Over Twenty-five Music Ensembles
Ensemble playing is an integral part of the music department's programs of study. All music students, both undergraduate and graduate, are required to register and participate in ensembles that match their areas of interest and specialization. However, any University student demonstrating sufficient musical ability is able to participate in ensembles and can use them to fulfill elective requirements for their majors. Students can choose from over 25 groups! The department strongly encourages incoming students to register for their major ensemble their very first semester. Most ensembles require an audition, so it is recommended that students seek the ensemble instructor's approval prior to registration.
Why an Ensemble Emphasis?
Music is an intrinsically social phenomenon. To borrow words from the poet, Robert Browning, to be in the presence of a musical event is to feel one's "solitude peopled at once." This is true, not only for the audience, but also for the musician as well. Ensemble playing is an immensely important learning tool for music students. It helps the aspiring musician learn -- hands on -- how to interact socially and technically with other musicians and with a live audience. The dynamic can be studied through texts and visuals, but the act of making music with others in a live setting is the more profound teacher.
The Department of Music promotes a wide range of ensembles, both major and minor, with new ones emerging as students and faculty create and collaborate.
The Department of Music defines "Primary" or "Major" ensemble as an ensemble associated with program requirements for the Department's various Programs of Study. According to degree tracks and concentrations, music majors are required to register and regularly participate in primary ensembles that relate to the student's chosen path.
Undergraduate Music Students
- Voice Students - To fulfill degree requirements, voice students are required to participate in one of the following major ensembles:
- Applied Voice Majors may take up to four credits in MUS 470 - Opera Theater - to satisfy their major ensemble requirement. The four credits in MUS 470 must be after their 300 upper division voice audition.
- String Students - To fulfill degree requirements, string students (except guitar) are required to participate in the University Symphony Orchestra.
- Wind and Percussion Students - To fulfill degree requirements, wind and percussion students are required to participate in one of the following major instrumental ensembles:
- Keyboard and Guitar Students - To fulfill degree requirements, keyboard and guitar students are required to participate in a major ensemble. Keyboard students may substitute up to 50% (four semesters) of major ensemble requirement by enrolling in MUS 229, MUS 429 and MUS 629, Techniques of Piano Accompaniment. Guitar students may substitute up to 50% (four semesters) of major ensemble requirement by enrolling in MUS 205, MUS 405 and MUS 605, Guitar Ensemble.
- Graduate Students -- To fulfill degree requirements, graduate students in the Department of Music are required to participate in some form of conducted or coached ensemble for a minimum of two credits.