Bands and Orchestras

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

This is an exciting time to be an Aztec at the School of Music & Dance! We are creating one of the most comprehensive music ensemble programs in California. Our faculty are active across the country and our ensembles are garnering attention with featured performances at local, regional, and national conferences. Additionally, we are constantly working with artists to bring new works to life while still performing the core repertoire of the past.

SDSU student musicians at all levels of ability and interest are invited to join the SDSU ensembles family. We offer auditioned ensembles that represent the finest musicians at the university as well as non-auditioned groups that include a number of music majors and non-music majors. No matter what your experience level, there is an opportunity for you to keep music an integral part of your life while at SDSU!

We encourage alumni to reconnect with the university through our alumni outreach. Audience members and friends of the groups are invited to attend our many concerts. Finally, it’s never been easier to stay informed about the ensemble activities at SDSU due to our many social media projects, including: facebook, twitter and live concert webcasts via ustream.

We look forward to meeting you and interacting with you!

Instrumental Ensembles at SDSU

**Auditions for Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra, and Chamber Orchestra will be held IN PERSON. Please visit our Ensemble Auditions page for more information.

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

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

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.

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.