Salem State University's music program has a wide array of ensemble performance opportunities available for credit towards your degree, each of which promises students an unforgettable educational experience. Ensembles are open to all students regardless of major and can be repeated for credit. Each ensemble rehearses one to three days per week and performs a minimum of once each semester. The music program is able to provide a limited number of instruments for students who wish to participate in ensembles, but don’t own an instrument. Locker storage space and practice rooms are also available.
The university chorus is a large mixed choir composed of students who represent disciplines and majors from across the campus. This balanced group of singers (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) performs extended multi-movement choral masterworks and provides solo singing opportunities.
A successful vocal audition is required to participate in chamber singers, a smaller choral group that focuses on works ranging from Renaissance madrigals and mass settings to vocal jazz.*
The altavoce treble chorus is a mixed ensemble devoted to the study and performance of literature written for treble (SSA) voices. It is open to any student who sings in the treble range and includes a gender non-specific concert dress code. The chorus performs music from a variety of styles and time periods and features group singing as well as solo opportunities.
The chamber orchestra is a full symphonic ensemble comprised of both student and community musicians and includes strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. All are welcomed to study and perform challenging orchestral works for strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion.
The SSU jazz band performs a variety of jazz and big band charts from many jazz styles. The band may perform both on and off campus throughout the year and is open to all students regardless of major. A chair placement audition is required for this band.
The university band is open to any student on campus regardless of major. No audition is required and the ensemble offers an avenue to continue making music throughout your college career.
The electronic music ensemble explores the composition and performance of computer-based music, electro-acoustic repertoire, and other modes of electronic music making. This ensemble is open to any student across campus.
The guitar ensemble is open to all students with experience on guitar and presents performances ranging from classical to jazz on both acoustic and electric guitars.
The handbell ensemble is a unique ensemble open to all students. No prior experience with handbells is necessary, although the ability to read music is highly recommended.
The improv ensemble helps to develop improvisational skills in a small group setting and allows students to study significant periods, styles and artists in jazz history. This ensemble is open to any student across campus.
The mixed ensembles are small ensembles of varying combinations that may include strings, woodwinds, brass, piano, voice, and mixed media. These opportunities are open to all students.
The percussion ensemble explores facets of contemporary music, ethnic rhythms, and diversity of cultures. Techniques for various instruments are taught, including percussion, timpani and hand drumming. Experience with percussion instruments is highly recommended.
The world music ensemble focuses on musical practices outside of the Western classical tradition. The ensemble currently focuses on the classical instruments of North India—the tabla and sitar—and the Mbira. Vocalists are also encouraged to join. This ensemble is open to any student across campus.
*For ensembles requiring an audition, students must contact the ensemble director for audition requirements and times.
Community Music Ensembles (Open to All)
The Salem Community Chorus at Salem State University
The chorus is open to anyone over age 18 who loves to sing. No audition, no fee, and no experience necessary. Repertoire consists of a wide variety of styles and perspectives reflecting the diverse community of Salem. Faculty, alumni, students, and community members are welcomed! Sign up to receive additional information.
The Summer Orchestra at Salem State University, conducted by Mary-Jo Grenfell, provides an enriching opportunity for musicians to read, rehearse, and perform music from the symphonic and chamber repertoire. The ensemble is a community orchestra comprised of intermediate and advanced musicians. Participants meet to play orchestral music, and also have an opportunity to form chamber ensembles with fellow ensemble members. The orchestra rehearses on Tuesday evenings from mid-July through early August and presents an informal concert. This community ensemble is available at no cost and there is no audition required. For further information, contact Mary-Jo Grenfell.
The Music Society is a student-run organization that supports non-academic musical activities at Salem State University. It is open to anyone who has an interest in any aspect of music.
Ssockapella is a student-led co-ed a capella ensemble. Members create original arrangements of songs from many different musical genres and perform at events both on and off campus.
The music and dance department offers private music instruction to both enrolled students and the general public. As part of their degree requirement, music majors take eight semesters of applied music for no additional fee.
Private music lessons are also available for credit to music minors for no additional fee. Music minors may take three semesters (3 credits) of applied music and substitute them for the skills requirement in the music minor.
Non-majors, community members and music majors who have met their eight-semester lesson limit, can enroll in non-credit lessons for a fee through the music and dance department.
All students receive a full semester of one-on-one instruction with a qualified teacher. All of our instructors are of the highest caliber and are working professionals in the music industry. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.