Ensembles and Performance Opportunities

The University of Dayton's Department of Music offers a variety of instrumental and vocal ensembles that allow you to keep music in your life, express yourself creatively and earn arts credits that count toward you degree at no additional cost for the Common Academic Program. Every ensemble performs regularly on and off campus and is open to students from all academic majors. Many groups have been featured in the annual Celebration of the Arts performances at the Schuster Performing Arts Center, Dayton's premier performance venue. In addition to ensemble participation, you might be interested in taking private lessons with one of our talented faculty studio teachers. You may choose from half-hour (one-credit), 45-minute (two credits) or full hour lessons (four credits). Group instruction in piano, voice and guitar is also available, including for beginners. Private instruction is open to all students on campus.

Are you interested in joining an ensemble?

Complete this form to tell us about your music performance interests.

Vocal Ensembles

Choral Union (MUS 390-02, 1 sem. hr.)

Dr. Steven Hankle, conductor
Rehearsals: Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:35 - 4:50 p.m., Fitz Hall Room 163

Choral Union performances range from musical theater to folk songs and spirituals to traditional European and American classical choral literature. Choral Union has collaborated with the University Chorale to present choral masterworks with orchestra and professional soloists.

Ebony Heritage Singers (MUS 390-15, 1 sem. hr.)

Dr. Donna M. Cox, conductor
Rehearsals: Tuesdays, 6 - 8 p.m., Fitz Hall Room 163

The Ebony Heritage Singers perform music from the African-American sacred music tradition. The ensemble has performed for several professional conferences, including the National Association for Music Education and the American Choral Directors Association. The group presents two major concerts annually on campus and performs on tour. Students from various academic disciplines and ethnic backgrounds serve as ambassadors for racial reconciliation through their participation in EHS.

Contact: Donna Cox

Hands in Harmony (MUS 390-14, 0.5 sem. hr.)

Perform popular and contemporary Christian music in American Sign Language for both hearing and hearing-impaired audiences. While no previous signing experience is needed, all members must have a desire to learn ASL and develop an understanding of the deaf culture. Hands in Harmony has performed for the Ohio Music Education Association conference as well as for various music therapy conferences.

Contact: Heidi Reynolds

Musical and Opera Workshop (MUS 390-16, 1 sem. hr.)

Develop the solo voice, acting, and staging techniques through the medium of lyric theatre scenes in the Spring semester and full productions in the Fall. Opera Workshop has performed for the national convention of the National Opera Association, and locally at major theatrical venues in Dayton. Students also reach out to local schools and nonprofit organizations with its tour "Opera On Wheels."

Contact: Minnita Daniel-Cox

University Chorale (MUS 493-01, 1 sem. hr.)

Dr. Steven Hankle, conductor
Rehearsals: Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:30 - 3:20 p.m., Fridays, 2:30 - 4:30 p.m., Fitz Hall Room 163

The University Chorale, an auditioned mixed ensemble, performs sacred and secular compositions from all musical eras. Chorale has performed with the Dayton Opera, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, the Dayton Bach Society, and the Sarajevo Philharmonic. The Chorale often joins with Choral Union and professional soloists to present choral masterworks. Chorale has sung for regional conferences, including the Ohio Music Education Association and the American Choral Directors Association. Chorale tours frequently, most recently completing their fourth trip to Europe.

World Music Choir (MUS 390-38, 0.5 sem. hr.)

Dr. Sharon Davis Gratto, conductor
Rehearsals: Mondays, 6:30 - 8 p.m., Fitz Hall Room 445

World Music Choir singers explore and perform a diverse repertoire of world choral music in its cultural and historical content with the help of cultural "informants," either in person or through the use of audio and video technology. Performances often include accompanying percussion instruments and movement.

Contact: Sharon Davis Gratto

Instrumental Ensembles

Chamber Ensembles

You can get involved with a variety of chamber ensembles, including flute ensemble; clarinet ensemble; horn choir; trumpet ensemble; cello choir; string saxophone and horn quartets; and woodwind and brass quintets.  Each group is coached by a music faculty member.  Chamber ensembles perform often on campus and at regional and national conferences, and have competed in prestigious international music competitions.

Dayton Jazz Ensemble (MUS 494-01, 1 sem. hr.)

The Dayton Jazz Ensemble is an auditioned big band that offers a traditional and contemporary experience combining the skill of interpreting challenging written music with the art of improvisation. The ensemble performs at local and regional concerts, at high school and college jazz festivals, and other invited musical events, including the Ohio Music Education Association conference.  DJE also performs frequently with local, regional, and internationally known jazz artists. 

Contact: Willie L. Morris, III

Early Music Ensemble (MUS 390-31, 0.5 sem. hr.)

Members of this ensemble present performance of vocal works from the Middle Ages to the present day.  No prior experience in early music is necessary, and you will have the opportunity to use the University of Dayton's collection of recorders, lutes, cornamuses, krumhorns, viola da gambas and keyboard instruments.

Contact: Samuel Dorf

Flyer Pep Band (MUS 390-28, 1 sem. hr.)

The Flyer Pep Band performs for the men’s and women’s teams during the Dayton
Flyer's regular basketball season and tournament home games,  which are often covered on ESPN and other
national networks. Members are auditioned in October.

Contact: Willie L. Morris, III

Javanese Gamelan Ensemble (MUS 390-39, 0.5 sem. hr.)

The Gamelan Ensemble plays traditional music from Central Java, as well as contemporary compositions, on campus and around Dayton. Participants learn to play all of the instruments in the ensemble, which were custom made for the University of Dayton in Indonesia.

Contact: Heather MacLachlan

Percussion Ensemble (MUS 390-23, 0.5 sem. hr.) and Winter Drumline (MUS 390-22, 0.5 sem. hr.) 

Meeting winter semester only, these two ensembles offer a variety of performance opportunities for student percussionists. The Percussion Ensemble plays both standard and contemporary literature. For those who love rudimental drumming, Winter Drumline is an exciting group that performs both on-campus and at community events.

Contact: James Leslie

Pride of Dayton Marching Band (MUS 390-03, 1 sem. hr.)

Generate Flyer spirit in performances at UD football games, on campus, throughout the community, and nationally as a member of the Pride of Dayton (POD). Enjoy high performance standards and get to know other students from various backgrounds and interests.  POD consists of winds, percussion, colorguard, twirlers, and a dance team--the Flyerettes. POD is open to all UD students as well as students from Wright State University and Sinclair Community College.

Learn more about POD >>

Contact: Kenneth Will

Symphonic Wind Ensemble (MUS 492-01, 1 sem. hr.)

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble performs the finest literature written for winds and percussion in four annual concerts, both on and off campus. As part of the Wind Ensemble program, works for various chamber ensembles drawn from the large group are also programmed throughout the year. The resulting musical experience provides members with the opportunity to perform quality literature selected from a wide repertoire. An audition is required.

Contact: Patrick Reynolds

University Concert Band (MUS 390-01, 1 sem. hr.)

In the University Concert Band, members perform varied repertoire, including marches, show tunes, concert band standards, and contemporary literature.  This ensemble meets only during the spring semester and performs two on-campus concerts and occasionally an off-campus performance.

Contact: Kenneth Will

University Jazz Band (MUS 390-04, 1 sem. hr.)

The University Jazz Band is an auditioned ensemble that offers an opportunity for students who want to play jazz in a less formal way. The band focuses on traditional big band and swing era music, teaching students how to improvise and develop an understanding of various jazz performance styles. The University Jazz Band performs four concerts a year.

Contact: James Leslie

University Orchestra (MUS 491-01, 1 sem. hr.)

The University Orchestra is an auditioned ensemble that performs a broad repertoire for string orchestra in the fall semester and full symphony orchestra in the spring semester. In addition to four concerts presented each year, the orchestra regularly collaborates in choral and operatic performances with the University Chorale and Opera Workshop. 

Contact: Patrick Reynolds

Additional Opportunities

Lyric Theatre Productions

The Department of Music and the Theatre, Dance and Performance Technology Program present fully staged musical theatre, opera or operetta productions each fall semester that are open to all students.  Auditions are held at the end of the spring semester and early in the fall.  In addition to onstage roles, there are opportunities to play in the pit orchestra and to learn about the technical aspects of costuming, lighting, sound, and set design and construction.

Contact: Theatre Program

Student-Directed Ensembles

Multiple opportunities exist for student-directed, faculty advised a cappella vocal ensembles and small instrumental groups.  These ensembles have performed in various venues, including conferences, competitions, and University and community functions and concert settings.

Contact: Joe Whatley


Department of Music

Fitz Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2946