Chamber Ensembles

The Central Wails Saxophone Orchestra is a show choir of six saxophonists (soprano, soprano/alto, alto, tenor, baritone, bass) with a drum set percussionist.   This popular ensemble is featured at the CMU/Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Weekend and also at the CMU Saxophone Day.  They perform rock, funk, and jazz standards that are arranged by others plus themselves.  This ensemble is formed by audition from members of the CMU Saxophone Studio and is under the direction of Professor John Nichol. 

The CMU Clarinet Choir consists of 15 to 20 CMU students who are majoring in Music Education, Music Performance, Elementary Music Education, or Theory/Composition. Directed by Dr. Kennen White, this ensemble gives students valuable experience performing on all members of the clarinet family. In addition, some of the older students get an opportunity to rehearse and conduct the ensemble.

The CMU Flute Choir features flute students who are majoring in either Music Education, Performance, Theory/Composition or minoring in music. Directed by Dr. Joanna Cowan White, the flute choir has performed in Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio, and is currently performing works written by: three Central Michigan University composition faculty, a CMU flute/comp student, and a CMU flute/comp alumnus. In the flute choir, you will hear alto, bass, and contrabass flute, in addition to flute and piccolo.

The CMU Horn Ensemble rehearses and performs in the Spring Semester. This ensemble has performed at six International Horn Symposiums and performs a wide variety of repertoire from the standard horn ensemble literature to jazz/pop  and film score transcriptions. The ensemble is comprised of members of the CMU horn studio and horn enthusiasts from the wider CMU community and Central Michigan region.

The CMU New Music Ensemble comes together to perform freshly composed and experimental music by a diverse assortment of composers. With no fixed instrumentation, performers frequently come together to perform specific works for unusual combinations of instruments or works for open/non-fixed performers. The CMU New Music Ensemble is a grassroots student-led ensemble and is a unique vehicle for creative music making at Central Michigan University.

The CMU Saxophone Studio will have between 4-5 saxophone quartets and these are open to saxophone music majors and minors.  These small ensembles provide the saxophone students with a unique opportunity to perform the best in saxophone quartet literature, performing original and contemporary works, and also arrangements of classical literature.  Besides presenting concerts on campus, the CMU saxophone quartets often successfully compete in the Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Competitions ,the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and the North American Saxophone Alliance Saxophone Quartet Competitions.

The members of the CMU Saxophone Studio will often form into the CMU Saxophone Ensemble with as many as 25 saxophonists.  This ensemble is directed and conducted by Professor John Nichol.   Students perform on the sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, and bass saxophones. The CMU Saxophone Ensemble  is featured at CMU’s biennial Saxophone Day and has also presented at many North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences. 

The CMU Percussion Ensemble has performed for the PAS International Convention through the International Percussion Ensemble Competition, and on concert series throughout the state of Michigan. The ensemble ranges in size between 16-21 percussion students who are pursuing Music Education, Performance, Elementary Music Education, and Theory/Composition degrees, or the Minor in Music. The Percussion Ensemble has premiered works by composers such as David Gillingham, Michael Colgrass, and David Maslanka, among others. Directed by Dr. Andrew Spencer, the ensemble presents a minimum of three full length campus concerts a year.

Email Dr. Andrew Spencer

The CMU Trombone Studio includes between 15 and 20 Undergraduate and Graduate students who are majoring in either Music Education, Performance, Elementary Music Education, or Theory/Composition.
All students enrolled in applied trombone study participate in Trombone Choir in addition to a variety of other school ensembles. Directed by Dr. Robert Lindahl, trombone Choir is also open to music minors and non-music majors by audition.

Email Dr. Robert Lindahl

The CMU Trumpet Studio includes between 15 and 20 Undergraduate and Graduate students who are majoring in either Music Education, Performance, Elementary Music Education, or Theory/Composition.  All students enrolled in applied trumpet study participate in Trumpet Ensemble in addition to a variety of other school ensembles. Directed by Dr Neil Mueller, Trumpet Ensemble is also open to music minors and non-music majors by audition.  In addition to this larger ensemble, members of the studio often form smaller chamber groups that have been invited and performed at the International Trumpet Guild Conferences and competed in the National Trumpet Competition.  CMU's Trumpet Septet was a NTC finalist in 2016.

The CMU Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble consists of tuba and euphonium Undergraduate and Graduate students who are majoring in either Music Education, Performance, Elementary Music Education, or Theory/Composition.
All students enrolled in applied study participate in Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble in addition to a variety of other school ensembles. Directed by Dr. Mark Cox, the ensemble is also open to music minors and non-music majors by audition.