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Music Programs

music.txstate.edu
Music Building, Room 101
512.245.2651
music@txstate.edu
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The School of Music offers many opportunities for students to continue their interests and participation in music. All students are encouraged to become a part of the Texas State bands, choirs, jazz bands, Latin music ensembles, opera, symphony orchestra and various other ensembles. Some ensembles require an audition; information on auditions can be found at music.txstate.edu/Ensembles

Band Area

Texas State has five band ensembles open to all university majors.

Concert Ensembles

  • The Wind Symphony is an auditioned group that consists of the top wind and percussion musicians in the university, regardless of major. The ensemble performs the finest repertoire written for wind band, collaborates with nationally and internationally acclaimed artists and composers, and makes appearances across the United States. They have been featured in concert at the National Conference of the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) in Tempe, Arizona and Seattle, Washington; at regional conferences of the CBDNA in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Kansas City, Missouri, and Houston, Texas; and at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention in San Antonio.
  • The Symphonic Winds presents several concerts each semester, performing traditional and contemporary band literature and collaborating with guest artists. Placement in the ensemble is open to all majors through audition.
  • The Concert Band presents several concerts each semester and is open to all university students. Non-music majors do not have to audition to be a member of this ensemble; music majors are placed in the ensemble by audition.

Athletic Bands

  • The Bobcat Marching Band (BMB) is the largest spirit organization on campus. They perform high-energy, entertaining shows at all home football games, often one out-of-town game, and in exhibition performances at various festivals in the region. In recent years, the BMB has performed at two NFL games as the half-time entertainment, at several BOA Super Regional competitions in the Alamodome, at the Fiesta Flambeau parade in San Antonio, and at the Formula 1 races in Austin. The BMB has been selected for video presentation at the College Band Directors National Association National Conference in 2007, 2011, 2013, and 2019. Each student in the BMB receives a scholarship of at least $800.
  • The Bobcat Basketball Band (B3) meets in the spring semester and performs at all women’s and men’s home games and travels with the team(s) to post-season tournaments. Some members of B3 receive scholarships for their participation.

All students, regardless of major, are invited and encouraged to participate in these ensembles. For more information, go to txstate.edu/bands or contact Dr. Caroline Beatty, Director of Bands, at cb57@txstate.edu.

Choral Area

Texas State has six choral ensembles open to all university majors:

  • Texas State Chorale 
  • University Singers
  • Aurora Voce (a select treble choir)
  • Treble Voice Choir
  • Men’s Choir 
  • VocaLibre

Incoming freshmen and transfer music majors will audition for choral ensemble placement during the Voice Area Orientation Meeting, generally the Saturday before the first-class day in August. Auditions for returning music majors and all non-majors are held during the first two class days of the fall and spring semesters. All students, faculty, and staff at Texas State University are welcome in the choral department.

Auditions include vocalization to determine range and tessitura, pitch matching exercises, and sight-reading. A prepared piece is not required. Students will be placed in the ensemble that best suits their musical and vocal development, as well as experience level. For additional information regarding the choral area, including auditions, visit the choral website, choirs.music.txstate.edu, or contact Dr. Jonathan Babcock, Interim Director of Choral Activities, at jb211@txstate.edu.

Jazz Area

Texas State has three jazz ensembles and multiple jazz combos open to all university majors:

  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Jazz Orchestra
  • Jazz Lab Band
  • Jazz Combos

An audition is required for placement into all ensembles/combos; audition information can be found at txstate.edu/jazzstudies

Texas State hosts the annual Hill Country Jazz Festival, and the ensembles regularly participate in state, national and international festivals and competitions. In addition, the jazz area brings in nationally recognized artists to give master classes and performances with the ensembles. Past guest artists have included The Count Basie Orchestra, Bob Mintzer, Clark Terry, Peter Erskine, Rufus Reid, Bobby Shew, John Fedchock, Randy Brecker, Marvin Stamm and many more. In February 2020, the Jazz Ensemble performance and were awarded top honors at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival. For more information, contact Dr. Utah Hamrick, Jazz Area Coordinator, at ulh1@txstate.edu.

Latin Music Ensembles

Texas State has four Latin music ensembles open to all university majors:

  • Mariachi Nueva Generación
  • Mariachi Lince de Oro
  • Salsa del Rio
  • Orquesta del Rio

Audition information can be found at latin.music.txstate.edu. These groups have outstanding reputations and have represented Texas State at the national and international levels.

The mariachi ensembles appear regularly at the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio, and Mariachi Nueva Generación has taken first place many times. Texas State has also had three vocalists who have won the Best in the U.S. Solo vocalist title, as well as first-, second- and third-place trophies. The mariachi program hosts the annual Feria del Mariachi, at which it presents a lifetime achievement award, Voz de Oro, to an internationally acclaimed artist who has contributed greatly to the art of mariachi music. Recipients include Pedro Fernández, Angeles Ochoa, José Hernández and more.

The salsa area hosts Salsa Nights once a month at various locations in San Marcos. In addition, Salsa del Rio was awarded a DownBeat award for its 2006 CD, Lloraras y Lloraras. The group has also received four Premios a la Música Latina Best Salsa Group awards for its outstanding work. The salsa program hosts an annual Salsa Tribute Concert where they honor the life and music of one of the legends of salsa music. Past festivals have paid tribute to Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Larry Harlow and Oscar Hernandez.

For more information, contact John Lopez, Director of Latin Music Studies, at jl18@txstate.edu.

Opera Ensembles

Texas State Opera is a national award-winning program that has three distinct opera ensembles, all of which are open to all interested students, regardless of major. All of the ensembles require an audition. 

  • Opera Workshop helps establish, fortify and apply basic concepts of combining singing with acting for the young singer interested in the musical stage. This course helps create a strong and emotionally involved performance of opera arias and smaller operatic scenes through the use of improvisation, character and dramatic score analysis, movement, and acting techniiques. Students enrolled in this class will be considered for roles in the mainstage opera production.
  • Texas State Opera Theatre is open to students who have completed Opera Workshop. This second stage in learning the craft of opera will strengthen intermediate and advanced acting and character techniques. While many of the major operatic roles for the mainstage opera productions are cast from this class, the literature for this course will be arias and major scenes from opera other than the mainstage productions. 
  • Texas State Opera Production is for students cast into roles for the performances of the mainstage opera productions. The ensemble helps the stage performers learn and strengthen acting and character techniques, working hand-in-hand with the Texas State Symphony Orchestra in actual operatic performance. All students who are cast in the mainstage opera production must register for the Opera Production course.

Through the three ensembles, students will learn the skills required to be a part of today’s musical stage. Past major productions include The Magic Flute (Mozart), The Turn of the Screw (Britten), The Student Prince (Romberg), The Face on the Barroom Floor (Mollicone), Candide (Bernstein), Street Scene (Weill), Don Giovanni (Mozart), Hänsel and Gretel (Humperdinck), Dialogues of the Carmelites (Poulenc), Speed Dating Tonight (Ching/Anthony), Gianni Schicchi (Puccini), HMS Pinafore (Sullivan), Lady Bird (Mallicone) and The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart).

For more information, visit the Texas State Opera website at music.txstate.edu/voice/opera or contact Dr. Marc Reynolds, Director of Opera Studies at mdr209@txstate.edu.

Orchestral Ensembles

The Texas State Symphony Orchestra (TXSTSO) provides the finest musical and educational opportunities for those qualified individuals interested in studying and performing a wide variety of orchestral music. The TXSTSO performs five to seven concerts annually and presents programs featuring all facets of the symphonic repertoire, and frequently collaborates with the Texas State choirs, Texas State opera, and Texas State dance department. Additionally, the TXSTSO works with internationally renowned visiting guest artists, conductors, and faculty soloists. The TXSTSO is open by audition to all Texas State students and although composed primarily of music majors, non-majors are encouraged to audition/participate and to study privately from a string faculty member on a space-available basis. Auditions are held at the beginning of each semester (late August and mid-January) for both entrance and seating.

In recent years, the orchestra has performed at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention, the American String Teachers Convention, the White House Christmas celebration, and has toured Europe, performing in Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Hungary.

Performance grants are available by audition and depend on the needs of the orchestra and available funds.

For more information visit music.txstate.edu/orchestra or contact Dr. Jacob Harrison, Director of Orchestral Studies at jgh111@txstate.edu.

Other Ensembles

  • Steel Band – A performing percussion ensemble specializing in Caribbean steel drum music open to all Texas State students regardless of major. For more information contact the Percussion Area Coordinator, Genaro Gonzalez at gg11@txstate.edu.