained until his death. He published
several choral and chamber compositions and had
major performances of others that remain unpublished, particularly his oratorio “I Have a Dream”.

Soloist Application


Ensemble Application

Western Connecticut State University
School of Visual and Performing Arts
Department of Music
The James Furman Honors Recital


The 16th annual James Furman Honors recital will be held on Thursday, March 7, 2024 at 1:00 P.M. Performers will be selected by audition and will include both soloists and chamber ensembles. One soloist will be selected from each class (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior).  See below for more details.



  • Competition is open to all WCSU Music Majors with a GPA 3.00 or higher who have received passing grades in all their required musicianship courses (Theory, Sight-Singing and Keyboard) to date (example: for a freshman to be eligible, they will need to have passed all of their musicianship courses during the previous fall semester).
  • To be considered a sophomore you must have earned a minimum of 30 credits and passed one year of musicianship courses.
  • Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Music students are not considered to be a junior until they have passed their Sophomore Barrier. Bachelor of Arts students must have completed four semesters of applied lessons to be considered a junior.
  • Students are considered seniors if they have passed their Sophomore Barrier Exam and at least two semesters of 300-level Applied Music.
  • All students are eligible to participate in the competition one time in each class (freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior). Prizes: Each soloist will receive a $200 James Furman Scholarship. Members of chamber ensembles will each receive a $50 Friends of Music Award.



  • Instrumental soloists should prepare a movement from a standard sonata, concerto or solo repertoire not to exceed 7 minutes.
  • Vocalists should prepare a standard aria or art song set, not to exceed 7 minutes.
  • Jazz soloists should prepare a selection of their choice not to exceed 7 minutes.
  • Classical chamber ensembles consisting of up to 5 players are eligible. Prepare a selection not to exceed 7 minutes.
  • Jazz chamber ensembles consisting of up to 7 players are eligible. Prepare a selection not to exceed 7 minutes.

Competition Dates: APPLICATION DEADLINE 2/16/24

Monday, March 4, 2024 times TBD. Preliminary Auditions Soloists and Chamber Groups


NOTE: Jazz Chamber Ensembles will be selected based on their performances at Chamber Jazz Master Classes.