Service learning is a key component of the Gettysburg College experience in general, and the Sunderman Conservatory in particular. In fact, Conservatory faculty members have recently led students on service learning trips. For example:
- Jazz Ensemble: Eighteen students traveled to New Orleans, where they rebuilt homes during the day and heard live jazz in the evenings.
- College Choir: During Spring Break 2011, the group toured locations in Nicaragua, working with children and performing.
- Ethnomusicology Trip: Also during Spring Break '11, students traveled to the Dominican Republic where they focused on social justice through music among Dominicans of African descent. They observed and conversed with local musicians and ritual experts, and gained first-hand experience with how African-based music and ritual function. Students also lent a helping hand as teachers' aids at one primary school, and painted the exterior of another school.
For several years, Sunderman students have also presented opera in benefit performances for the ALS Hope Foundation.