Stones River Chamber Players  (faculty ensemble)


We offer a wide array of ensembles. Our School of Music ensembles are open to all MTSU students for participation regardless of academic major. Most ensembles require an audition, which typically takes place during the first week of classes each semester. Please reach out to the ensemble director for information regarding auditions. 

Are you interested in participating in a Large Ensemble?  Find audition materials here.

Student Ensemble Performance Opportunities

Band of Blue

The marching band at MTSU, the Band of Blue, is directed by Craig Cornish and Denny Hawkins and presents  original halftime shows at all home football games and selected out-of-town games. Membership is open to any university student who can display good marching techniques and a fundamental proficiency on an instrument used in the marching band. Guard, majorettes, and dance team members are accepted by audition. Two semesters of marching band may be substituted for two courses of General Studies physical activity credit, but this substitution does not meet teacher licensure requirements.

MTSU Chamber Winds

The Middle Tennessee State University Chamber Winds, conducted by Dr. Reed Thomas, is a highly select group of musicians within the School of Music dedicated to the study and performance of wind literature from the Renaissance to the latest compositions. The ensemble was founded in 2003 as an outgrowth of The MTSU Wind Ensemble and performs 3-5 concerts each semester. Seating is rotated from piece-to-piece, and instrumentation varies, giving each composition a realization best representing each composer's intent. Membership is open to all MTSU students and is based upon successful audition.

Chinese Music Ensemble

Become a founding member of the MTSU Chinese Ensemble! Students in the ensemble will learn to play contemporary and traditional Chinese music on authentic Chinese instruments provided by the Center for Chinese Music and Culture. The private and group lessons will be taught by professors from the Central Conservaroty of Music in Beijing. No prior experience with Chinese music is required to join, but some prior musical experience is recommended. The ensemble is open to all MTSU students with permission of the Director, Dr. Mei Han at Mei.Han@mtsu.edu

Clarinet Choir

The Middle Tennessee State University Clarinet Choir is an ensemble comprised of undergraduate and graduate clarinetists studying in MTSU’s School of Music.  The group consists of about 20 players who perform on the soprano, bass and contralto clarinets.  The MTSU Clarinet Choir has performed through competitive audition at the 2016 and 2014 International Clarinet Association “ClarinetFest” conventions in Louisiana and Kansas, the Vandoren/Buffet Clarinet Ensemble Festival in North Carolina, and the Tennessee State Music Educators annual convention. Dr. Todd Waldecker, Professor of Clarinet at MTSU, directs the ensemble.

Commercial Music Ensemble

The Commercial Music Ensemble provides students with the experience of choosing songs, working with arrangements, rehearsing with the band, and bringing it all together as a cohesive performance. The ensemble draws its material from any style of music that has achieved popularity in the music industry as well as students' original songs. The group contains a small section of vocalists who perform lead and background vocals, and a rhythm section with drum set, electric bass, acoustic and electric guitar, piano, and keyboard. Horn players are often recruited for the performances as well. The CME performs at the School of Music, in various on-campus venues, and has produced recordings in collaboration with the Recording Industry Department. This ensemble is formed by auditions taking place at the beginning of each semester. For more information please contact Matt Lund at Matthew.Lund@mtsu.edu

Flute Choir

The MTSU Flute Choir is an enthusiastic group of flutists that perform a variety of musical styles ranging from Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary, Popular and Jazz. The MTSU Flute Choir currently consist of sixteen members and showcase all four members of the flute family: piccolo, C flute, alto flute and bass flute.

Guitar Ensembles

Performing some of the greatest literature written for this ensemble, the MTSU Guitar Ensembles give students valuable chamber experience. Students interested in joining an ensemble should contact Dr. William Yelverton, coordinator of the MTSU Guitar Department. 

Horn Ensemble

The MTSU Horn Ensemble is open to all MTSU horn players with the instructor's approval. The Horn Ensemble rehearses once a week, playing a variety of standard literature ranging stylistically from the popular "Fripperies" to the more classically oriented horn literature. Additionally, they rehearse and play standard selections from orchestral literature, with an emphasis on style and ear training. The Horn Ensemble usually meets in the early evening when most students are available for rehearsal. The ensemble performs in recital at least once every semester.

Jazz Combos

Directed by jazz faculty and graduate jazz teaching assistants, these small ensembles provide students the opportunity to develop jazz performing skills, master standard literature, strengthen improvisational ability, and explore original compositions and arrangements. Placement in combos is by audition and the groups range from beginning to advanced. The combos perform both on and off campus. For audition information email James.Simmons@mtsu.edu

MTSU Jazz Ensemble I

MTSU Jazz Ensemble I is the top performing large ensemble in the jazz studies program. It features the most experienced student players and concentrates on cutting-edge literature, master works from the big band repertoire, and performance of student compositions and arrangements. Members of Jazz Ensemble I commit to the highest levels of professionalism as individual soloists, section-members, and as contributors to the group sound.  This ensemble has toured throughout the mid-Southeast recruiting. A highlight is the ensemble's annual headline appearance at the MTSU Illinois Jacquet Jazz Festival with an internationally acclaimed jazz artist. Recent guests have included Dave Douglas, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Jimmy Heath, Rich Perry, and Matt Wilson. Directed by Jamey Simmons (James.Simmons@mtsu.edu)

MTSU Jazz Ensemble II

MTSU Jazz Ensemble II focuses on providing students with performance experience in the big band jazz idiom. Performing a variety of styles, this ensemble focuses on the basics of improvisation. Directed by Don Aliquo (Don.Aliquo@mtsu.edu).

MTSU Singers - Jazz Vocal Ensemble

MTSU Singers is an audition-only select group of no more than sixteen singers. The ensemble performs jazz standards and jazz-style arrangements of popular music, and includes choral jazz and vocal improvisation.

MTSU Singers Audition Form          Circle Song

MTSU Symphony Orchestra

The Symphony Orchestra is the premiere orchestral ensemble of the MTSU School of Music. Repertoire is selected from masterpieces of the standard orchestral literature and outstanding contemporary compositions. The Symphony is open to all MTSU students by audition (regardless of major). Music Scholarships are available to highly qualified music majors and non-majors by audition. [Dr. Carol Nies, Music Director- Carol.Nies@mtsu.edu]

MTSU Chamber Orchestra

Advanced string players, regardless of major, are encouraged to audition for the Chamber Orchestra. Weekly one-hour rehearsals culminate in a performance at the end of the semester. Students learn diverse repertoire and ensemble skills in a friendly but focused environment. Contact Dr. Andrea Dawson for more information. Click here for schedule and audition information.

MTSU Concert Orchestra

The Concert Orchestra offers the opportunity for all MTSU students, faculty and staff to enjoy participation in an orchestral ensemble. An audition is not required. Repertoire is selected from all periods of orchestral literature. The MTSU Concert Orchestra has premiered many compositions and arrangements by MTSU students. Music Education and Performance majors may audition to serve as assistant conductors. Contact Dr. Carol Nies to reserve a position in the Concert Orchestra. Click here for schedule information.

Percussion Ensemble

At MTSU, we have two percussion ensembles that perform music written specifically for percussion, usually coming from the 20th century onward. Typically, these ensembles require 9-13 percussionists. The percussion ensembles at MTSU have played the music of many notable composers in recent years, including Mark Ford, Kevin Erickson, James Campbell, and David Holsinger. In addition to these two ensembles, there are also smaller, student-led chamber groups that perform similar music written for 4-6 players. The percussion ensembles have performed and competed at the Tennessee Music Educators Association, The National Orff Convention, and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (P.A.S.I.C.)

Piano Ensembles

Students in piano ensembles study and perform representative selections drawn from the rich repertory of music written for one piano, four hands; two pianos, four hands; and two pianos, eight hands. Both original compositions and transcriptions from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries are covered in various semesters.

MTSU Salsa Band

The MTSU Salsa Band is an ensemble dedicated to the study and performance of Afro-Cuban Salsa music. The group includes a horn section, percussion section, a bass, and a piano. The percussion section generally includes congas, timbales, bongos, and a drum set while the horn section includes trumpets, saxophones, and a trombone. The group is open to students through audition. The members of the group study the style, form, and history or Afro-Cuban music, and are encouraged to write or arrange tunes in salsa style. Under the direction of Associate Professor Lalo Davila, the group performs both on and off campus.


Saxophone Ensemble

One of this nation's versatile ensembles, the saxophone ensemble is known for performing all styles of music. This group has performed in many different venues such as school concerts, jazz festivals, shopping malls, and student recitals. The ensemble is open to all students at MTSU seeking an opportunity for a challenging and exciting musical experience.

Small Brass Ensembles

Students are encouraged and given the opportunity to gain chamber music experience through the formation of small chamber groups, trios, quartets, quintets, etc. Faculty members coach the ensembles, and performing venues are available on and off campus.

Steel Band

MTSU takes great pride in our steel drum bands, as they add a unique flavor to our arsenal of percussion sounds. These smaller, 8-10 member bands often perform professional and student arrangements of modern popular music. They perform regularly both on and off campus as well as a formal concert each semester. Furthermore, they have had the honor of performing twice with the Nashville Symphony.

Symphonic Band

The MTSU Symphonic Band fosters the highest performance standards while offering its members an opportunity to expand their technical, intellectual, and musical horizons. The ensemble seeks to broaden performance and pedagogical skills through the programming of exemplary wind band literature while fostering an interest in the band as an integral part of the American musical scene. Membership is open to all university students through audition and the conductor is Craig Cornish, Associate Director of Bands.

Concert Band (Monday Night Band)

This ensemble is available for all interested students who want to continue to enhance their musical outlet without having the pressures of a rigorous concert schedule. The group meets only during the spring semester on Monday evenings and performs one concert at the end of the semester. Participation does not require an audition. Membership consists of students from across the campus, as well as instrumental music education majors who are interested in playing secondary and tertiary instruments.

Trombone Ensemble

Membership is open to majors and non-majors. Instructor approval is needed to join. There is one rehearsal each week. Repertoire includes transcriptions and original works for trombone choir. The trombone ensemble performs publicly at least once each semester.

Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble

Directed by Professor of Tuba, Dr. Chris Combest, this ensemble has a long history of performing, touring and commissioning new works. Offered in the spring semester, the ensemble includes euphonium and tuba music majors, music majors wishing to perform on a secondary instrument as well as non-majors. Performances include on campus programs combined with other brass groups and an educational tour of schools. The 2011 ensemble includes students from 4 states, majoring in Instrumental Performance Music Industry and Instrumental Music Education.

Wind Ensemble

Conducted by Dr. Reed Thomas, The MTSU Wind Ensemble is the premier performing ensemble for wind, brass, and percussion students at the university. Members are selected through audition each semester and comprise the best musicians at MTSU. The ensemble explores the vast range of the wind repertoire by utilizing a flexible instrumentation approach where the repertoire dictates the number of players for each piece. The ensemble is dedicated to performing outstanding and challenging works of diverse musical styles while furthering wind music of artistic and historical significance. Performing three to five concerts each semester, they also tour extensively throughout the region and overseas. The Wind Ensemble is recognized as one of the outstanding university ensembles in the country and abroad having performed on concert tours of South Korea, China, Costa Rica, and Panama. Membership is open to all MTSU students and is based upon successful audition. Audition and further information can be found by visiting the MTSU band website.

Woodwind Chamber Ensembles

Students are encouraged and given the opportunity to gain chamber music experience through the formation of small chamber groups, trios, quartets, quintets, etc. Faculty members coach the ensembles, and performing venues are available on and off campus. 

Opera Theater (Opera and Musical Theater Webpage)

The Opera Theater is the preparation and public performance of opera and/or musical theater, either a complete work or a program of scenes from various opera and/or musical theater pieces. The type of staged production performed in any given semester is contingent upon the make-up of the students enrolled in the class. Technical (use of stage make-up, etc.) and performing aspects of opera and musical theater productions are studied. Attention is paid to helping students develop acting as well as musical skills as they relate to performing opera and/or musical theater. Admission to Opera Theater is by audition only. 

Schola Cantorum

Participation in the Schola Cantorum is by audition only. It is designed primarily for upper division vocal majors and graduate students. Repertory includes choral works from the Renaissance to the present. This group is also a touring choral ensemble. Formal Concert attire is required. For more information, contact conductor Raphael.Bundage@mtsu.edu

Audition form for Schola Cantorum

Tenor/Bass Chorale

The MTSU Tenor/Bass Chorale (aka TEBA) is made up of music majors and minors, musical theatre minors, and students from all disciplines across the university—from biochemistry to mechatronics. They perform two concerts per semester, and sing a variety of styles of music. Re-established in October 2019, they were the featured for the 2020 Williamson County Men’s Choral Festival. For more information, contact conductor Angela.Tipps@mtsu.edu

Soprano/Alto Chorale

The MTSU Soprano/Alto Chorale (aka SOAL) is made up of some of the university’s most talented female voices. Usually half of the singers are music majors, while the others represent many academic disciplines—from aerospace to agribusiness. The Chorale performs a variety of styles of music, from major works for treble voices to folk songs and Broadway selections. They have performed for the southern division conference of the American Choral Directors Association, the Tennessee Music Education Association, and with the Nashville Symphony at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. For more information, contact conductor Angela.Tipps@mtsu.edu

View more SOAL Chorale Videos on YouTube here