Ensembles and Groups

Music Ensembles and Groups

  • Instrumental Ensembles

    University Symphony Orchestra
    The Binghamton University Symphony is a 70-piece symphonic orchestra composed of music majors, minors and dedicated non-majors drawn from throughout the student body. The ensemble presents at least four major concerts each season in a wide range of genres from contemporary works back to the Renaissance.

    Auditions for all seats are held during the first week of classes; sign up sheets and information are posted by the rehearsal room, Fine Arts 111. Students performing two consecutive semesters fulfill the "A" General Education requirement.

    University Wind Symphony
    The 50+ members of the University Wind Ensemble perform historically significant, standard and important new works for Wind Band in a season of four major concerts. Auditions for all majors are weclome to audition. Information and sign-ups are posted outside Fine Arts 111 and by the Music Office, FA 165. Students performing two consecutive semesters fulfill the "A" General Education requirement.

    Harpur Jazz Ensemble
    The Harpur Jazz Ensemble studies and performs big-band repertoire and appears frequently on and off campus. Guests who have appeared in concert with this popular ensemble include, among others, Clark Terry, "Slam" Stewart, Manny Albam, Urbie Green, Frank Wess, Phil Woods, Jimmy Owens, Marian McPartland, Steve Brown, Mel Lewis, Slide Hampton, Peter Appleyard, John Faddis, Rufus Reid, Danny D'Imperio, Houston Person, Rob McConnell, Dave Stryker, Chris Washburne, Ron Vincent, Eddie Allen, Bruce Johnstone, Cynthia Scott, Bill Easley, Tia Fuller, Steve Davis, Harry Allen, Walter White, John McNeil, Sherrie Maricle, and Jennifer Leitham.

    Nukporfe African Dance and Drumming Ensemble
    The Nukporfe African Dance-Drumming Ensemble is comprised of 30–40 singers, dancers, and drummers, who have taken introductory courses in African Drumming and Dance in the Department of Music (MUS 143B), Africana Studies (188B, 289J, 389J), and Theatre Dance (289J, 389J), or who have significant previous experience in African music or dance. We give between 4–5 major performances each year at BU as well as throughout the Tri-Cities community, and we often participate in inter-collegiate music festivals and other cultural activities within the area.

    Chamber Music
    Qualified students may be placed in a variety of chamber music ensembles (trios, quartets, quintets, etc.) and receive faculty coaching and University credit. Rehearsals are arranged with a faculty coach.

    Small Ensembles
    The department offers a variety of small ensembles (Percussion, Trumpet, Low Brass, etc.) with faculty directors when students, admitted to the major ensemble program have sufficient numbers and interest. The groups rehearse weekly and present a concert each term. Times are arranged to meet students schedules and credit is available.

  • Choral Groups

    Harpur Chorale
    Binghamton University's large inclusive mixed choral ensemble, the HARPUR CHORALE is an auditioned choral ensemble which performs a wide variety of choral music from multiple genres, styles, time periods, and languages, while still rooted in the Western tradition. Membership includes not only music majors but also as many talented and promising non-major singers as possible who come from strong high school choral music programs and want to continue that experience in college.

    Women's Chorus
    Binghamton University's distinctive women's choral ensemble, the WOMEN'S CHORUS is an auditioned choral ensemble which performs a wide variety of choral music from multiple genres, styles, time periods, and languages, while still rooted in the Western tradition. The ensemble specializes in music by women composers. They explore repertoire of complexity and artistic challenge, while still offering a thorough grounding in healthy vocal technique and musicianship skills, and perform multiple concerts each academic year. Open to undergraduate and graduate students of all majors by audition.

    Chamber Singers
    Binghamton University's most selective choral ensemble, the CHAMBER SINGERS are a highly skilled vocal ensemble whose members are selected from within Harpur Chorale and Women's Chorus based on sight reading ability and vocal quality and versatility. They prepare and present challenging repertoire chosen from multiple styles, time periods, and cultural contexts. The Chamber Singers perform multiple concerts each academic year, both on and off campus. Singing in Chamber Singers is intended to be as pre-professional a choral experience as possible, with a membership of between 16 and 24. These singers work on developing the choral skills that will win professional choral auditions, and they prepare and perform rep that is as close as possible to what they might encounter as professional choral singers in a major metropolitan area. Open to members of Harpur Chorale and Women's Chorus by audition.

    University Chorus
    The University Chorus is an auditioned group of community, faculty, and staff singers who join forces with student musicians for concerts of larger-scaled choral works. The size of the group will vary from year to year depending on the demands of the repertoire being performed. Usually offered once per academic year.

    Dzidefo Africa Choir
    Dzidefo Africa Choir invites all who like to sing, want to sing, think they can sing and are interested in African songs. Dzidefo is an Ewe word meaning "source of encouragement and inspiration" with the purpose of revitalizing, nourishing and renewing the lives of every human being. The choir will be the first ever Africa choir at Binghamton University. It is a non-audition choir open to all students, staff and faculty of Binghamton University and the community at large. The repertoire of the choir will include songs from various parts of Africa in different languages and dialects arranged for a choral setting learned by rote (you do not need to know how to read music) and performed from memory. Members will also learn so much about diverse Africa cultures as they learn and perform the songs.

    Binghamton University Gospel Choir
    The Binghamton University Gospel Choir has been around for over 30 years. Established in the spring of 1983, its purpose is to be a performing group that presents and sings gospel music so as to present the context, purpose, and meaning of gospel music. It is Afro-American music with its origin in traditional spirituals, blues, and jazz. We share a cultural and genuine enjoyment of gospel music which acknowledges the benefits from an appreciation of cultural differences. Click here for contact information.

    A Cappella
    A cappella is just one of many ways in which Binghamton students get involved and express themselves. Binghamton's Student Association hosts the Dollar Show at the beginning of each semester: an a cappella showcase for the low price of one buck! The show features a short performance from each a cappella group, and the on-campus improv group Pappy Parker Players, and allows for perspective auditionees to get a taste for each group's style.

    It doesn't end there, though! Throughout the semester, each group rehearses on a weekly basis in order to prepare for their own semester show, in which they perform their individual setlist of songs for the semester. Semester shows are an awesome opportunity, not only for each group to show off the songs they've been working hard to perfect, but also for students to experience an entertaining night full of live music, right here on campus! Groups include: The Binghamton Crosbys, Kaskeset, The Rhythm Method, The Binghamton Vibrations (a.k.a. The Vibes), The Harpur Harpeggios, Koinonia, The Binghamtonics (a.k.a. The Tonics), The Binghamton Treblemakers (a.k.a. The Trebs), and No Strings Attached (a.k.a. NSA). For more information, click here.

  • Studio Lessons
    Private studio instruction is available to students in voice and for the following instruments: piano, organ, harpsichord, violin, viola, violoncello, string bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium, baritone, tuba and percussion (1–2 credits).

    A fee of $75 (instrumentalists) or $125 (vocalists) is assessed for the semester.

    Students must audition for private studio lessons during the first week of classes.

  • Auditions
    For Ensemble, Studio Lessons & Chamber Music

    MUS courses are open to all students without audition. All MUSP (performance) courses require an audition prior to being admitted for registration. MUSP auditions take place during the first week of Fall and Spring terms. They are open to students of any major and school, and are intended to admit as many qualified students as possible. Students are urged to sign up for an audition time as soon as possible. Information on auditions is posted in the Fine Arts Building opposite Room 165. At the conclusion of the audition week (but prior to registration) students are informed by email about their placement into major ensembles, studio lessons and/or chamber music. Registration for all MUSP courses takes place during the second week of classes. Pre-registration is not possible for MUSP courses. Students in ensembles will register in rehearsal; students in lessons and chamber music will register with their instructor.


    INSTRUMENTAL

    REQUIREMENTS: For Symphony Orchestra, String Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Small Ensembles, Chamber Music and Studio Lessons

    1. Scales and rudiments;

    2. 2—3 minutes of a prepared published solo or etude chosen by the student to demonstrate their technique, tone and musicianship (no accompanist), and

    3. A brief sight-reading except.

    INSTRUMENTAL AUDITION SCHEDULE:
    Sign Up Sheet on bulletin board next to FA111

    For: Symphony Orchestra, String Orchestra,
    Wind Symphony, Small Ensembles,
    Chamber Music and Studio Lessons

    Sign Up Sheet on bulletin board next to FA111


    CHORAL GROUPS

    REQUIREMENTS: For Harpur Chorale, Women's Chorus, Chamber Singers and University Chorus

    No prepared song is needed for the first round of auditions (for all choirs), which will include vocalizing, singing simple patterns by ear, and simple sight singing. A prepared song is requested for Chamber Singers callbacks, which will be scheduled towards the end of the audition period.

    CHORAL GROUPS AUDITION SCHEDULE:
    In August of every year, there is an audition sign-up sheet on the bulletin board next to e FA163A. At other times of year, auditions are held by appointment at the beginning and end of every semester. Please email Bill Culverhouse at wculverh@binghamton.edu to schedule an audition.


    VOICE

    REQUIREMENTS: For Voice Lessons

    Prepared solo from classical or Broadway repertoire: standard art song literature, musicals, theater music of a lyric nature. Bring music. An accompanist is provided. No recorded accompaniments, self-accompanying or original compositions allowed.

    MM & BMUS VOICE AUDITION SCHEDULE:
    Sign Up Sheet on the bulletin board next to FA163A

    VOICE (NEW & RETURNING UNDERGRADS)
    Sign Up Sheet on the bulletin board next to FA163A


    PIANO

    REQUIREMENTS: For Piano Ensemble & Piano Lessons

    Prepare two pieces of contrasting styles demonstrating technique and musicianship. Students should have a minimum of 3 years of piano study.

    PIANO AUDITION SCHEDULE:
    Sign up sheet posted on FA 176 for NEW and RETURNING Students


    Organ/Harpsichord

    REQUIREMENTS: For Organ & Harpsichord Lessons

    Previous keyboard experience necessary. Prepare to play one work on either piano or organ for the audition.

    ORGAN/HARPSICHORD AUDITION SCHEDULE:
    Sign up sheet posted on FA 28, or contact wlawson@binghamton.edu for appointment


    JAZZ

    REQUIREMENTS: FOR HARPUR JAZZ ENSEMBLE - FA24
    Students audition while sitting in with the Jazz Ensemble.

    JAZZ IMPROVISATION - FA24
    Auditions are held in FA 24 the first Tuesday evening of the semester. Students should bring instruments except keyboard, bass and drums.


    NUKPORFE AFRICAN DANCE AND DRUMMING ENSEMBLE

    NUKPORFE AUDITION SCHEDULE:
    TBA


    DZIDEFO AFRICA CHOIR

    AUDITION SCHEDULE:
    TBA

Our Facilities

The Department presents nearly 100 concerts yearly including solo recitals and ensemble concerts by students, faculty and guest artists. Many of these events are free for students and take place in the Anderson Center Concert Theater (1170 seats), the Chamber Hall (425 seats), Watters Theater (558 seats), and Casadesus Recital Hall (225 seats).

Please visit the Anderson Center's Theaters page for more information.