Swope Music Building
817 S. High Street
West Chester, PA 19383
School of Music
Dr. Christopher Hanning
Administrative Assistant to Dean
Will Hillegeist, M.M.
Matthew Scott Miller
Robert (Bob) Rust
Recording Engineer/Video Technician
Director, Acoustic Instrument Technical Services
Cantari is a select, advanced women's chorus, comprised largely of vocal music majors and other women who have the vocal skills and musicianship to essay more difficult literature. Twice a year, Cantari Donne partners with the Men's Chorus to sing works for mixed voices.
The WCU Chamber Choir is a small ensemble who performs vocal jazz, often one on a part. The highly select group of singers is chosen not only for their musical skills, but for their ability to sing close harmony and to blend. Most are given solo opportunities in the group, which is accompanied by a jazz trio. Students enrolled in this group must also register and sing in another choir simultaneously to meet their graduation requirements.
This ensemble allows string players to focus exclusively on string techniques. In rehearsals we deal with issues such as how to make stylistic changes in bowing vibrato, bow speed and pressure. We provide music on occasion for University functions, the holiday program and the annual Bach Program, in addition to our own complete program each semester. The group often features both faculty and student soloists and additional instrumentalists are invited to do performances that include some woodwind, brass and percussion players. The group is also performing contemporary pieces including Andrea Clearfied Romanza for Violin and Orchestra, and the string orchestra arrangement of Shostakovich String Quartet #8.
The West Chester University Chamber Winds is a player pool of approximately 25 musicians that performs a diverse repertoire of music for groups as small as eight performers to as large as 23. The Chamber Winds performs two to three concerts a year on campus and regularly tours in the region and abroad. Recent trips have included performances throughout Italy, in Regensburg, Germany, Salzburg, Austria, Prague, Czech Republic, Vienna, Austria, Oxford, United Kingdom and Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.
The concert band is a campus wide organization meeting during the Spring semester. It is open to any University student and provides an outlet for musical expression. Students practice twice a week and perform one concert at the end of the semester. In addition, the students are encouraged to rehearse as a section one hour a week. The ensemble performs modern, multicultural, and standard band literature. This ensemble is the only concert band open to any student regardless of ability level.
The West Chester University Concert Choir is the flagship choral ensemble at West Chester. This ensemble is chosen by competitive audition from among the 500 music majors enrolled in the School of Music. They strive to perform, in a historically sensitive manner, music of all styles and epochs from the past five centuries. The choir tours regularly, and recent excursions have sent them to California, Florida, the Desert Southwest and Europe (London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Venice, Florence, and Rome, Italy) as well as concertizing in New York and in Philadelphia.
The Criterions Jazz Ensemble performs a variety of big band traditional and contemporary jazz literature. Besides concerts at West Chester University, the ensemble often plays at nearby high schools and participates in jazz festivals in the tri-state area. The organization is open to students of all curricula, and admission is through an audition held during the first week of the Fall semester.
The WCU Flute Ensemble is a large group that is open to all flute majors with no audition, while the Night Winds Flute Ensemble is a smaller, precision ensemble that accepts members by audition only. Both groups rehearse weekly and perform several times a semester, including at the annual Flutefest. The Night Winds often perform off campus throughout the greater Philadelphia area. The two groups program works from the standard flute choir repertoire as well as pieces by contemporary composers. Students have the opportunity to play the piccolo, alto, and bass flute and gain experience working on tone quality, technique, ensemble blending, and intonation.
The West Chester University Marching Band is an organization comprised of 325 students. Recognized as one of the premiere marching bands in the country, the "Golden Rams" marching band has developed a tradition of combining quality music with contemporary drill to reflect the latest innovations in band performance.
This organization represents the University at local parades, band competitions, and football games. The band has also brought national recognition through its performances at Eagles', Jets', Giants', Redskins', and Steelers' football games; World Series games; performances in the Macy's and Boscov's Thanksgiving Day Parades; and the Philadelphia "We the People Parade".
The University receives many benefits from this organization. As well as a powerful recruiting and instructional tool, the band provides an educational setting for developing instructional skills essential to a music education curriculum. Students receive teaching experiences as instructors. Positive communication skills are encouraged and reinforced.
The purpose of this organization is to perform music for one, two, three, four or more classical guitars from the Renaissance to the present day. This experience develops musicianship in a way that solo playing alone does not. Activities include an ensemble concert at the end of each semester in addition to other performances on and off campus.
This energetic harp orchestra is a fifteen member ensemble. The annual WCU Harp festival event hosts up to 25 harps along with alumni and professional musicians.The next WCU Harp fest is November 13, 2016 at 3 PM MWAT.
The Latin Jazz Ensemble is a performance group that plays the styles made popular by musicians such as Mario Bauza, Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri. Members of this ensemble learn the fundamentals of playing in clavé as well as more advanced concepts of Latin music styles with an emphasis on strong rhythmic interpretation, performance practices, and improvisation. The Latin Jazz Ensemble performs on campus every semester as well as additional performances at area high school jazz festivals and Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations.
As an enrichment opportunity for talented high school musicians, the members of the Liberty Wind Symphony sponsor the Liberty Youth Wind Symphony. Based on the model of regional youth orchestras, members of the Liberty Youth Wind Symphony will participate in weekly rehearsals that expose students to outstanding wind band literature in full ensemble and chamber music settings. Led by musical directors Dr. Andrew Yozviak and Dr. M. Gregory Martin, the Liberty Youth Wind Symphony performs regular concerts throughout the academic year.
The Liberty Wind Symphony is a professional ensemble dedicated to the artistic presentation of quality wind band literature. Through a season of spectacular performances and a commitment to various outreach programs, The Liberty Wind Symphony hopes to make its mark on the already rich cultural fabric of southeastern Pennsylvania.
Mastersingers is a mixed-voice choir selected by competitive audition. The group presents concerts of shorter works and longer masterworks, usually with orchestra or instrumental accompaniment from a wide range of musical styles and epochs. Their goal is to develop vocal and musical skills required for performing choral music in an expressive manner. Each Spring, Mastersingers and Concert Choir combine to perform a large choral/orchestral work with the WCU Symphony Orchestra. Students enrolled in this course must enroll for both semesters of the academic year.
Men's Chorus is comprised of music majors and students from other academic disciplines, who sing a variety of literature for men's voices. Each term, they combine with Cantari Donne, the advanced women's ensemble, to perform one concert that usually features a major choral work.
The New Music Ensemble is a collection of student and faculty performers coordinated by the Music Theory and Composition department. Concerts feature a wide variety of acoustic and electronic chamber works (many of them world-premieres) by student and faculty composers as well as guest composers.
West Chester University Opera Theatre is an auditioned organization, open to any student. The Opera Theatre mounts 2 productions a year, the major production in the Fall and a second reading-type production in the Spring. The current 2008-2009 season features Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortiléges, and Offenbach's R.S.V.P. The Fall 2009 opera will be Francis Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites. Auditions are held at the end of each semester.
The Percussion Ensemble plays an important role in the education of its members by enhancing their skills and technical abilities in percussion performance. Members gain skills in ensemble playing, musicianship and musical knowledge. The Percussion Ensemble plays an important role in the promotion of West Chester University. Performances on campus and extensive touring off campus allow the group to convey the ideals and standards of the School of Music and to perform 40-45 concerts a year at elementary, middle and senior high schools. The ensemble performs various styles of music from classical, show tunes and pop/rock repertoire.
Historically the number two jazz ensemble to the Criterions jazz ensemble, Statesmen Jazz Ensemble gives students a chance to perform in a large jazz ensemble, learn jazz repertoire and playing techniques.
Membership into the Symphonic Wind Symphony is open to any West Chester University student. An audition is required in October for participation in the Spring semester. The band rehearses two hours a week, meeting once a week in the Fall term and twice a week in the Spring term. Students are asked to conduct a sectional for one hour each week. Music selections are chosen from the standard band literature, transcriptions, and light concert repertoire.
As the flagship ensemble of the School of Music, the Symphony Orchestra presents five concerts each year and performs at University functions. Important concerts are presented out of campus, in such venues as The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. The ensemble, composed of 70 musicians, performs symphonic music from the 18th century to the present, including some of the pinnacles of the orchestral repertoire. Membership is open to any student from the University and exceptional musicians from the community by audition. Rehearsals take place twice weekly. After a sold out debut at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, during July of 2004 the orchestra embarked on its first European tour. Subsequently, the orchestra was invited to participate in the prestigious Catania International Festival in Sicily, Italy. Romanian born conductor Ovidiu Marinescu combines an efficient technique with great musical inspiration. He has conducted professional groups in Romania, Russia, Switzerland and the US, and has accumulated years of experience with student groups.
After the concert in Brasov, Romania, the newspaper Actualitatea Muzicala wrote: "Extremely receptive, the American musicians confirmed their artistic potential, which was precisely and subtly focused by the leader of the group, conductor Ovidiu Marinescu. The West Chester University Orchestra tour established a moment of conjunction between the Romanian and American musical traditions, at the same time being an opportunity to delight the Romanian audiences."
The WCU Wind Ensemble is composed of 45 of the finest wind and percussion players at WCU. As a premier ensemble, the group represents WCU at conventions and performs in high schools throughout the region. Many news works have been commissioned by the Ensemble in recent years. Member is open to all students and is by audition.
Women's Chorus provides opportunities for choral singing to women from throughout the campus community. The choir sings a wide variety of literature, from classical music of all periods to folk songs and spirituals.