The SWOSU Department of Music offers a variety of vocal and instrumental ensemble experiences to both music majors and non-majors. Ensembles are open enrollment except for the University Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Chamber Choir and Jazz Ensemble A. Other groups, both large and small are available and include opportunities for performance on brass, woodwind, string, guitar and percussion instruments or for vocalists and pianists. Music majors playing in one of our top ensembles will be challenged to new levels of achievement. Non-major musicians will be provided an opportunity to continue to improve performance skills as well as find a place to celebrate the community that ensembles generate. Consider being a part of one of our ensembles.
Wind Ensemble is comprised of the university's finest wind and percussion students selected by audition during the fall semester. Music from all eras is performed, with emphasis on music originally composed for winds. The Wind Ensemble has been honored by two recent invitations to perform off-campus. The selection was made by a blind taped audition and the ensemble performed as one of two university honor bands at the 1999, 2001 and 2005 Oklahoma Music Educators Association Conventions in Tulsa. An annual tour takes the Wind Ensemble into high schools throughout the region. The ensemble meets five days per week from 11 - 11:50 a.m. during the spring semester.
Symphonic Band is a non-auditioned band which meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 12 – 12:50 p.m. during the Spring semester. Selections performed by this group include traditional band music as well as transcriptions of orchestral literature.
Community Band is a non-auditioned band that provides an opportunity for students and members of the Weatherford community to rehearse and perform band literature. It meets each Monday night from 7 – 8:50 p.m.
The Pride of the Great Southwest
The Pride of the Great Southwest is the marching band of SWOSU. Their spirited performances of corps-style drill and high-energy music entertain football audiences at SWOSU each fall. The band rehearses five days per week at 12 p.m. – 12:50 p.m. in the fall semester.
Wild Dawgs is the basketball pep band at SWOSU. The "Dawgs" perform at men's and women's home basketball games to give SWOSU the "unfair advantage" in their own gym.
Woodwind Ensemble meets Tuesday and Thursday from 4 - 4:50 p.m. to rehearse and perform the finest in music composed or arranged for woodwinds.
Brass Ensemble includes both brass choir and smaller brass chamber ensembles. It meets Thursday 4 – 4:50 p.m.
Trombone Choir gives trombonists an opportunity to play perfectly in tune. No fixed-pitch instruments allowed! The group performs at least once each semester.
Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble gives tuba and euphonium performers a chance to shine. It meets periodically throughout the semester and performs at "Octubafest," "Merry Tuba Christmas," and other festive low-brass occasions.
Percussion Ensemble performances include small and large groups performing a variety of intriguing selections. The group meets Tuesday and Thursday 4 – 4:50 p.m.
Please contact the Music Office for more information concerning participation in these ensembles, 580.774.3708.
Solo Performance and Choral Ensembles
To inquire about membership in any of the choral groups at SWOSU, please contact Dr. Daniel Farris, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 580.774.3208.
Dr. Farris conducts/coaches three choirs in the SWOSU music department, and all the full-time vocal/choral faculty team-teach the opera program, headed by Dr. Kristin Griffeath:
- Chamber Choir
- Weatherford Community Chorus
- Southwestern Singers
- Opera Workshop directed by Dr. Kristin Griffeath, Dr. Robin Griffeath, and Dr. Daniel Farris
All performance classes are open to all students, but membership in Southwestern Singers or Chamber Choir requires an audition. All students desiring placement in Southwestern Singers or Chamber must participate in the fall audition process.
When Do I Audition for SW Singers and Chamber Choir?
Auditions for the Southwestern Singers and Chamber Choir are held during the first three days of classes in the fall, but also may be scheduled at the end of November for the spring semester or in April for the following fall semester. There is a Facebook page: “SWOSU Vocal/Choral” that has the most current information.
What Do I Prepare for a Choral Audition?
Students will be asked to prepare Greensleeves, America the Beautiful, or the Star-Spangled Banner for their audition (sung in a comfortable key for the singer’s range). Practicing basic interval exercises would also be useful. Copies of these examples are found below:
What Will I Do in the Audition?
The audition consists of vocalizing to hear the singer’s natural, comfortable range; reading through a choral score to see how quickly the singer can learn his/her part; and finally, singing a prepared work from the above list.
What Happens After the Audition?
Based on the audition and the particular needs of the ensemble, the rosters of the Chamber Choir and Southwestern Singers will be posted.
Who Are SWOSU Choirs?
The choral organizations of Southwestern Oklahoma State University have demonstrated continuous success at state conventions in the past ten years. Over the years, various choral ensembles have performed at the Oklahoma Music Educator Association conference in Tulsa, Chamber Choir being the most recent (2011). The choirs tour various parts of Oklahoma every year. Southwestern Singers has sung at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., appeared at the Southwestern Division conference of the American Choral Directors Association, and at the OMEA Conference. The rehearsals for Southwestern Singers are MTWRF from 1:00 – 1:50 pm. Chamber Choir meets MTR from 3:00 – 3:50 pm, and Community Chorus meets Monday nights from 7 – 9 pm.
What About Joining the Other Choirs?
The Chamber Choir is approximately a 16-24 voice ensemble that is selected through audition by Dr. Daniel Farris, and they meet Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 3:00-3:50pm. Information concerning auditions for Chamber Choir is available by contacting Dr. Daniel Farris (email@example.com). Under Dr. Farris’s direction, this choir performed at the 2011 OMEA conference.
The Weatherford Community Chorus is open to members of the Western Oklahoma community and SWOSU students. No audition is required, and they meet Monday nights from 7:20-9:00 PM. For more information, contact Dr. Daniel Farris at 580.774.3208 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are Only Music Majors Allowed in the Choirs?
Not at all -- the SWOSU choirs are open to students from all majors on campus. More than half the enrollment of the choirs is usually students who are not vocal primary music majors. Singing is a great way to meet people from various departments and to work together as a team to inspire each other and our audiences through quality choral performance. All students must enroll for credit in order to be in the choirs. This is a graded course and does count towards the student’s overall grade point average.
Come during the semester to hear the groups and even sit in with a rehearsal. We think you will find it a great experience and will want to join us for a great year of choral singing.
Solo Performance Opportunities
Students may audition for opera workshop, musical theater productions, regional and state level auditions of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and choral solos. Dr. Kristin Griffeath, assistant professor of voice, is the head director of Opera Workshop, and Dr. Robin Griffeath and Dr. Farris co-teach this course with her. Contact one of them regarding these opportunities.
Jazz Ensemble “A” plays a wide variety of music ranging from standards to contemporary charts. Jazz “A” also performs at many campus and community functions, including the Weatherford Arts Festival and the Oklahoma State Fair in Oklahoma City. The group regularly tours area high schools, attends jazz festivals and hosts the annual Southwestern Oklahoma State University Jazz Festival on the second Friday of each February.
The 48th Annual SWOSU Jazz Festival will be held February 8 - 9, 2018 and feature the Donny McCaslin Quartet.
For more information regarding the Annual SWOSU Jazz Festival, please visit the official Jazz Festival site at www.swosujazz.com
Auditions for membership in Jazz Ensemble “A” are open to any student in the University regardless of their major field of study. Auditions are held on the first day of classes during of 1st and 2nd semester. Audition details will be posted on the bulletin board across from the Music Office, Fine Arts 100, at least one week before the audition. The band rehearses from 2 - 2:50 p.m., Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
Jazz Ensemble “B” is a student big band for those students who wish to learn more about jazz and big-band playing. The group rehearses from 3 - 3:50 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday. Jazz Ensemble “B” audition is informal, but necessary to properly place each student.
To inquire about membership in any of the jazz groups at SWOSU, please contact Dr. Richard Tirk at email@example.com or 580.774 3772.
The SWOSU Symphony Orchestra is dedicated to providing the finest musical and educational opportunities to individuals from the university and community. Musicians in the orchestra are able to perform standard orchestral repertoire alongside SWOSU’s outstanding faculty and renowned guest artists.
The ensemble presents a variety of musical elements in its programs. These elements include classical masterworks, pop themed symphonic works, contemporary symphonic works and solo concerto repertoire. The orchestra performs four to six concerts throughout the year, including the annual opera production, Christmas Collage concert and various collaborative concerts with the choral division.
Membership is open to all SWOSU students and community members who are interested in the enjoyment of playing in an orchestra. Please contact Dr. Alex Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.