Student Organizations

Music Ensembles

The Department of Music offers many performance opportunities through our instrumental and vocal performance ensembles. The large and small ensembles are open to all university students, regardless of major.

In addition to playing a significant role in the cultural, educational, and aesthetic environment of the Kutztown University community, many ensembles perform extensively throughout the region.  Several ensembles regularly travel throughout the Eastern United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. 

Whether you are interested in pursuing a degree in music or are simply looking to continue making music as a source of entertainment and self-growth, this is an exciting time to get involved.  For further information, please visit specific ensemble pages, or contact any of the directors directly.

All music ensembles are open to the entire university community. If you have prior musical experience in high school, you can participate in our ensembles! 

Our Blues and Rock Ensemble was named one of two winners in this year's DownBeat Student Music Awards (SMA), taking home a co-win with the U of Miami. This makes Kutztown University the only college in PA to receive a 2019 award and marks the ensemble’s second consecutive win with the premier jazz magazine. Shout out to all the amazing musicians who made this possible, and Dr. Kevin Kjos for his inspired direction!

Orchestra

  • Kutztown University Orchestra

    Led by Dr. Peter Isaacson, The Kutztown University Orchestra has a reputation for musical excellence and sold-out performances. Performing standard and contemporary repertoire, the KUO has featured soloists such as Philadelphia Orchestra Concertmaster David Kim and Tchaikovsky Competition Gold Medal Winner Sandra Rivers. KUO members also train with notable instrumentalists from Philadelphia, New York, and the Lehigh Valley. The orchestra holds an annual concerto competition with a college and high school division. 

    Check them out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

    Orchestra Audition Information

    Director: Dr. Peter Isaacson

Band Program

  • Kutztown University Marching Unit (KUMU)

    The Kutztown University Marching Unit (KUMU), an energetic part of the campus community, provides music, marching and entertainment for all KU Golden Bears' football games, select away games, marching band festivals/competitions, professional sporting events, parades and campus spirit building activities.

    Check them out on Instagram @kumugoldenbears and on Facebook.

    Director: Prof. Daniel Neuenschwander

  • Wind Ensemble

    The Kutztown University Wind Ensemble is comprised of the top woodwind, brass, and percussion students at the university who have demonstrated a commitment to a high level of musicianship. The Wind Ensemble performs at two on-campus concerts each spring term, as well as at various community and outreach events. The Kutztown University Wind Ensemble has recently performed at both Carnegie Hall (2007) and Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall (2009, 2011). During the spring 2013 season, the Wind Ensemble will perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. The Wind Ensemble seeks to expose its audiences and membership to the finest wind literature, including the "classics" of the repertoire, transcriptions, and new works by both established and young, up-and-coming composers. The ensemble is active in commissioning new compositions for the wind medium, and has recently joined commissioning consortia for works by Donald Grantham, Richard Danielpour, Jonathan Newman, Rob Smith, Bob Mintzer, Philip Glass, and Joan Tower, among others. An outstanding student, faculty, and visiting artists typically appear as soloists with the Wind Ensemble.

    REHEARSALS

    During the spring semester, Wind Ensemble rehearsals are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3:00-3:50 p.m. During the fall term, wind ensemble membership is drawn from the concert band.

    AUDITIONS

    Membership is open to students of all majors by audition. Auditions are held at the start of each semester for all instrumental ensembles. Audition music is generally available in a downloadable electronic format several weeks before the auditions. Please contact Professor Daniel Neuenschwander for the audition music. Auditions sign-ups are available in the Music Office, Old Main 114, a couple of days before the start of each new semester.

    Director: Prof. Daniel Neuenschwander

  • Concert Band

    Concert Band meets during the Spring semester to perform a wide variety of wind band literature including standard repertoire, recently published compositions and selections from festival lists. Students need to contact the KU Department of Music to arrange an audition for membership.

    Director: Prof. Daniel Neuenschwander

  • Kutztown University Symphonic Band

    The Kutztown University Symphonic Band performs a wide variety of wind band literature, including standard repertoire, recently published compositions and selections from festival lists. It is comprised of students from all facets of university life, regardless of major, who wish to continue making music throughout their collegiate years. 

    Director: Prof. Daniel Neuenschwander

Jazz and Commercial Studies
  • Jazz Ensemble I, II, and Black Box Big Band

    REHEARSALS

    KU Jazz Studies features three large ensembles: 

    • Jazz Ensemble I rehearses Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 12:00 – 12:50; 
    • Jazz Ensemble II rehearses on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30 – 2:50;
    • and an ad hoc student-led big band, The Black Box Big Band, that meets every Monday night in the Black Box Theatre.

    Compositions and arrangements as performed by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, Thad Jones – Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, the Clayton/Hamilton jazz Orchestra, and many, many others, including student compositions and arrangements.

    PERFORMANCE & GUESTS

    The Jazz Ensembles have had the opportunity to perform with and receive clinics from many of the greats in jazz performance and education including the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Mingus Big Band, the Count Basie Orchestra, Randy Brecker, Steve Wilson, John Riley, Tim Hagans, Scott Wendholt, Bob Mintzer, Michael Philip Mossman, Brent Wallarab, Scott Lee, Allison Miller, Mike Davis, Fred Sturm, Bob Baca, Tom Walsh, Steve Houghton, Ray Drummond, Bruce Barth, Cyrus Chestnut, Jeff Hirschfield, Bill Reichenbach, and many others.

    AUDITIONS

    Auditions are held in the first week of classes each semester. Auditions consist of sight-reading and an optional prepared piece. The student may or may not choose to improvise. Improvisation is not a requirement for participation in jazz ensembles. For more information, contact Kevin Kjos at kjos@kutztown.edu.

    RECORDINGS

    Listen to our recordings on Soundcloud to hear some tracks from the Kutztown Jazz Ensembles!

    Director: Dr. Kevin Kjos

  • Jazz Combos

    The KU Jazz Studies Area has several student-led Combos. These Combos range in size from vocal-guitar duets to quartets to septets. These combos meet with KU Jazz Studies Faculty Scott Lee in Master Classes held weekly.

    The KU Jazz Combos perform on a formal "Combo Concert" at the end of each term. Selected combos also record selections each year on the KU Jazz Studies CDs, and perform regularly around the area.

    Advisor: Prof. Scott Lee

  • After Hours

    VOCAL JAZZ FROM KUTZTOWN UNIVERSITY

    Do you like songs written by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers and Irving Berlin? Do you like to hear them sung by groups like The Modernaires, The Four Freshmen, Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, and The Ink Spots? If you do, then you'll love KU's AfterHours. The group is made up of student singers and musicians majoring in a wide variety of academic disciplines. Members are chosen through competitive auditions held twice each year.

    Advisor: Prof. Neal Kirkwood

  • Rock Ensemble I, Rock Ensemble II, and Rock Ensemble III

    For the past two years, Rock Ensemble I has been named by Down Beat Magazine as one of the premiere undergraduate ensembles of its kind.

    KU Rock Ensembles respect the tradition of American rock and soul music while looking to the future to give the students who play and sing in these groups an all-encompassing view of the American musical style that took over the world. Students perform music from the rock genre and all its subcategories: indie, funk, soul, rhythm and blues, folk, country, and more. During the past year, the ensembles have performed music as far-ranging in style as Belinda Carlisle, Thank You, Scientist, The Main Squeeze, Queen, The Beatles, Tower of Power, Living Color, and more.

    Through participation in the rock ensembles, student musicians get a taste of the real world and the music they will be asked to play and create in the commercial marketplace. With the guidance of their professors, students learn to write their own arrangements for a band with full rhythm sections, horns, and multiple vocalists; prepare their own parts based on recordings and charts, and record and perform at a professional level.

    Rock Ensemble I records at least twice an academic year and produces an annual CD (or CDs). The recordings are recorded, mixed, mastered and produced by professional sound engineers Steve Jankowski and Johannes Lang and KU students.

    AUDITIONS
    Auditions are held at the beginning of each semester. Both music and non-music majors are invited to participate.

    RECORDINGS
    Go here to hear the latest!

    Advisors: Professors Dr. Kevin Kjos and Dr. Jack Furlong

  • American Music Project (AMP)

    The American Music Project, AMP, is a student coordinated organization that oversees the various initiatives of the Jazz and Commercial Studies Area in the Department of Music at KU. Among these initiatives are the Annual Jazz and Rock Day, which invites regional high school jazz ensembles to campus for a day of concerts, clinics and masterclasses; Regional tours for both Jazz Ensemble I and Rock I; hosting several concerts and masterclasses on campus each year (Last year AMP hosted Broadway drumming legend Larry Lelli and jazz superstar Arturo Sandoval); producing several recordings each year; and running the Music at the Pub series at the K’Town Pub every Tuesday night.

Vocal Ensembles
  • University Choir

    University Choir is a large traditional concert choral ensemble. It performs the music of all eras, from ancient to contemporary, both a cappella and with instrumental accompaniment, including major works for chorus and orchestra. Membership is by a simple audition. 

    Director: Dr. Graham Bier

  • Vocal Ensemble

    Vocal Ensemble explores the repertoire of all styles for small ensembles, with or without instruments. With models of professional contemporary choral groups, singers in Vocal Ensemble develop advanced musicianship skills and initiative in the creative process. Since Vocal Ensemble takes a focused and individually engaging approach to high-level music-making, prior ensemble singing experience and sight-reading ability are required. 

    Director: Dr. Graham Bier

  • Chamber Singers

    Chamber Singers is a smaller traditional "madrigal" style group. Its repertoire focuses mainly on a cappella music of all eras, but particularly Renaissance and early Baroque classical small ensemble music.

    Director: Dr. Hank Alviani

  • After Hours

    VOCAL JAZZ FROM KUTZTOWN UNIVERSITY

    Do you like songs written by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers and Irving Berlin? Do you like to hear them sung by groups like The Modernaires, The Four Freshmen, Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, and The Ink Spots? If you do, then you'll love KU's AfterHours. The group is made up of student singers and musicians majoring in a wide variety of academic disciplines. Members are chosen through competitive auditions held twice each year.

    Advisor: Prof. Neal Kirkwood

  • Kutztones

    Kutztones is a student-run a cappella group that sings recent contemporary pieces with arrangements made by members of the group.

    Find them on Facebook and Instagram.

Chamber Ensembles
  • Chamber Studies

    Each semester, participating students will have the opportunity to work together in ensembles ranging in size from duets to small chamber orchestras, preparing for a performance repertoire from the Baroque Era to the 21st century. The ensembles will have weekly coachings with embers of our outstanding faculty, culminating in outreach performances at area schools, retirement communities, and churches. In addition, there will be frequent student performances on campus in the University's own inspiring performance venue, the Georgian Room.

    Students learn rehearsal and performance techniques applied to a wide range of repertoires, invaluable assets in preparation for a career in music, whether as a teacher or performer.

    Advisor:

  • Flute Ensemble

    Members of the Flute Ensembles play flute chamber music in duos, trios, quartets, and as a large ensemble. Flutists are encouraged to choose their own repertoire and create flute ensemble arrangements of music they enjoy. Each week, groups rehearse, have coaching, and attend a masterclass. Each semester, there is a recital in the Georgian Room dedicated to the Flute Ensembles. All Flute Majors are required to take part, and students taking Flute Lessons are strongly urged to sign up. Students not taking lessons are also welcome to be a part of the Ensembles; simply contact Dr. Loewy at loewy@kutztown.edu for more information.

    Advisors: Dr. Loewy

  • Clarinet Ensemble

    The clarinet program at Kutztown University offers numerous opportunities for students to explore specific areas of interest. The Clarinet Choir is open to the entire university population, regardless of major. This ensemble ranges in size from three to 12 players. Styles of performance range from contemporary original works by Pulitzer Prize winning composers to transcriptions of both well-known and obscure Renaissance, Baroque, and Romantic era works, and jazz standards and originals with rhythm section. The instrumentation typically includes the following clarinets: Eb Sopranino, BbSoprano, Eb Alto, Bb Bass, EEb Contra Alto, and BBb Contra Bass.

    Other ensemble activities open to clarinetists at Kutztown University include; Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Marching Band, and Jazz Combos and Ensembles. All students in the single reed studio are encouraged to study the various woodwind instruments as well as to develop a strong pedagogical background in jazz. The goal of the KU performance ensembles is to develop the highest level of performance, musicianship, and pedagogical concepts that will help each student achieve excellence in their chosen careers.

    The constructive environment, personal attention by faculty, and diversity of musical offerings in the clarinet program is characteristic of the entire Department of Music at Kutztown University. The department holds bi-weekly recital hours, where students have the opportunity to perform for their colleagues in a relaxed setting. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of the professional accompanist on faculty to prepare major works for performance.


    For further information, please contact:

    Advisor: Dr. Aileen Razey

  • Saxophone Ensemble

    The KU Saxophone Ensemble is open to the entire university population, regardless of major. This ensemble ranges in size from three to fifteen players and performs both transcriptions and original works. All saxophonists also have the opportunity to perform in a Saxophone Quartet. The saxophone quartet literature includes a vast array of master works, and is the classical saxophonist's definitive chamber music experience. Each year, the KU Jazz Saxophone Quintet, consisting of the members from the Jazz Ensemble I, perform and record original works as well as those of the "Supersax" variety.

    Other ensemble activities open to saxophonists at Kutztown University include Jazz Ensembles and Combos, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Marching Band, and Orchestra. All students in the single reed studio are encouraged to study the various woodwind instruments. The goal of the KU performance ensembles is to develop the highest level of performance, musicianship, and pedagogical concepts that will help each student achieve excellence in their chosen careers.

    Contact with visiting clinicians is integral to reaching this goal. Recent saxophone clinicians have included Dr. Dan Goble, Joe Lovano, Bob Mintzer, Dr. Joseph Murphy, Dick Oats, Dr. Todd Oxford, Rich Perry, Al Regni, Dr. James Umble, Dr. Thomas Walsh, Steve Wilson, as well as the entire saxophone sections from the Air Force Rhythm and Blues Jazz Ensemble, the Count Basie Orchestra, and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

    The constructive environment, personal attention by faculty, and range of musical offerings in the saxophone program are characteristic of the entire Department of Music at Kutztown University. Saxophone students are further encouraged to take advantage of the professional accompanist on faculty to prepare major works for performance in bi-weekly recital hours.


    For further information, please contact:

    Advisor: Dr. Jeremy Justeson

  • Brass Ensemble

    The KU Brass Ensemble performs various types of music, from the Renaissance period to the present day. Rehearsals are scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon in Old Main C31. In addition to performing traditional music written for brass, the ensemble regularly premiers new works by contemporary composers. Students are provided with an opportunity to perform in a large brass group, as well as with smaller quintets, quartets, and other chamber music combinations. The Brass Ensemble is open to all students at KU who play Trumpet, Horns, Trombone, Euphonium, and Tuba.

    Advisor: Dr. John Metcalf

  • Trombone Choir

    The KU Trombone Choir performs many genres of music, from Renaissance madrigals to contemporary jazz charts. In addition to transcriptions of other works, there are many original compositions for trombone choir. The Choir performs two formal concerts per academic year in conjunction with the Brass Ensemble. Admission to the ensemble is open to trombones, euphoniums, and tubas.

    Advisor: Prof. Daniel Neuenshwander

  • Percussion Ensemble

    Over the years, the KU Percussion Program has provided performance and educational opportunities for students of Kutztown University. In accordance with the original constitution of the KU Percussion Ensemble, students of any experience level are welcomed to join. The membership of the ensemble has included students from Africa, Japan, and the United States. The ensemble provides an opportunity for students of diverse backgrounds to work together and experience, educate, and appreciate the unique elements of cultures of the world. As we look forward to our future, we plan to continue performing music of traditional and concert styles. We have already accepted an invitation to perform at a celebration commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the city of Hershey, Pennsylvania. Whatever our course is, one thing will be certain. It will be dictated by the needs and desires established by the students within the ensemble. Be sure to join us as we grow and explore the world of music and percussion.

    For more information visit the KU Percussion Ensemble webpage.

    Feel free to "like" us on Facebook and "follow" us on Twitter!

    Watch Youtube videos of KU Percussion here!

    Director: Dr. Frank Kumor

  • String Ensemble

    String players at Kutztown University have the opportunity to play in a variety of small ensembles, ranging from duos to quartets, piano trios, and other mixed ensembles. Our repertoire from the Baroque to the present gives students experience playing in many different styles. Performance venues ranging from the concert hall to smaller, more intimate settings will hone their performance skills.

    Advisor: Dr. Peter Isaacson

Student Organizations

  • National Association for Music Education (NAfME)

    The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is an organization of American music educators dedicated to advancing and preserving music education as part of the core curriculum of schools in the United States. This Collegiate chapter will allow members to develop a professional identity as a Music Education student as well as have opportunities to interact with and learn from active music educators and administrators. Through these interactions, students will begin to network and create opportunities that may help them gain job interviews and land a job after graduation. This chapter will have meetings at least twice a month, where students will participate in discussions, performances, and demonstrations. This organization will assist the Kutztown University Music department in various activities and projects throughout the year. The executive board creates a supportive and caring environment for aspiring music educators.

    Advisors: Dr. Valerie Trollinger & Dr. Aileen Razey

  • Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia

    Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the largest and oldest men's social fraternity in music, promotes brotherhood, service, and American music. Membership is open to any student with a love of music, regardless of major.

    Find them on Facebook.

    Advisor:

  • Sigma Alpha Iota

    Sigma Alpha Iota is an international music fraternity for women.

    Find them on Facebook.

    Advisor: Janelle Henry