The Missouri State Department of Music offers a complete array of performance opportunities for both music majors and non-music majors. While a majority of the large ensembles are "laboratory experiences" for the music major and require a successful audition for participation, there are many possibilities for students from diverse majors to continue performing as members of a band, choir, orchestra, jazz ensemble, or entertainment ensemble.
Probably the most visible ensemble fielded by the music department is the Pride Marching Band. A stirring mixture of music, pageant and heraldry, the Pride Band is a central feature of every Bear home football game. The Pride has marched the Rose Parade, Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and the Chicago Thanksgiving parade, as well as being invited to perform numerous times within the state, region and nation. The Pride is known for its annual Veteran’s Day Concert and its Holiday Concert. Membership is open to all Missouri State students. The Bands program also has performing opportunities in the Wind Ensemble, Concert Winds, Symphonic Band, and a variety of jazz bands.
The Missouri State Choir program is known for its vocal excellence over the past half-century. Whether it’s the Concert Chorale, Chamber Singers or Collegiate Chorale, there is a place for you if you enjoy singing. Many of the choirs require auditions for participation, but the Thursday night choir is open to all who love singing. These choirs combine each spring to present a large choral/orchestral masterwork in the President’s Concert. Each December, the Choirs present a series of Madrigal Dinners in Plaster Student Union as a fundraiser for scholarships and choir travel. In even-numbered years, the choir usually has an international trip; in odd-numbered years, the choirs tour nationally.
The Missouri State Symphony is a full-sized symphonic orchestra for both music majors and non-majors, which performs a complete season of orchestral concerts. The orchestra was recently featured at the College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA) National Convention in Atlanta, GA. In March 2012, the orchestra will combine forces with the rock band "Kansas" to provide students with a real-life view of working as a contract studio musician. It will be an extravaganza of music by this nationally known group, and will raise orchestra scholarship funds for current and future students. The orchestra also combines with the choirs each spring to present a large choral/orchestral masterwork in the President's Concert.
Chamber Ensembles are an active part of the music program. Almost every studio has a small ensemble that is coached by a faculty member. From string quartets, woodwind quintets, brass ensembles, to small vocal ensembles heard as part of the annual Madrigal Dinner, every Missouri State music major is required to have some experience in this genre.
The music department has a new jazz studies program housed within the Bachelor of Music degree. The Jazz Studies Ensembles and Jazz Symposium are by audition, but talented non-majors are always welcome to join. Contact Mr. Randy Hamm for further information.