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 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.

Organ/Piano

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.

Student pianists regularly get involved with Pro Art, CNYAMT, Central New York Association of Music Teachers, and the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). Additional performance opportunities include performances offered by Civic Morning Musicals (civicmorningmusicals.org), through their Wednesday Recital Series and Live Sunday Series. For more information how to apply and get involved please email Ida Tili Trebicka, Professor of Practice in Piano, and Keyboard Area Co-Coordinator at ttrebick@syr.edu

Student organists are able to draw on a myriad of performance, church music, and arts administration opportunities both on campus and in the wider community. While most of the teaching takes place in the Setnor School of Music, student organists regularly make use of additional opportunities supported by Hendricks Chapel, Syracuse Catholic Community, and the Syracuse Chapter of the American Guild of Organists in order to make the most of their experience in Syracuse. View our list of opportunities [PDF] to get a sense of what our student organists are up to. For more information, or to express an interest in applying or getting involved, email Dr. Anne Laver, assistant professor of organ and University organist, at alaver@syr.edu.

Strings

String performance majors are required to participate in the SU Symphony Orchestra during each semester they are enrolled as a full-time student.  The opportunity also exists for performance in our numerous smaller chamber ensembles such as Contemporary Music Ensemble, Baroque Ensemble, and various Mixed Chamber Music groups.  For those looking to broaden their performance experience beyond the traditional classical repertoire, string students might choose to perform in the SU Brazilian Ensemble, Syracuse All Steel Percussion Orchestra, or one of our other jazz/commercial small ensembles.

Voice

Graduate voice performance students are required to participate in a choir each semester they are enrolled as a full-time student. The Setnor School of Music select choirs include the University Singers, Oratorio Society, and Hendricks Chapel Choir.  Larger choirs include both the Crouse Chorale and Concert Choir. In addition, the Opera Workshop provides an opportunity to perform complete operatic roles in fully-staged performances. It is also common for students to perform in each other’s degree recitals.

Off campus, Setnor voice students are valued members of the professional chorus of the Syracuse Opera, sometimes performing small solo parts or more substantial roles. Other activities include paid positions as section leaders in church choirs and performing roles with the nearby Oswego Opera.

For those looking to broaden their performance experience beyond the traditional classical repertoire, voice students might choose to perform in one of our jazz vocal ensembles (Orange Collective or Orange Syndicate) or the SU Brazilian Ensemble. An active, student-run a cappella culture provides opportunities for camaraderie, fun, and leadership, or students may choose to take on leadership roles in the annual musical theatre production presented by the First-Year Players.

Woodwinds/Brass/Percussion

Wind and percussion performance majors are required to participate in a large ensemble during each semester they are enrolled as a full-time student including either the SU Wind Ensemble and SU Symphony Orchestra.  The opportunity also exists for performance in our numerous smaller chamber ensembles such as Contemporary Music Ensemble, Baroque Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Saxophone Ensemble and various Mixed Chamber Music groups.  For those looking to broaden their performance experience beyond the traditional classical repertoire, wind and percussion students might choose to perform in the Pride of the Orange SU Marching Band, Morton Schiff Jazz Ensemble, SU Brazilian Ensemble, Syracuse All Steel Percussion Orchestra, or one of our other jazz/commercial small ensembles.

Facilities

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 Michel Bouvard, Nathan Laube, Alan Morrison, and Bruce Neswick 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

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