View Text Only Version

School of Music

Student Ensembles

Contact School of Music  

School of Music

Swope Music Building
817 S. High Street
West Chester, PA 19383

School of Music
Phone: 610-436-2739
Fax: 610-436-2873

Dr. Christopher Hanning
Phone: 610-430-4178

Kaysey Davis
Administrative Assistant to Dean
Phone: 610-430-4177

Will Hillegeist, M.M.
Business Manager
Phone: 610-436-3484

Matthew Scott Miller
Events Coordinator
Phone: 610-436-2678

Robert (Bob) Rust
Recording Engineer/Video Technician
Phone: 610-436-2937

Gerry Cousins
Director, Acoustic Instrument Technical Services
Phone: 610-436-2634

Faculty Contact Information:
Applied Music
Music Education
Music Theory, History and Composition

Back to top of page.


Cantari Donne

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.

  • Ensemble Director: Ryan Kelly
  • Number of Members: Approximately 60
  • Audition Requirements: Students must audition through the choral audition process held each Fall during the first two days of classes.
  • Number of Concerts: 4 per year
  • Samples of Past Repertoire: Includes major works by Haydn, Mozart, Handel, Faure, and smaller works by composers from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries.

Chamber Choir Vocal Jazz

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.

  • Ensemble Director: Ryan Kelly
  • Number of Members: 8-10
  • Audition Requirements: Students must audition through the regular choral auditions, held each Fall during the first two days of classes.

Chamber Orchestra

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.

  • Ensemble Director: Joseph Caminiti
  • Number of Members: 20
  • Audition Requirements: Play a solo for the conductor.
  • Number of Concerts: 2 per year
  • Samples of Past Repertoire:
    • Dvořák Serenade for Strings
    • Bach Brandenburg Concerto #4
    • Mozart Serenade Notturna
    • Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Greensleeves
    • Elgar Serenade for Strings
    • Vivaldi Four Seasons
    • Bach Double Concerto
    • Hummel Trumpet Concerto
    • Corelli Concerto Grosso Op. 6#6
    • Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings
    • Vivaldi Concerto for two flutes
    • William Boyce Concerto Grosso
    • Haydn Cello Concerto in C

Chamber Winds

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.

  • Ensemble Director: Andrew Yozviak
  • Number of Members: Flexible instrumentation performing pieces of 8-23 musicians
  • Audition Requirements: Auditioned group each semester
  • Number of Concerts: 2-3 per academic year

Concert Band

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.

  • Ensemble Director: Greg Martin
  • Number of Members: 100
  • Audition Requirements: No audition is required for participation. Auditions are held for seating purposes only. Students are asked to play major scales and perform a prepared selection demonstrating ability in both lyrical and bravura playing styles. Sight-reading will be included as part of the audition for seating.
  • Number of Concerts: 1 per Spring semester
  • Samples of Past Repertoire:
    • Second Suite in F Gustav Holst
    • Peterloo Overture Arnold/Paynter
    • To the Summit Robert Smith
    • Come, Sweet Death J.S. Bach/arr. Reed
    • Ponte Romano Jan Van der Roost
    • Toward a Northern Star Gary Gilroy
    • Rhosymedre Vaughan Williams
    • When Time Will Be No More James Curnow
    • Washington Grays Claudio S.Grafulla/ arr. Schissel

Concert Choir

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.

  • Ensemble Director: David P. DeVenney
  • Number of Members: 40
  • Audition Requirements: Students must audition through the choral audition process held each Fall during the first two days of classes. Students enrolled must accept placement for the entire academic year.
  • Number of Concerts: Approximately 6 per year, although often these are repeated on tour off-campus
  • Samples of Past Repertoire: Include Handel's Dixit Dominus with the Philadelphia Classical Symphony, the Pizzetti Requiem, and Vaughan Williams' Dona nobis pacem, among other larger works.

Criterions Jazz Ensemble

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.

  • Ensemble Director: Marc Jacoby
  • Number of Members: 20+
  • Audition Requirements: Audition takes place at the beginning of the semester.
  • Number of Concerts: 2 per semester; Concerts off campus, including a multi-day tour

Double Reed Ensemble

Flute Ensemble

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.

Golden Rams Marching Band

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.

  • Program Goals:
    • Encourage students from all curricula to join the organization in order to sustain and/or increase the quality of the band and color guard.
    • Quality performances.
    • Increase the organization's visibility and recruiting power through off-campus performances.
    • Student involvement to develop leadership skills.
    • Increase educational offerings.
    • Develop pre-teacher training programs for student instructors.
    • Reinforcement of positive communication skills and excellent performance skills.
  • Ensemble Director: Andrew Yozviak
  • Number of Members: 325
  • Audition Requirements: Membership is open to all interested students.
    • The Wind Musicians can audition for parts during the pre-school band camp.
    • Percussion mini-camps are held on two different Sundays, one in June and one in July to introduce the techniques program and audition for sections. All percussion members are sent an audition packet prior to these mini-camps.
    • The Color Guard holds two introductory mini-camps in July. The purpose of these one day workshops is to acquaint you with our program allow you an opportunity to see firsthand what it takes to participate in our program. After these mini-camps you will know if you really want to be a part of the Golden Rams Marching Band.
  • Number of Concerts: The band performs for all home games, 1 or 2 away games, and 4-5 exhibitions each season. These exhibition appearances include the Cavalcade of Bands, Tournament of Bands, and USSBA marching band championships. In addition the band supports the community by participating in the Halloween and Holiday parades.
  • Rehearsals: The band rehearses every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3:15-5:15pm. A pre-school band camp is held the Tuesday - Saturday, before school begins. One credit is available for participation.
  • Samples of Past Repertoire: Each season the student leadership selects a theme or themes for the season. Past themes were: New York City Rhythms, Moulin Rouge, The Roman Empire, and Flight.

Learn More About the History of the Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band

Guitar Ensemble

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.

Harp Ensemble

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.

  • Ensemble Director: Professor Gloria Galante founded the West Chester Harp Ensemble and WCU Harp Program in 1987.
  • Number of Members: 15
  • Audition: Auditions are available and we welcome up to 25 members. Audition requirements are one Bach transcription and La Joyuese- Carlos Salazedo and one piece of your choice.
  • Harp Circle: 3rd Monday of each month (all 12 months) - located at SilverLake Nature Center

Latin Jazz Ensemble

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.

  • Ensemble Director: Marc Jacoby
  • Number of Members: 12+
  • Audition Requirements: Auditions take place at the beginning of the semester.
  • Number of Concerts: 1 per semester and concerts off campus

Liberty Youth Wind Symphony

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.

  • Ensemble Director: Andrew Yozviak
  • Number of Members: 40-55 as called for by program
  • Number of Concerts: 3-4 per season

Liberty Wind Symphony

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.

  • Ensemble Director: Andrew Yozviak and M. Gregory Martin
  • Number of Members: 70
  • Audition Requirements: By audition in June of each year.
  • Number of Concerts: 2 per season


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.

  • Ensemble Director: Ryan Kelly
  • Number of Members: 50
  • Audition Requirements: Open to all students, but must audition through choral audition process.
  • Number of Concerts: 2 per semester
  • Samples of Past Repertoire Includes Honegger's King David, Rossini's Stabat mater, Bach's Cantata No. 4, and a variety of smaller works in many styles and genres.

Men's Chorus

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.

  • Ensemble Director: David P. DeVenney
  • Number of Members: 85-100
  • Audition Requirements: Enrollment is open to any student, regardless of major. For non-music majors, a short audition will be held the first day of class. Music majors whose degree requirements include choral participation must audition for choral placement each Fall semester. Other music majors may enroll in the course without an audition.
  • Number of Concerts: 4 per year

New Music Ensemble

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.

  • Ensemble Directors: Adam Silverman and Van Stiefel
  • Number of Members: Open to all undergraduate, graduate, and faculty performers
  • Audition Requirements: Interested performers should contact the ensemble directors.
  • Number of Concerts: 2-3 per year
  • Samples of Recent Repertoire: Works by faculty members Robert Maggio, Larry Nelson, Mark Rimple, and Greg Wilder and students Genevieve Black, Chris Bryan, and Matthew Heim.

Opera Theatre

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.

Percussion Ensemble

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.

Statesmen Jazz Ensemble

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.

  • Ensemble Director: Dan Cherry
  • Number of Members: 20+
  • Audition Requirements: Perform the melody of 3 pre-selected pieces in the jazz style. Improvisation on blues chord changes. Sight reading jazz repertoire.
  • Number of Concerts: 1 per semester and possible concerts off campus
  • Samples of Past Repertoire: The band has played the repertoire of the Count Basie Orchestra, Stan Kenton Orchestra, Buddy Rich Band, Woody Herman Orchestra, Duke Ellington Orchestra, and many others.

Symphonic Wind Symphony

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.

  • Ensemble Director: Greg Martin
  • Number of Members: 70-80
  • Audition Requirements: Musicians are expected to play major scales and two contrasting solos or sections from a concerto. Grades are given based on participation, attendance, punctuality, and a midterm. The midterm grade includes excerpts from the current repertoire.
  • Number of Concerts: 1 per Fall semester; 2 per Spring semester, of which one is the annual pops concert
  • Samples of Past Repertoire:
    • American Elegy, Ticheli
    • Heroes, Lost and Fallen, Gillingham
    • Abram's Pursuit, Holsinger
    • America, The Beautiful Ward/ Arr., Dragon
    • Music for a Festival, Philip Sparke
    • October, Eric Whitacre
    • The Star of Dreams, Robert Smith
    • Of Sailors and Whales, W. Francis McBeth
    • Visions of Flight, Robert Sheldon
    • Vesuvius, Ticheli

Symphony Orchestra

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."

  • Ensemble Director: Joseph Caminiti
  • Number of Members: 70
  • Audition Requirements: Auditions for membership and seating take place in April for the Fall semester, and November for the Spring semester. Musicians are expected to play a scale and two contrasting solos. Wind players are required to perform the scale with a variety of articulations. Grades are given based on participation, attendance, punctuality, and a midterm. The midterm auditions include excerpts from the current repertoire.
  • Number of Concerts: 5 per year
  • Samples of Past Repertoire:
    • Tchaikovsky - Symphony no. 5
    • Respighi - The Pines of Rome
    • Stravinsky - The Firebird Suite
    • Enescu - Romanian Rhapsody no. 1
    • Dvořák - Symphony no. 9, "From the New World"
    • Brahms - Symphony no. 4
    • Dukas - The Sorcerer's Apprentice
    • Rimsky-Korsakov - Scheherazade
    • Beethoven - Choral Fantasy
    • Beethoven - Symphony No. 5
    • Borodin - Polovtsian Dances

Tuba Ensemble

Wind Ensemble

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.

  • Ensemble Director: Andrew Yozviak
  • Number of Members: 50
  • Audition Requirements: audition for conductor; audition consists of a piece(s) demonstrating both lyrical and technical abilities
  • Number of Concerts: 1 per semester; Occasional run outs during Spring semester
  • Samples of Past Repertoire:
    • Molly On The Shore And Shepherd's Hey, Grainger
    • Visions, Giovannini
    • Jericho, Gould
    • And The Mountains Are Rising, Schwantner
    • Fanfare For Freedom, Gould
    • Emblems, Copland
    • Overture, Creston
    • Symphonic Movement, Nelhybel
    • Alleluia, Reed
    • Fireworks, Youtz
    • American Salute, Gould
    • Second Symphony, Barnes
    • Postlude In F, Ives
    • La Procession Du Rocio, Turina

Women's Chorus

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.

  • Ensemble Director: David P. DeVenney
  • Number of Members: 65-75
  • Audition Requirements: Enrollment is open to any student, regardless of major. For non-music majors, a short audition will be held the first day of class. Music majors whose degree requirements include choral participation must audition for choral placement each Fall semester. Other music majors may enroll in the course without an audition.
  • Number of Concerts: 2 per semester

Learn More about the Official School of Music Ensemble Policies