Skip to content

Department of Music

Browse Department

Music Ensembles

The performing groups in UIndy’s Department of Music provide all students with a wide variety of experiences that help to develop versatility in many genres and styles. These ensembles also provide opportunities for students to familiarize themselves with the canon associated with their chosen fields.

Vocal ensembles

The UIndy Concert Choir is an auditioned, mixed chorus of 48 students from all fields of study. The ensemble performs several times throughout the year on campus and tours domestically and internationally. Previous tour destinations have included China, New Mexico and Chicago.

The choir performs a wide variety of literature from the Masses of Mozart and Haydn (with orchestra), to traditional college choir literature and staged opera performances.

The Concert Choir has appeared with Maestro Raymond Leppard, UIndy artist-in-residence, and with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, and for the Central Division Convention of the American Choral Directors Association.

Get choral ensemble audition information ►

Crimson Express is the resident vocal jazz/pop ensemble at UIndy. Membership in this ensemble is by audition and participation in one of the major choral ensembles (Concert Choir or Women's Chorus) is a prerequisite. Comprised of 12-16 voices, this select group performs music in the popular genre under the direction of Pete Schmutte.

The ensemble performs two concerts a year, at the end of the fall and spring semesters. As scheduling permits, the group also performs at select off-campus venues. Crimson Express generally performs with a nine-piece band providing instrumental accompaniment.

For more information, please contact Pete Schmutte at

Schola is the vocal chamber ensemble of the University of Indianapolis. Membership in this selective, 16-person ensemble is based on audition. The ensemble specializes in early music but also performs a wide range of works in foreign languages and from all style periods. Schola performs on campus throughout the year and also conducts an annual spring tour.

Get choral ensemble audition information ►

For more information about Opera Scenes, please contact Kathleen Hacker at

Women's Chorus is an ensemble of 35 students from all academic disciplines throughout the UIndy campus. This ensemble is open to all women regardless of musical training. The audition for this ensemble serves to allow the music director to assess your ability and determine how best to use you in the choir.

Women's Chorus activities include on-campus performances throughout the year including our popular annual Christmas Celebration concerts. Another important tradition for Women's Chorus is our annual combined concert with the Wabash College Glee Club. In addition, the Women's Chorus, joined by other UIndy choral ensembles, students, faculty, staff and alumni come together to form the UIndy Festival Chorale for periodic overseas summer concert tours.

Get choral ensemble audition information ►

UIndy's Voices of Worship is a soulful-style choral group of students from all areas of study. The ensemble has performed on campus and throughout the Indianapolis community, including partnering and performing with the Asante Children Theatre in a holiday concert, providing choral singing for UIndy's Dr. Martin Luther King Convocation, and performing at the University's inauguration of the ninth president, Dr. Robert Manuel.

Voices of Worship performs a repertoire of spiritual arrangements, gospel (traditional and contemporary), praise and worship and gospel music from musical theatre.

For more information about Voices of Worship, please contact Geoffrey Kelsaw at

Instrumental ensembles

The University of Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra is the prominent large ensemble for string and select wind and percussion players on campus. Comprised of students, faculty, and guest musicians, the Chamber Orchestra is dedicated to the presentation of both the chamber and symphonic literature. Recent seasons have showcased repertoire from the standard literature to works of Bridge, Ginastera, Milhaud, Schulhoff, Turina, and Whitacre.

UIndy Concerto Soloists

As part of the Chamber Orchestra program, the UIndy Concerto Soloists is a conductorless chamber ensemble that showcases and mentors exceptional student and community musicians in performances throughout the year. In recent seasons, this ensemble has featured guest artists from the Oberlin Conservatory, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Louisville Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra as well as University of Indianapolis faculty members.

Participation in the chamber orchestra program is by audition. Auditions are held on the Friday before the first day of classes, and are open to all student and guest musicians interested in participation. Rehearsals are held on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 4:00 to 5:50 p.m. in room 109 of the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center. Because it is an academic course, participants have the opportunity to enroll each semester to receive either undergraduate or graduate college credit.

For University of Indianapolis undergraduate students, this credit will be applied to the fulfillment of their fine arts requirement. Educators may enroll for graduate credit to fulfill their requirements for ongoing professional development.

All individuals interested in participation may contact Joana Genova at

Get Chamber Orchestra audition information ►

The UIndy Jazz Ensemble is the flagship of the Jazz Studies program at the University of Indianapolis. This ensemble performs multiple concerts per semester and the students in this group, who audition for membership just prior to the fall semester, have the opportunity to perform music from the great big bands including Duke Ellington and Count Basie, as well as from modern-day composers such as Maria Schneider and Jim McNeely.

Auditions for the Jazz Ensemble are held three days prior to the beginning of the fall semester, and are open to all interested students.

For more information, please contact Dr. Mark O’Connor at

Get Jazz Ensemble audition information ►

The Pep Band performs at UIndy home football and basketball games. The band enhances the atmosphere, enthusiasm and school spirit at games by providing entertaining music, and it also provides UIndy students with an enjoyable outlet for musical performance. The Pep Band is a non-auditioned group open to all students at UIndy with previous playing experience on wind, brass and percussion instruments. For further information, please contact Dr. Vu Nguyen at

UIndy's Wind Ensemble, featuring student wind and percussion instrumentalists, presents multiple concerts each semester. Each concert is designed to reflect great variety and a high level of musicianship. Repertoire includes highly regarded original band words as well as select transcriptions of orchestral repertoire. Past programs have included the music of Warren Benson, Steven Bryant, Aaron Copland, Percy Grainger, Karel Husa, John Mackey, David Maslanka, Felix Mendelssohn, William Schuman, Dmitri Shostakovich, John Philip Sousa, and Frank Ticheli.

The ensemble has also gone on two international tours, with destinations including the following cities in Italy and Austria: Bologna, Florence, Rome, Venice, Verona, Salzburg and Vienna.

Auditions for the Wind Ensemble are held three days prior to the beginning of the fall semester, and are open to all interested students.

For more information, please contact Dr. Vu Nguyen at

Get Wind Ensemble audition information ►

Instrumental chamber ensembles

For more information about the African Drum Ensemble, please contact Art Reiner at

For more information about the Baroque Ensemble, please contact Thomas Gerber at

For more information about the Brass Quintet, please contact Larry Powell at

For more information about the Collaborative Piano Ensemble, please contact Rebecca Sorley at

For more information about Flute Choir, please contact Tamara Thweatt at

UIndy has two Handbell Ensembles under the direction of Peter Nichols. The Beginning Ensemble is made up of a wide range of students fulfilling ensemble obligations for the Music Department as well as a large population of non-music majors fulfilling their applied arts credit. This ensemble is focused on teaching the basics of handbell playing as well as music reading. Music reading is not a requirement for the course.

The Advanced Ensemble is made up of experienced ringers (or strong music readers who are new to handbells) and plays repertoire expected of an advanced group. This class focuses on more difficult literature and ringing techniques including solos, duets, trios, quartets, bell trees and extensive four-in-hand.

For more information, contact Peter Nichols at

The UIndy Jazz Combo performs multiple concerts each semester. This small ensemble of 4-8 musicians provides its members with the opportunity to intensively study and explore jazz improvisation, small group arranging, and jazz composition through performance. Students in this group, who audition for membership just prior to the fall semester, perform music composed by jazz masters such as Dizzy Gillespie, Horace Silver, and Thelonious Monk. This group also performs the member’s original compositions and arrangements, as well as songs written for Broadway musicals and films during the early part of the 20th century.

Auditions for the Jazz Combo and Jazz Ensemble are held three days prior to the beginning of the fall semester, and are open to all interested students.

For more information, please contact Dr. Mark O'Connor at

Get Jazz Combo audition information ►

The UIndy Percussion Ensemble is open to all UIndy students wishing to perform music for percussion instruments. Students perform a variety of works from ragtime marimba ensembles to percussion music by the most famous percussion composers of all time to modern percussion ensembles.

For audition information, please email director Paul Berns at or contact him at 317-423-3100.  

UIndy students of any major have the opportunity to study and perform significant works of the piano duet and two-piano repertoire with Richard Ratliff, director of keyboard studies. Recent student collaborations with Dr. Ratliff have been featured on Fine Arts Society broadcasts on UIndy's public radio station, 88.7 FM WICR. In addition to individual and ensemble preparation, students meet as a group in a weekly 75-minute session. An audition is required.

For more information about the Piano Ensemble, please contact Rebecca Sorley at

For more information about the String Ensemble, please contact Dennis McCafferty at


All music ensembles may be taken for either .5 or 1 credit hour. Those who wish for more credit in a given semester should register for 1 credit. Those who have a particularly heavy load of course work in a given semester might choose to register for only .5 credit.

Participation requirement

  1. Music ensembles at UIndy are open to all students and the participation of non-music majors is actively encouraged. Regular audition times are scheduled at the beginning of each academic year. Placement in ensembles is determined by audition and by the ensemble director in consultation with the directors of choral and instrumental activities.
  2. Students in each ensemble are expected to register for either .5 or 1 credit hour.
  3. Music majors will participate in a large ensemble each semester in which they are registered as full time students.
  4. Students receiving music scholarships are expected to participate in a minimum of two ensembles each semester. Non-majors with ensemble grants must participate in two ensembles and study their instrument or voice privately. Scholarship and ensemble grant students who do not follow these guidelines will forfeit their scholarship.
  5. Music majors whose applied area is guitar or piano will be expected to participate in a large ensemble for two years. For the remaining four semester they will be in either small or large ensembles.

Please note: A large part of the first semester in ensembles are spent in preparation for public performance in the second semester; therefore, membership is by the school year, not by the semester.