Music Performance Ensembles
Music majors: Scholarships are available for participation in many ensembles. Below you'll find
that SBU has a wide variety of both large and small instrumental and vocal ensembles.
Non-music majors: Even as a student majoring in an area outside of the area of music, you can still
audition for various ensembles. Scholarships are available for participation in vocal
and instrumental ensembles.
Choral and Vocal Studies
- Chamber Singers — The Chamber Singers are auditioned from the larger Chorale to form a small chamber
vocal ensemble each semester. In the fall of the year, the group presents the popular
“Ye Olde Madrigal Dinners,” a Christmas celebration of song and dinner set in Elizabethan
England, to sold-out audiences. Each spring semester, the Chamber Singers focus on
a particular genre of vocal chamber repertoire and present concerts ranging from vocal
a capella jazz to pre-1600 music to show choir productions and more.
- Chorale — The premiere choral ensemble of the university has performed extensively across
the state, the country, and the world. This selectively auditioned ensemble also performs
regularly for major music education and denominational conventions. The choir specializes
in a capella music from the Renaissance through modern periods as well as non-Western
- Higher Ground — Higher Ground is a contemporary Christian worship ensemble that tours throughout
the entire academic year leading worship, Disciple Now and many mission projects.
Comprised of both vocalists and instrumentalists, there are many opportunities for
the service to the Lord.
- Masterworks Chorus — SBU Music presents the Masterworks concert each year. The presentation involves
the university’s massed choirs, faculty soloists, the SBU orchestra, Springfield Symphony
members, instrumentalists from the SBU Symphonic Winds, and area musicians.
- Opera Theatre — Opera Theatre is open to all students by audition. The course is a place in which
singers develop performance skills relative to operatic and/or music theatre repertoire
and prepare solo and ensemble work for performance. Performances consist of one minor
production in the fall,and one major production in the spring. Opera scenes are performed
every fall, and full-length shows are performed in the spring, alternating between
an operatic show and a music theatre show. Music theatre shows are performed in collaboration
with the SBU Theatre program.
- University Singers — This non-auditioned choral ensemble provides intensified study and performance
experience with a varied repertoire of choral music and is open to students, faculty,
staff, and community singers.
- Brass Ensembles — SBU offers various brass groups in both the fall and spring semesters. Available
ensembles include Brass Choir, Brass Quintet, Trumpet Quartet, Trombone Quartet, and
Tuba/Euphonium Quartet. (The number and types of ensembles available are dependent
upon student interest.) Brass players can gain knowledge of the subtleties of brass
instruments. Participation increases awareness of the ensemble concept, confidence
in individual abilities, and the development of idiomatic characteristics of brass
playing through regular performances, often in conjunction with other ensembles. Participation
is open to all interested brass instrumentalists.
- Chamber Orchestra — The Chamber Orchestra is an ensemble comprised of music and non-music majors. Dedicated
to the highest level of musical excellence, the ensemble performs a wide-ranging repertoire
from Baroque through Contemporary periods in both string and full orchestra settings.
Performances include the annual Masterworks concert that features presentations of
major choral works for full orchestra, chorus and soloists.
- Clara Fuson String Quartet — The Clara Fuson String Quartet was established to give four gifted string musicians
the opportunity to play from the world’s extensive repertoire of string quartet music.
The Clara Fuson String Quartet performs at events at SBU and for weddings, concerts
and banquets on campus and in the surrounding area. The quartet is named after Clara
Fuson, one of the charter members of University Heights Baptist Church in Springfield,
a school teacher and a trained violinist who played in the Springfield Symphony for
- Jazz Ensemble — The Jazz Ensemble rehearses two hours per week. Students perform the standard jazz
band repertoire as well as contemporary charts written for big-band instrumentation:
saxophones, trumpets, trombones, piano, bass, guitar and drums. Selected students
may perform in a jazz combo as well. Improvisation is encouraged, although it is not
a requirement for the audition. The ensemble performs one or two concerts per semester,
including occasional “Jazz Chapel” programs as a feature of the university’s chapel
- Pep Band — The Pep Band is an organization of select musicians that performs for SBU football
games and men’s and women's basketball games. This popular and enthusiastic group
has also traveled with the teams to the MIAA tournament. The ensemble is open by audition
to any student at SBU who participates in Wind Symphony.
- Percussion Ensemble — The Percussion Ensemble performs a variety of music for the total percussion section
— drums, keyboard, metallic and wooden instruments. Several performances are given
throughout the year. The group is open to all percussionists.
- Wind Symphony — The Wind Symphony is comprised of the university’s finest woodwind, brass, and
percussion players. Exploring traditional and contemporary works for winds and percussion,
the ensemble is known for its consistently high level of performance. Annual tour
stops include schools and churches throughout Missouri and surrounding states, including
performances in Branson (Down From His Glory) and the Missouri Music Educators Association
Convention at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach. An audition is required.
- University Band — The University Band is open to all SBU students with previous high school band
experience. Emphasis is on the study and performance of works for concert band. No
audition is required for participation in this ensemble which performs concerts on
- Woodwind Ensembles — Within the area of music, a number of woodwind ensembles are active in any given
semester; typically, these have included flute quartet, woodwind quintet, clarinet
quartet, saxophone quartet, and woodwind trio. The ensembles are coached by SBU faculty
members and provide music majors and non-music majors opportunities to explore the
rich and varied repertoire that has been written for chamber groups of woodwind instruments.