There are numerous ensembles of mixed brass, winds and strings in both small and large forms. Pianists and organists have the opportunity to perform repertoire for duo pianos and piano four-hands, as well as chamber music; there are ample opportunities for accompanying soloists and choral ensembles, as well as playing keyboard instruments in the various bands and orchestras. Below is a listing of the various ensembles available. Many ensembles have their own web pages with additional audition and performance information.
Accompanying, African Ensemble, Andean Ensemble, Balkan Ensemble, Basketball Band, Black Chorus, British Brass Band, Clarinet Choir, Concert Band, Concert Choir, Gamelan, Illinois Opera, Illini Strings, Illini Women, Jazz Bands, Marching Illini Band, Men's Glee Club, New Music Ensemble, Old Time String Ensemble, Opera Chorus, Oratorio Society, Percussion Ensembles, Sinfonia da Camera, Symphonic Bands, Trombone Choir, UI Philharmonia, The University of Illinois Chorale, University Chorus, University of Illinois Orchestra Program, University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Women's Glee Club
In addition to traditional accompanying and coaching responsibilities, students enrolled in the accompanying program have the opportunity to develop ensemble skills by performing with vocal and instrumental chamber groups as well as with larger ensembles such as the choral ensembles, band, orchestra and opera.
"Balkanalia," the UIUC Balkan Music Ensemble, performs traditional village, urban, and popular music styles of Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Turkey on indigenous, orchestral, and electronic instruments. Participants include musically gifted graduate and undergraduate students majoring in a variety of disciplines.
The University of Illinois Bands has a long lasting tradition of excellence and its basketball pep band is no exception. The University of Illinois Basketball Band performs at all of the Illinois home basketball games for both the men's and the women's teams. The band is divi ded into "A" and "B" bands, and each consists of 74 wind players, 2 drummers, 1 bass guitar player, and one keyboard player.
The Illinettes, the official dance team of the University of Illinois, also perform at all home men's basketball games. At each game, the Illinettes cheer on the court and dance during time-outs to the music of the Basketball Band.
For more information visit the Basketball Band web page.
The Black Chorus at the University of Illinois was founded in 1968, and the following year received the co-sponsorship of the African-American Cultural program and the School of Music Choral Division. Originally organized by four students, and later under the direction of School of Music faculty with student officers, the Black Chorus has achieved and maintained a reputation for presenting inspiring concerts and demonstrating high standards of musical performance.
The Black Chorus maintains an active performance schedule, with formal and informal appearances on and off campus. The Chorus has performed at the National Black Gospel College Choir Workshop (held annually in Atlanta, Georgia), and for concerts at Purdue University (Indiana), Clarke College (Iowa), Clarion College (Pennsylvania), Northwestern University (Illinois), and Eastern Illinois University. In addition, the Black Chorus has performed with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra and as special guests at an Orchestra Hall concert in Chicago.
In concert dress or choir robes, the members of the Black Chorus perform the music of Black Americans, ranging from the Negro spiritual, anthems and formal music to traditional and contemporary gospel, jazz, and rhythm and blues. In keeping with its mission to promote African-American musical expression, the Black Chorus has hosted the Black Sacred Music Symposium on the Urbana-Champaign campus and has presented prominent artists, including Take 6, Bobby Jones, the Winans, V. Michael McKay, A. Jeffrey LaValley, and Gary Hines, founder and director of the award-winning Sounds of Blackness.
Dr. Ollie Watts Davis is conductor of the Black Chorus.
The British Brass Band meets during the Spring Semester and is limited to a strict instrumentation of 32 wind and percussion players. Selection to perform in this ensemble is by audition and concurrent registration in one of the six concert bands. Due to the absence of woodwinds or strings who normally perform the technically intricate parts in concert bands and orchestras, performing in the British Brass Band provides brass and percussion students a unique opportunity to display their musicianship and technical skills. Musical selections are chosen from works written specifically for brass band or from arrangements and transcriptions by arrangers with extensive backgrounds in brass band scoring. Auditions for the UI British Brass Band are held every spring semester.
The UI Clarinet Choir performs arrangements of standard symphonic works as well as the latest in contemporary works written for clarinet ensemble. The Clarinet Choir boasts a full instrumentation of clarinets, including Eb and Bb Soprano, Alto, Bass, Contralto, and Contrabass clarinets. Programming pieces from the world's largest library of works for clarinet ensemble, the UI Clarinet Choir maintains an active performance schedule and hosts the UIUC Clarinet Choir Festival each Spring. Auditions for the UI Clarinet Choir are held once per semester. Interested clarinetists should contact the University Bands Office for more infor mation about joining the UI Clarinet Choir.
Concert Band I includes music majors as well as talented musicians from many other academic disciplines. The Concert Band I maintains an active performance schedule and plays the highest level literature, allowing students to continue and enrich their previous musical experiences at the university level.
Concert Bands IIA and IIB are open to students from all colleges and departments of the University, and are designed to give further opportunity for the non-music major to participate in the highest quality musical experience possible. These ensembles offer the opportunity to play excellent repertoire at a high level of performance. In addition to ensuring inclusion for all qualified and interested University students in the UI Bands Program, Concert Bands IIA and IIB often provide a setting for music education majors to gain experience and build proficiency on their secondary wind instruments.
Auditions for seating in Concert Band I, IIA, and IIB are held once per semester, following all Symphonic Band auditions.
This mixed chorus of approximately 40 - 50 highly advanced undergraduate students performs a diverse regimen of accompanied and a cappella literature. Approximately two-thirds of its members are music majors in vocal performance or music education. The choir makes semi-annual tours within the United States and has performed at ACDA state and regional conventions. Participation is by audition only.
Dr. Chester Alwes is conductor of the well-known, highly praised ensemble.
The performing ensemble of the Opera Division stages full-length operas from the major repertory each semester and scenes from operas as an outgrowth of the academic component of the Division. In recent seasons, the repertoire had included works by Purcell, Mozart, Argento, Puccini, Bizet, Verdi, Menotti, and Rossini, as well as significant examples from the American musical theater and lesser-known operatic works. The 2004-2005 season opens with Don Giovanni on November 11, 12, 13, and 14 (matinee). Leonard Bernstein's Candide will be presented February 24, 25, 26, and 27 (matinee), featuring world-renowned operatic tenor - and UI School of Music graduate - Jerry Hadley! Both of these productions will be conducted by the new Director of the School of Music Opera Program, Maestro Eduardo Diazmunoz.
The Illini Women's Chorus performs a variety of classical music by a wide range of composers. The ensemble presents one concert each semester and participates in the annual Carol Concert during the holiday season. General instruction in vocal production, sight singing, and musicality are included in the rehearsals of this group. Incoming women students are usually placed in this group or the University Chorus.
The performing ensembles in the University of Illinois Jazz Division consist of four big bands, six combos, and two service/outreach ensembles, all of which are open to U of I student participation. These ensembles vary in musical focus from traditional acoustic to contemporary and experimental repertoire. Auditions for all jazz ensembles are held only during the first week of classes in each semester.
While all of the jazz bands play a mixture of standard and newly composed repertoire, each group has its own focus.
For more information visit the Jazz Bands web page.
Perhaps the most visible and accessible of the many University Bands ensembles, the Marching Illini annually performs at all home Fighting Illini football games. In addition to these spectacular performances before Memorial Stadium crowds, the Marching Illini travels to at least one away game per football season. The Marching Illini showcases its world-renowned musicianship and showmanship at the annually sold-out Assembly Hall Concert. Serving as host and performing in exhibition at the close of the annual Illini Marching Festival presents yet another opportunity for the Marching Illini to show why it is "The Best Band in the Land."
For more information visit the Marching Illini web site.
The Varsity Men's Glee Club is a chorus of approximately 60 men drawn from all parts of the University community. The ensemble has a long tradition of singing a mix of classical and popular choral music. Selection of members is based on the number of vacancies in a given section and the student's proficiency in vocal production, sight singing, and general musicality. Participation is by audition only. In addition, a small ensemble known as "The Other Guys" is made up of members of the Varsity Men's Glee Club. This student-run group is also available by audition only and performs extensively during the academic year as ambassadors of the University and the School of Music.
The Varsity Men's Glee Club is conducted by Dr. Barrington Coleman.
The New Music Ensemble, under the musical direction of Professor Eduardo DiazmuŮoz, is a student ensemble dedicated to the performance of contemporary music. It is both a learning tool and a way of introducing the participants to an experimental environment. Its repertoire includes works by well-known composers as well as representatives of an extremely diverse array of contemporary trends. Student compositions are played regularly, and members of the ensemble ensure the performance of University of Illinois works at the Midwestern Composers' Symposium, which brings together student and faculty composers from major Midwestern music schools.
Choral ensembles perform in productions staged by the University of Illinois Opera Program. Opera chorus is available to students by audition.
The Oratorio Society is a large chorus made up of students, faculty, and townspeople, which perform major choral works each semester in conjunction with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony, the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra, or the Illini Symphony. Undergraduate admission is by audition only. Works performed in the recent past by this ensemble include Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in d minor, the Verdi Requiem, the Brahms Requiem, Mahler's Symphony No. 2, and Orff's Carmina Burana.
Percussion Ensemble - Specializes in the performance of contemporary and traditional repertoire for small and large ensembles-—the first such group in the world for which university credit was given.
Steel Band: Performs music from the calypso, soca, jazz, and popular repertoire.
World Percussion Ensemble: Focuses primarily on hand percussion techniques, as well as the music of other cultures, such as Africa, Brazil, and Cuba.
I-Pan: a small combo steel band, which performs in a variety of local venues.
Percussion majors regularly perform with the many bands, orchestras, and other ensembles sponsored by the School of Music.
The Sinfonia da Camera is a professional orchestra comprised of faculty and advanced graduate students who specialize in major repertoire and perform with concert artists of world renown. Ian Hobson, Founder and Music Director.
For more information and performance schedule information visit the Sinfonia da Camera web site.
Symphonic Band I is an organization of some 70 musicians selected from the most outstanding wind and percussion majors on the UI campus. In addition to exploring traditional and contemporary works for bands, this ensemble is capable of performing wind chamber music representing all periods and styles. Symphonic Band I maintains an active performance schedule and enjoys a reputation as a group committed to only the highest musical standards. Auditions for Symphonic Band I are held once per semester.
Symphonic Band II consists primarily of undergraduate music majors. The ensemble maintains a full concert band instrumentation for the study and performance of the finest music from the standard band repertoire and contemporary literature. The band performs at least two concerts per semester showcasing the high level of musicianship attained by the 75 performers comprising this ensemble. Auditions for Symphonic Band II are held once per semester.
Founded in 1955, the UI Trombone Choir is an ensemble of 15-25 trombonists from the University of Illinois Trombone Studio. Students from the entire campus are invited to audition. Repertoire includes original works from all periods and genres as well as transcriptions. Under the direction of Professor Elliot Chasanov, the ensemble has performed at the ITA Convention as winner of The International Trombone Association's Emory Remington Competition; The Midwest Clinic; Illinois Music Educators Association Convention; Montreal Music Festival; Domaine Forget; and numerous tours of the American East Coast, Midwest, and Southwest.
The UI Philharmonia consists music majors and non-music majors who wish to continue their public orchestral performance experience at the university level. Conducted by Jack Ranney, the UI Philharmonia presents four concerts each year. Concert programming includes repertoire from the standard symphonic literature through the avant garde. The ensemble rehearses twice weekly. Screened auditions occur in the first week of classes. Seatings within the UI Philharmonia are assigned on a rotating basis. Information regarding auditions may be obtained by contacting Professor Ranney.
The UI Chorale is an ensemble of 30-40 of the best singers at the University of Illinois. Typically it includ es all graduate students registered for masters and doctoral degrees in choral music. As well, other experienced singers in the music school and other campus units are invited to audition, including undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and staff. Repertoire includes major works from all periods. In the past five years, the ensemble has performed at regional and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association.
Professor Fred Stoltzfus is the Conductor.
For more information visit the University of Illinois Chorale web page.
The University Chorus is a large mixed chorus, which performs a varied selection of sacred and secular choral literature from all periods. The ensemble presents one concert each semester and participates in the annual Carol Concert during the holiday season. General instruction in vocal production, sight singing, and musicality are included in the rehearsals of this group. Incoming women students are usually placed in this group or the Illini Women's Chorus.
One of the main rewards for those hours in the practice room is playing great orchestra repertoire. Playing in a UIUC orchestra, youíll learn the masterpieces, the minor gems, and the avant-garde. Whether youíre set on having an orchestra career or prefer being a techo-geek, if you have the chops, there's a campus orchestra for you. The orchestra directors hear auditions at the start of each semester and determine each player's qualifications for and placement in one of three primary orchestras: the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the University of Illinois Philharmonia, or the Illini String Orchestra. The School of Music and Champaign-Urbana area have additional orchestras that offer experience and income to UIUC students. Visit the University of Illinois Orchestra Program page to learn more.
The University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra has a long and distinguished history of excellence in the performance of repertoire from the standard symphonic literature through the avant garde. Under the direction of Donald Schleicher, the UI Symphony Orchestra performs seven concerts each year. The ensemble also splits into two smaller orchestras twice each year and performs both with various choral ensembles and the School of Music Opera Program. The Orchestra consists primarily of undergraduate and graduate music majors. The orchestra rehearses three times each week for a total of six hours. Screened auditions occur in the first week of classes in the Fall semester, and seatings are assigned on a rotating basis.
For more information visit the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra.
The Wind Symphony is comprised of approximately 65 undergraduate and graduate music majors who have attained the highest level of proficiency on their instruments. The UI Wind Symphony is the premiere ensemble of the University of Illinois band program. Performing the finest available repertoire, the ensemble's performances include traditional wind band literature, one-per-part chamber works, and premiere performances of new compositions in the wind band genre. The UI Wind Symphony has earned an international reputation for excellence in woodwind, brass, and percussion performance, representing the University Bands and the UI School of Music at countless state and national music conventions and recently touring Great Britain. Auditions for the UI Wind Symphony are held once per semester.
Women's Glee Club is a choir of approximately 60 singers who perform a wide variety of musical styles from classic art works to lighter folk arrangements. The ensemble is open to students from throughout the campus by audition only. Women's Glee has been honored with invited performances at national, state, and regional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association.
The Women's Glee Club is conducted by Dr. Joe Grant.