Ensemble performance experience is critical to musical development. Winthrop University offers approximately twenty-eight ensembles that provide students ample opportunity to gain valuable ensemble performance experience. Ensembles range in size from chamber groups, to symphonic winds and and choral ensembles to full orchestra. The range of styles of music performed by our ensembles varies widely. The diverse array of music performed at Winthrop University includes orchestral repertory, chamber music, opera, jazz, and period ensembles. Follow the links below to learn more about our ensemble offerings. If you have questions please feel free to contact the ensemble director.

Vocal Ensembles

    Dr. Jeremy Mims, Director

    The Chamber Singers is a small ensemble of fifteen to twenty singers specializing in the performance of a cappella and chamber music from the Renaissance to the Twentieth Century. The choir especially enjoys motets, madrigals, chanson, and part songs from early periods of musical history to the present day. Auditions for the ensemble are held in August and early January. It is preferable that the singer has had chamber choir experience either in high school, college or church choirs and is a competent music reader. Undergraduate and graduate students are urged to schedule an audition if they are interested. Each rehearsal is vigorous, mentally stimulating and most of all fun for the singer who is serious about singing quality choral repertoire with professional technique. Chamber Singers performs approximately two to three times each semester on and off the Winthrop campus. 

    Dr. Jeremy Mims, Director

    The Chorale, the principal touring choir among the ensembles in the Department of Music, consists of outstanding undergraduate and graduate students, more than half of whom are music majors and minors. One of the oldest student organizations in Winthrop's history, the group has included male singers since 1977, after an 88-year history as a women's chorus.

    The Chorale has given invitational performances at state and Southern Division conferences of the American Choral Directors Association and the South Carolina Music Educators Association. The ensemble recorded Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and appeared in a Leonard Bernstein tribute in Gailliard Auditorium with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. Most recently, the ensemble has appeared with the Charlotte Symphony in performances of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and Orff's Carmina Burana (also featuring the North Carolina Dance Company and the Charlotte Children's Choir). For more information about joining this outstanding choral group, please contact Dr. Mims.

    Dr. Jeremy Mims, Director

    The Collegiate Choir is a large concert choir of mixed voices. It is open to any interested student, and it performs at least once a semester in Byrnes Auditorium. Its repertoire is taken from all periods of musical history and includes gospel, jazz, and pop music as well. The group is under the direction of Jeremy Mims. This is an excellent choir in which to explore choral music. The repertoire ranges from intermediate to sophisticated levels of difficulty, however, basic skills of vocal technique, music reading, and musicianship are stressed. The rehearsals are fast-paced, energetic and lots of fun. 

    Dr. Jeffrey McEvoy, Director

    The Opera Workshop is designed for the young singer/actor who wishes to gain skills specific to opera and musical theatre with an emphasis on combining acting and singing techniques. The student explores the creative process through theatre games and improvisation exercises designed to release inhibitions on stage and explore artistic and creative limitations of the individual. The class also explores how music and drama affect one another, and stage directing for musical theatre and opera.

    Activity areas include critical listening, creative body movement, and application of the techniques used in these processes. The course usually culminates in the production of operatic and/or musical theatre scenes designed around the students in the course.


Instrumental Ensembles:

    Brass Ensembles at Winthrop take a variety of forms: from small chamber groups (brass quintets, tuba/euphonium quartet), to like-instrument ensembles (trombone choir, trumpet choir), to a large brass band. The smaller groups focus on self-conducted rehearsals with regular coaching from a faculty member. Through exposure to demanding repertoire and the unique challenges brass players face, students grow musically and technically throughout the semester.

    Each ensemble performs on campus and frequently in off-campus venues as well. Many of the ensembles work towards the goal of entering into national and international competitions held by organizations like: the International Trumpet Guild, International Horn Society, International Trombone Association, International Tuba and Euphonium Association, Southeast Horn Workshop, American Trombone Workshop, International Women's Brass Conference, etc.

    The Department of Music offers a wide variety of mixed chamber ensembles. These are in addition to all the standing ensembles and vary from semester to semester based on instruments available.

    For more information on all such ensembles for the current semester, contact

    Jill O'Neill, Director

    The Flute Choir program is a performance-oriented rehearsal class that explores the diverse literature for various sized flute choirs. It focuses on the self-conducted ensemble, especially the standard flute choir. Members work to achieve proficiency in conducting as well as performance on the flute, piccolo, alto and bass flutes. Participants learn to assume the responsibilities of interpretation and expressive performance in rehearsal and public concerts, both as an ensemble member and soloist. Course requirements often include performances on and off campus that represent a variety of styles, including holiday themed recitals and large scale faculty productions.

    Dr. L.H. Dickert, Director

    The Guitar Ensembles (MUSA 168/668) at Winthrop have been actively performing both on and off campus since 1992 and are dedicated to presenting quality performances of guitar ensemble music. These ensembles, under the direction of Dr. L. H. Dickert, provide students the opportunity to exercise a wide array of skills necessary for performing musicians. These ensembles are offered for credit and are a requirement for all guitar majors.

    Dr. Dickert has arranged the majority of charts for the jazz guitar ensembles which has contributed to an extensive catalog. If you have an interest in purchasing ensemble charts, please e-mail him for additional information.

    There are two types of guitar ensemble formats: jazz guitar ensembles and classical guitar ensembles.

    Jazz Guitar Ensembles are comprised of four, five, or six guitarists who must be able to read, comp, and improvise. In performance, each ensemble is accompanied by a two-piece rhythm section consisting of a bassist and drummer. Each ensemble rehearses regularly each week and presents a concert each semester. Occasionally guest artists appear with these groups and usually conduct master classes on the afternoon of the concert. In addition to the regularly scheduled on-campus concerts there also are opportunities for off-campus performances.

    Classical Guitar Ensembles vary depending upon student enrollment, but typically consist of a trio, quartet, or quintet. Repertoire is drawn from Renaissance to contemporary styles, and a concert is presented each semester.

    Enrollment and participation in the Guitar Ensembles is a requisite for all guitar majors. Other students with strong guitar backgrounds are invited to contact Dr. Dickert before registering for Guitar Ensembles (MUSA 168/668). Auditions are optional at the discretion of the director.

    Winthrop Screamin' Eagles Basketball Band

    A 40-member pep band open to students regardless of major who have playing experience on saxophone, trumpet, mellophone, baritone, tuba, electric bass, and drum set. This ensemble performs at most home basketball games and pep rallys, and travels to Big South and NCAA tournaments. This group is a powerful leader of the WU Spirit Squad. Participating students receive and honorarium based on the number of games at which they perform each season.

    No audition required.
    Six evening rehearsals scheduled in September and October are mandatory.

    Dr. L.H. Dickert, Director

    The Jazz Combo is dedicated to the study and performance of traditional and contemporary jazz literature. For more information contact Dr. L.H. Dickert.

    Dr. Tracy Patterson, Director

    The Jazz Ensemble, formed in 1975, performs a vast array of musical styles, ranging from traditional big band literature to the most contemporary jazz. Its mission is to prepare the students for professional performing opportunities in the jazz and contemporary music fields. The group has toured throughout the Southeast, performing on numerous high school and college campuses. They have shared the concert stage with such notable jazz stars as Maynard Ferguson, were finalists in the 1994 National Collegiate Jazz Festival in Mobile, Alabama, and have performed in concert at the Grove Park Inn Jazz Festival twice. Former members have been Downbeat Magazine College Soloist Award winners. Many have gone on to graduate jazz studies at major universities and are now professional musicians.

    Dr. Douglas Presley, Director

    The Winthrop University Percussion Ensemble is dedicated to presenting quality percussion literature selected from a wide variety of musical genres. The ensemble regularly performs contemporary music from such composers as John Cage, Lou Harrison, Steve Reich, Tom Gauger, and Christopher Rouse, among many others. The group also performs transcriptions of classical literature for marimba ensemble, as well as traditional Mexican and Guatemalan tunes and ragtime selections. In addition, the ensemble has explored traditional musical expressions from a variety of world cultures, including a number of African and Afro-Latin styles. Guest artists appearing with the ensemble have included djembefola Mohamed Da Costa, Latin percussionist Michael Spiro, and PAS Hall of Fame inductee Gordon Peters. The recipient of two Presser Foundation grants, the Percussion Ensemble has performed at a number of percussion events and arts festivals throughout the Carolinas, and has been featured on South Carolina Public Radio. In 2008 and 2012 the group performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Austin, Texas.

    More information to come!

    More information to come!

    Concert on the Lawn

    Check out the WU Symphonic Band Facebook Page!

    The Symphonic Band was formed in 1978 by Dr. William F. Malambri upon his arrival at Winthrop University as Director of Bands. This large ensemble is open to all students regardless of major, through audition at the beginning of each semester. This ensemble has a strong tradition for its performance of significant repertoire written for wind band. In addition, the Symphonic Band fosters an appreciation for a variety of musical styles within the wind band repertoire and seeks to enhance the development of individual performance in the areas of intonation, articulation, technical facility, and balance and blend within an ensemble. The ensemble meets on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons in both the winter and spring terms. Membership is determined by audition with the director and the applied teacher early in the school year. Performances of the Symphonic Band have included concerts at both the North Carolina and South Carolina Music Educators Association conferences. The group performs two concerts per semester.

    More information to come!

    Douglas Black, Director

    The Tuba-Euphonium Choir is comprised of tuba and euphonium music majors and non-majors. University students interested in participating must pass an audition and are responsible for maintaining a high level of performance as a member of the ensemble. Each semester the ensemble presents a formal concert and throughout the year it performs for various university functions as well as community events in the Rock Hill and Charlotte area. For audition or booking information please contact Douglas Black at 803/323-4609.

    More information to come!

    Lorrie Crochet, Director

    The Carolinas Wind Orchestra is an internationally recognized group dedicated to the performance of advanced wind literature. Under the direction of Dr. Lorrie Crochet, the Carolinas Wind Orchestra has performed at prominent festivals world-wide, including the 2007 International Music Festival at Malgrat de Mar, Spain.

    The Wood Wind Ensembles are formed of interested undergraduate and graduate students and are dedicated to the performance of wind literature.