Play and perform with ensembles

Why Our Program?

  • You will achieve a high level of performance as you gain valuable professional development skills that will prepare you for your career.
  • You can play and perform with ensembles of various sizes and musical styles in the Setnor School.
  • You will meet numerous nationally and internationally renowned resident and visiting artists. They often teach workshops and master classes, providing experiences and insight that both broaden and deepen your studies.
  • When you graduate, you will belong to a global network of enthusiastic SU:VPA alumni.

Performance Opportunities

The Setnor School of Music offers a wide range of performing ensembles, and you are encouraged to take advantage of the valuable opportunities to collaborate and perform with other musicians in vocal or instrumental ensemble settings.


In addition to individual recitals and ensemble concerts, graduate organ and piano performance students may perform in the Setnor School’s weekly convocation, an informal gathering of faculty and students.


The Syracuse University Symphony Orchestra offers graduate string performance students the opportunity to perform in a large ensemble.


Graduate voice performance students are required to participate in a choir each semester that you are enrolled. The Setnor School offers six different choirs with a variety of styles, from world music to contemporary works. In addition, the Opera Workshop provides an opportunity to perform complete operatic roles in fully-staged performances. An active, student-run a cappella culture provides camaraderie, fun, and the opportunity for leadership. It is common for students to participate in each other’s degree recitals, and many take leadership roles in the productions of the First-Year Players.

Off campus, voice students are valued members of the professional chorus of the Syracuse Opera, sometimes performing small solo parts; several have been engaged to sing more substantial roles in recent years. Other activities include paid positions as section leaders in church choirs and performing roles with the nearby Oswego Opera.


The Wind Ensemble is the premier concert wind organization at Syracuse University.


Setnor Auditorium | Crouse College

The Setnor School of Music has classrooms and rehearsal spaces in Crouse College and Shaffer Art Building, as well as a recording studio in the Belfer Audio Archive of Syracuse University Libraries. Most of the school's facilities are in stately Crouse College, which is the third oldest building on campus and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

In the acoustically rich, 700-seat Rose and Jules R. Setnor Auditorium, Crouse College houses a magnificent 3,823-pipe Holtkamp Organ below a 70-foot-high open timber roof and stained glass windows. Approximately 200 concerts and recitals by students, faculty, and guest artists are held in the auditorium during the academic year. Students giving recitals have access to concert grand pianos and a variety of harpsichords.

Learn more about the Setnor School's facilities

Visiting Artists

Prominent artists of all musical genres give concerts and master classes on campus regularly. These visits give you the opportunity to work with outside artists and make lifelong contacts. Below are just some of our visiting artists by area.

  • Organ/piano: Organists Gail Archer, Andrew Henderson, Bruce Neswick, and McNeil Robinson as well as pianists Boris Berman, Frederic Chiu, Claude Frank, Ann Schein, Peter Frankl, and Anton Nel
  • Strings: Guitarist Eliot Fisk, Kronos Quartet, Dinosaur Annex, cellist Jakob Kullberg, and Open End Ensemble
  • Voice: Phyllis Bryn-Julson '67 G'69, John Shirley-Quirk, Marcus Haddock, Thomas Paul, Jon Fredric West, Stephanie Blythe, and Richard McKee
  • Woodwinds/brass/percussion: Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche, Imani Winds, Bill Harris, and Boston Brass

View a list of past visiting artists