One of the hallmarks of the School of Music is its commitment to the study and performance of high-quality and historically significant music from all stylistic genres. WVU music faculty continue to present highly praised performances, both on and off campus. Faculty performing groups include the Laureate Wind Quintet and the West Virginia Piano Quartet.
WVU student performing groups include a wide range of opportunities in a variety of musical traditions and styles. The student and community performing groups are open to all qualified WVU students by audition. All groups must be taken for credit unless noted below.
The award-winning Mountaineer Marching Band (“The Pride of West Virginia”) of more than 325 members is open by audition to all qualified students in the University. Its activities are confined to the first semester, during which it presents exciting shows at football games and other special events throughout the state and the country.
The Wind Symphony is a select group of the finest wind and percussion performers in the University. Membership is earned through competitive auditions. The ensemble presents at least four concerts per year comprised of the finest classical and contemporary wind literature.
The Symphonic Band is a sixty-member ensemble open to both music and non-music majors. Membership is through audition. Emphasis is placed on learning and performing standard and modern concert literature. This ensemble rehearses two days per week and performs a concert at the end of each semester.
The Concert Band is open to any student in the University who wishes to continue his/her musical experience. Membership does not require an audition. This ensemble meets during the spring semester only and rehearses one day each week. Concerts include music by some of today’s top wind band composers and arrangers.
The fifty-member Pep Band is open by audition to all qualified WVU students. It performs at men’s and women’s home basketball games and also travels to various tournaments.
WVU Symphony Orchestra
This national award-winning ensemble is known for its outstanding performances of standard and innovative programs. WVUSO presents six to eight programs a year and trains students to perform at the highest level of artistic expression and technical expertise. In 2014, WVUSO was one of only two collegiate orchestras invited to perform at the national conference of the College Orchestra Directors Association in Fort Worth, Texas.
Recent programs have included works by Tchaikovsky, Janáček, Ravel, Gubaidulina, Rautavaara, Herrmann, Beethoven, and many others. Membership is open to qualified students and community members by audition.Symphony Orchestra Audition Information
The University Choir is the flagship ensemble of the dynamic, 5-ensemble WVU choral program. This select mixed choir is comprised primarily of junior, senior and graduate vocalists. The University Choir studies and performs complex repertoire from all stylistic genres, accompanied and a cappella, and travels frequently. Training the professional choral musician is the primary focus of this ensemble. In addition to performance, the curriculum challenges singers to hone their personal musicianship skills, apply and synthesize musical facts and concepts presented in other course work, and develop a professional work ethic. Podium opportunities are afforded to graduate conducting majors and qualified undergraduates.
The University Choir performs regularly with the WVU Wind Symphony and WVU Symphony Orchestra and often represents the university at special events on and off campus. The choir has premiered the music of faculty and student composers, participated in several recording projects, and presented major concerts both regionally and internationally.
The Women’s Choir studies and performs choral music for women’s voices representing all stylistic genres. Selected by audition, this ensemble includes primarily freshmen and sophomore female vocal majors, instrumentalists, and talented non-majors who wish to continue singing in a select chamber choir. Emphasis is placed on the training of the total choral musician, including exposure to foreign languages, development of the musical ear, understanding performance practices, and the healthy use of the voice in a choral context. The Women’s Choir participates in recordings, combines with other ensembles for major works, and travels occasionally.
The WV Community Choir (Choral Union) studies and performs choral masterworks and other music for large choir. Numbering approximately eighty singers, The WV Community Choir is comprised of university students, faculty, and staff, and adult community members. Adult community members who wish to join the ensemble do not need to enroll for credit. In addition to the School of Music ensembles, this choir has collaborated with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Wheeling Symphony.
Along with the major choral ensembles, the School of Music offers two vocal jazz ensembles, also open to all students by audition. Comprehensive study and performance of traditional and contemporary vocal jazz and other popular musical styles is presented in Same Difference, a vocal octet with rhythm section, and the Women’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble. These ensembles are often called upon to sing for special events, both on and off campus.
WVU Choirs home page
The Jazz Area features ten different ensembles ranging in size from piano trios to big bands. They play a wide variety of styles including Bebop, Latin, Fusion, and Experimental and Avant Garde. The ensembles are open by audition to all WVU students.
The Opera Theatre mounts fully staged productions of standard operatic repertoire and also presents programs of opera scenes each season.
A variety of chamber ensembles feature combinations of woodwinds, brass, percussion, and string instruments and include the internationally acclaimed Percussion Ensemble, African Drum and Dance Ensemble, Guitar Ensembles, and the New Music Ensemble.
Founded in the fall of 2014, the WVU Bluegrass Band is West Virginia University’s only ensemble devoted exclusively to the performance of Appalachian music. Performing in both traditional and contemporary bluegrass styles, the students in the WVU Bluegrass Band work to develop strong vocal, instrumental, and band leadership skills. Moreover, the group comes together weekly for an extended jam session in which less experienced musicians have the opportunity to learn from their more experienced colleagues. The WVU Bluegrass Band is directed by Travis Stimeling, assistant professor of music history.