Ensembles

The School of Music offers a broad range of ensemble experiences including Rock, Afro-Cuban, Jazz, World and Classical - a small sampling is listed below. Please consult the Class Schedule for current offerings and view the course descriptions as well. Contact instructors (see below) for audition dates and repertoire. All ensembles are MUS classes, and carry unit credit. Add permits are available from course instructors during the first class meeting. Some ensembles can satisfy GE requirements. All ensembles are open to everyone, with placement auditions during the first week of each semester. SF State students enrolled in ensembles are eligible for scholarships - see ensemble directors for information.

Afro-Cuban Ensemble

  • Undergrad and Grad: Register for MUS 386 "World Music Ensembles (Topic: Afro-Cuban Ensemble)"

Focusses on the interconnectedness of African influences in the Americas, Afro-Cuban performs Pan-African-American styles of music from South America and the Caribbean and jazz. Audition: Play or sing a song of your choice -- singers are encouraged, but not required, to sing in Spanish.

Contact: John Calloway, Director, jcallow@sfsu.edu

Chamber Music / Camerata

  • Undergrad: Register for MUS 398 and 396 (non-GE) or MUS 400-11 and 400-12 (GE Area C)
  • Graduate: MUS 378 and 778

Chamber music ensembles rehearse, perform and are coached by School of Music Faculty throughout the semester and ensembles receive additional feedback at a weekly master class attended by peers, faculty members, and distinguished guests. Camerata is a professional-level string ensemble, consisting of students, alumni faculty and guests.

Contact: Zakarias Grafilo, Director, zgasq@sfsu.edu

Chamber Singers

  • Undergrad: Register for MUS 373 (non-GE) or MUS 400-05 and 400-06 (GE Area C)
  • Graduate: MUS 373

Focussing on challenging classical repertoire for 16-20 singers, Chamber Singers performs on and off campus. Audition info: sign up for an audition time on the choral bulletin board outside of room 146 in the Creative Arts Building. No preparation required audition.

Contact: Nicholas Nackley, Director, nnackley@sfsu.edu

Creative World Ensemble

  • Undergrad and Grad: Register for MUS 386 "World Music Ensembles (Topic: Creative Arts Ensemble)"

Draws from a variety of musical traditions and genres allowing students to create highly original intercultural arrangements and improvisations. Vocal and instrumental areas may include: Africa (kora, mbira, djembe), India (sarod, tabla), China (guzheng), Australia (dijeridoo), Philippines (kulintang), Europe (Celtic violin, Bulgarian women's choir, accordion), the Americas (Lakota vocals), Iran and the Arab World (daf, ney, santur, oud).

Contact: Hafez Modirzadeh, Director, fezmo@sfsu.edu

Jazz Combos

  • Undergrad and Grad: Register for “MUS 388 (Instructor: Speight)” or MUS 400-13 and 400-14 (GE Area C)
  • Graduate: MUS 378

Small jazz combos play and study the music and concepts of modern jazz masters.Jazz combos rehearse, perform and are coached by the School of Music faculty throughout the semester.

Contact: Andrew Speight, Director, andrewspeight@mac.com

Opera Workshop

  • Undergrad: Register for MUS 376 (non-GE) or MUS 400-09 and 400-10 (GE Area C)
  • Graduate: MUS 379

Presenting opera scenes, as well fully-staged productions with sets, costumes and orchestra. Recent full productions include Die Fledermaus, La Calisto, Alcina, Beatrice and Benedict and scenes programs of music including Mozart, Britten, Monteverdi, Cherubini and Handel.

Contact: Christine Brandes, Director, cbrandes@sfsu.edu

Orchestra

  • Undergrad: Register for MUS 371 (non-GE) or MUS 400-01 and 400-01 (GE Area C)
  • Graduate: MUS 371

Large classical instrumental ensemble. Open to all. Members demonstrate an outstanding level of musicianship and commitment. Repertoire includes selections of standard repertoire, as well as new music from student composers, readings for orchestration projects and annual Concerto Competition Concert. Students should prepare 5 minutes of music on their chosen instrument for audition.

Contact: Cyrus Ginwala, Director, School of Music, cginwala@sfsu.edu

Treble Singers: “The Higher Ups”

  • Undergrad: Register for MUS 375 (non-GE) or MUS 400-07 and 400-08 (GE Area C)
  • Graduate: MUS 375

Welcomes treble-voice singers of all genders and experience levels who love to sing. Performs a wide variety of music each semester, from spirituals and protest songs to art music and choral masterworks for high voices. Performs on- and off-campus. Entrance is by a simple, friendly audition at the beginning of each semester.

Contact: Reuben Zellman, Director, reubenz@sfsu.edu

University Chorus

  • Undergrad: Register for MUS 379 (non-GE) or MUS 400-15 and 400-16 (GE Area C)
  • Graduate: MUS 379

The largest performance ensemble at SF State, the University Chorus is an auditioned ensemble open to all. Audition sign up on bulletin board outside of room 146 in Creative Arts Building during the first week of classes. No preparation necessary for audition. You will be asked to sing vocal exercises and may be asked to sight-read a melody.

Contact: David Xiques, Director, dxiques@sfsu.edu

Vocal Jazz

  • Undergrad and Grad: Register for: “MUS 388 Jazz Combos (Topic: Vocal/Jazz Modern Music)"

Opportunities to explore jazz music and perform with a group and as a soloist are highlighted. Students participate in active listening, analysis and group/individual rehearsal of assigned material. Special attention to historically significant jazz recordings, films, video documentaries may be included.

Contact: Renee Lubin-Holmes, Director, voicetec@sfsu.edu

Wind Ensemble

  • Undergrad: Register for MUS 372 (non-GE) or MUS 400-02 and 400-03 (GE Area C)
  • Graduate: MUS 372

Large classical instrumental ensemble.Open to all. Members demonstrate an outstanding level of musicianship and commitment. Repertoire includes selections of standard repertoire, as well as new music and commissions. Students should prepare 5 minutes of music on their chosen instrument for audition.

Contact: Brad Hogarth, Director, School of Music, hogarth@sfsu.edu