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Instrumental Ensembles at SDSU


You DO NOT have to be a music major to play in an ensemble at SDSU. Non-majors are ENCOURAGED to participate!

With 2 ORCHESTRAS, 3 CONCERT BANDS, multiple JAZZ ENSEMBLES and COMBOS, ATHLETIC BANDS, and CHAMBER GROUPS, there’s an instrumental ensemble for EVERYONE at SDSU! SDSU offers both auditioned and non-auditioned ensembles so that all levels of musicians can find a musical outlet during their time at SDSU.


SDSU Ensembles & Rehearsal Times

Symphony Orchestra: MWF, 2:00-3:50pm
Chamber Orchestra: TTh, 5:30-6:45pm
Wind Symphony: TTh, 2:00-3:15pm AND Fri, 2:00-3:50
Symphonic Band: MWF, 1:00-1:50pm
Concert Band: TH, 7:00-8:30pm
Jazz Ensembles & Combos: Learn more at the Jazz Studies website…
Athletic Bands: Learn more at the Marching Aztecs website


Symphony Orchestra

As the top orchestral ensemble at the university, membership in the orchestra is through audition and is open to all qualified students regardless of major. The Symphony Orchestra performs repertoire that is representative of many musical style periods and historic contexts. The program offerings are carefully balanced to provide performers and audience members alike with a wide and varied selection of quality musical works. Standard orchestral literature is the foundation, providing the experience necessary for students pursuing a career in music. The ensemble is open to all qualified performers by audition. Auditions are held prior to each semester.

For additional information please contact professor Michael Gerdes, conductor


Wind Symphony

The SDSU Wind Symphony is the premiere wind group at San Diego State University. Membership is selected through audition from the most outstanding musicians attending the university. The ensemble embraces the wind band movement through promoting the repertoire of the past as well as the music of today. Membership in the Wind Symphony is open to all university wind and percussion players. Under the leadership of Director of Bands Shannon Kitelinger, the ensemble builds on its long tradition promoting the advancement of the wind band medium.

Through rehearsals and performances of diverse repertoire, students are exposed to a wide variety of compositional techniques, rehearsal processes, and expressive possibilities that challenge each student to develop individual musicianship. Members are given the opportunity to develop their performance abilities as well as exposure to teachings techniques that will help to prepare them as teachers in classroom, ensemble, and/or studio situations. The Wind Symphony has been a featured ensemble at: The College Band Director’s National Association (CBDNA) Regional and National Conferences, California All-State Music Education Conference (CASMEC), California Music Educator’s Association - Southern Border Section (CMEA-SBS) conference, and more!

The SDSU Wind Symphony regularly premieres new works by prominent local and international composers, as well as SDSU composition students. Highlighted composers include: Grammy-Award-winning composer Michael Daugherty, Alan Hovhannes, David Ward-Steinman, Brent Dutton, Warner Hutchison, Merle Hogg, Rob Deemer, and Pulitzer-Prize-winning composer Karel Husa

What people have said about the Wind Symphony:

“I thought your performance with the SDSU Wind Symphony at the California All-State Music Education Conference was out of this world!  I was impressed and inspired at the level of musicianship I heard coming from every single member of your ensemble… Thank you once again for a truly stellar evening in Fresno!” - Mark Nicholson, Instrumental Music Specialist, San Diego VAPA

For additional information please contact professor Shannon Kitelinger, conductor.


Symphonic Band and Concert Band

The SDSU Symphonic Band and Concert Band are open to all university students and performs a variety of wind literature for varying levels of musicians. The ensembles play standard music from the symphonic band repertoire, as well as new music from today’s premiere wind band composers. The groups seek to educate the members through high quality performance standards, while providing a viable musical outlet for SDSU music students of all levels. The Symphonic Band is a select group of auditioned musicians that perform more advanced repertoire to develop their technical and musical abilities. The Concert Band is open to musicians of ALL levels and encourages the pursuit of lifelong music making.

The groups also seek to expose music education majors to band literature that will be appropriate for all levels of students in the public school music curriculum. These groups are also open to non-SDSU students through the College of Extended Studies. Membership in the Symphonic Band requires no audition or consent. Music majors are encouraged to play secondary instruments in the group.

For additional information please contact professor Shannon Kitelinger, conductor.


Jazz Ensembles

Learn more at the Jazz Studies website…


Athletic Bands

Learn more at the Marching Aztecs website

Learn more at the Pep/Varsity Band website