The Hofstra Music Large Ensembles are open to all interested Hofstra students, providing an outlet for the disciplined study of the art of ensemble preparation through the study of the highest-quality literature. By becoming a member of one or more of these ensembles, students are afforded the opportunity to perform with an ensemble dedicated to the highest standards of public performance through various annual concerts.
Many Music Department faculty work with one or more of the large ensembles and bring their enthusiasm, dedication, and skill to each rehearsal. In recent years, Hofstra's large ensembles (which include the Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Chorus, Wind Ensemble, and Chorale) have performed more than 30 world premieres, many by such notable composers as Vaclav Nelhybel, Marilyn Shrude, Johan de Meij, and others.
Auditions for each ensemble take place during the first week of the fall semester; some ensembles also audition in the spring. All members of the Hofstra University community are welcome to audition.
For more information on a particular ensemble, please click the appropriate link above.
The Hofstra University Wind Ensemble is a select, traditional wind ensemble of 35-40 players made up of primarily music majors representing the finest woodwind, brass, and percussion performers at the University.
The Ensemble consists of one or two performers on a part, playing music from various periods designed to be performed by a wind ensemble. The Ensemble offers performances on campus, as well as off-campus.
In addition to performing more challenging repertoire, the Ensemble features guest composers, soloists, and conductors. In recent years, the Wind Ensemble has performed for President George Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush as well as for the Queen's Day Celebration at the Netherlands Club of New York City by invitation of the Dutch Consul General, performed with renowned tuba soloist Harvey Phillips, and performed for Lady Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of England.
The Hofstra University Symphonic Band is a traditional concert band consisting of music majors and minors, as well as interested University students. The Symphonic Band performs music from various periods with several players per part.
This ensemble has commissioned and performed world premiere performances by renowned composers, such as: Vaclav Nelhybel, David Gillingham, Andrew Boysen, David Holsinger, Johan deMeij, Herbert Deutsch, Philip Sparke, Reber Clark, Robert W. Smith, and Greg Sanders, and has recorded for Southern Music Publishing Company, C. Alan Music, and Daehn Publications. The Ensemble offers performances on campus, as well as off-campus.
The Hofstra Chorale specializes in the study of larger-scale choral works, ranging from extended a cappella pieces to the rich variety of the choral-orchestral repertoire.
This midsized select mixed choral ensemble comprises some of our finest student voices and serves two main functions for the University. First, it acts as a laboratory for Hofstra's future music educators, providing an outlet for the exploration of the art of ensemble preparation through the study of the highest-quality choral and choral-orchestral literature. Second, it provides these same students with a professional-level ensemble dedicated to the highest standards of public performance through two annual concerts.
Auditions for the Hofstra Chorale take place during the first week of both the fall and spring semesters. A sign-up sheet can be found on the door of Room 109 Joseph G. Shapiro Family Hall, beginning in late August and again in January. All auditionees should arrive on time and vocally warmed-up, and are strongly encouraged to prepare a solo selection. The audition also includes an exploration of the singer's range, timbre, tonal memory, and sight-reading skills. Rehearsals are held Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:55 p.m. until 4:20 p.m. in Room 010 Joseph G. Shapiro Family Hall.
Hofstra Chamber Choir
The Hofstra Chamber Choir specializes in the study of traditional, contemporary, and multicultural choral repertoire, with a distinct emphasis on the art of unaccompanied, or a cappella, ensemble singing. This smallest and most select of the Hofstra choirs comprises the finest student voices at the University.
The Chamber Choir serves two main functions for the University. First, it acts as a laboratory for Hofstra's future music educators, providing an outlet for the exploration of the art of ensemble preparation through the study of the highest-quality choral literature. Second, it provides all qualified students with a professional-level ensemble dedicated to the highest standards of public performance through two annual campus concerts, as well as various other on and off-campus engagements and tours.
Rehearsals are held every Monday evening, 6:45 to 9 p.m., Room 216 Monroe Hall. Auditions for Chamber Choir occur the first week of school in the fall semester. Students interested in singing in Chamber Choir should prepare a solo art song for the audition; a sign-up sheet can be found on the door of Room 109 Joseph G. Shapiro Family Hall, the first few days of classes.
University Mixed Chorus
Dr. Cindy L. Bell, Director
The University Mixed Choir is a large-scale SATB choir representing a wide variety of majors both within and outside of the Department of Music.
The "U Choir" specializes in the training of emerging ensemble singers through weekly group vocal technique sessions, an emphasis on expanding the chorister's music reading skills in rehearsal, and a focus on group listening and ensemble awareness.
The dual purpose of the University Mixed Choir is to provide a high-level, large-ensemble experience to both singers and instrumentalists in the Bachelor of Science programs in music, as well as to provide a legitimate creative artistic outlet to the many other majors throughout the University, according to the liberal arts ideal.
Auditions for the Hofstra University Chorus take place during the first week of both the fall and spring semesters. A sign-up sheet can be found on the door of Room 109 Joseph G. Shapiro Family Hall, beginning in late August and again in January. All auditionees should arrive on time and vocally warmed-up, but are not required to prepare a solo selection. The audition includes an exploration of the singer's range, timbre, tonal memory, and sight-reading skills. Rehearsals are held Mondays from 7:30 until 9 p.m. in Room 010 Joseph G. Shapiro Family Hall.
Hofstra University proudly features two full-time orchestras on campus:
- The Hofstra Symphony Orchestra, a full complement of strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion that meets on Thursday afternoons at 4:30 p.m.
- The Hofstra Chamber Orchestra, a more intimate group featuring strings and selected woodwinds, brass and/or percussion, that meets on Wednesday afternoons at 4:30 p.m.
Rehearsals take place in the Shapiro Family Hall's beautiful rehearsal hall (SFH 10), with performances in the John Cranford Adams Playhouse (South Campus). Both orchestras perform masterworks by the most renowned composers in music history, from the Baroque era to the 21st century. The orchestras also take part in readings of new works by Hofstra composers.
Importantly, we pride ourselves on being a supportive group of enthusiastic musicians who love to collaborate, learn, and simply have fun making music. We work hard as a full ensemble in sectionals, and on our own, to maximize our collective artistic potential and we do so with the aim of bringing out the best in each other.
The orchestras are comprised primarily of Hofstra undergraduate and graduate students, along with other members of the Hofstra community, including staff, faculty, and alumni. We also invite surrounding community members to inquire about auditioning, as space allows. Hofstra students can take either course for 0.5 credits (22A or 26A) or for no credit (22B or 26B).
Fall auditions are normally held during the first week of classes, and by appointment thereafter. Spring auditions are arranged by appointment by emailing Professor Glaser.
The Hofstra Opera Theatre is an opera training program that presents one fully staged performance every January and two scene productions at the end of each regular semester. We perform a wide variety of works, from traditional and contemporary opera to music theatre.
In addition to these performances, Opera Theatre also trains students in stage techniques, character preparation, and aria presentation. Rehearsals for the fully staged performances are held throughout the month of January during the semester break. Auditions for Opera Theatre take place at the beginning of the fall semester. Students are required to sing two selections (either songs or arias) in two languages, one of which should be English.
Besides leading and secondary singing roles, Opera Theatre also offers opportunities for chorus, dancers, non-singing extras, and various support personnel. Any student who would like to participate in one of these capacities, or would like more information, should contact the director. Rehearsals are scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:15 to 4 p.m.