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The College of Music offers extensive opportunities for students to develop their skills through numerous renowned ensembles. Each ensemble listed is open to all MSU students; most require an audition. More information regarding each ensemble and the audition process is available at


The College of Music concert band ensembles perform the full spectrum of wind music including chamber, contemporary, and traditional repertoire. Wind Symphony, comprised of graduate and upper-division undergraduate students, presents six concerts during the academic year with additional national performances. Symphony Band consists of upper division undergraduate music majors and maintains an active performance schedule giving five to six concerts a year. Concert Band consists of undergraduate music majors and non-majors and presents four concerts. Campus Band provides playing opportunities for non-music majors campus wide and gives two concerts per semester. 

  • Wind Symphony
  • Symphony Band
  • Concert Band
  • Campus Band
  • Spartan Marching Band
  • Spartan Brass


The choral groups at MSU perform secular and sacred music in all styles and genres representing many eras and cultures. University Chorale is comprised of graduate and upper-level undergraduate singers in the college. It frequently appears with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. State Singers is recognized as the oldest singing organization on the campus. Women’s Chamber Ensemble focuses on more contemporary repertoire. Glee clubs are popular ensembles performing in the glee tradition. Campus Choir and Chamber Choir perform world music and music from a range of periods, respectively. Choral Union is a community chorus that focuses on major choral-orchestral works. The Chorale, Women’s Chamber Ensemble, and Men’s Glee have performed at national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association.

  • University Chorale
  • State Singers
  • Women’s Chamber Ensemble
  • Women’s Glee Club
  • Men’s Glee Club
  • Campus Choir
  • Chamber Choir
  • Choral Union


The Symphony Orchestra is comprised of some of the most advanced string, wind, brass, and percussion musicians in the college. It maintains a schedule of six main orchestral performances, two full opera productions, and a holiday program each season. The repertoire chosen is often advanced and draws from both the well-established orchestral canon and new works by living composers; it is designed to be an intensive learning environment for musicians further developing core musicianship skills. The Concert Orchestra, which is open to students, staff, and faculty from all corners of the university as well as the greater Lansing community, presents four concerts per year and is designed to be a community-building artistic experience for all involved. Note that an audition is required for participation in all orchestral ensembles at MSU.

  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Concert Orchestra

Jazz Ensembles

Jazz ensembles include three big bands, each made up of 18 members, and play the repertoire of the great jazz masters as well as a wide range of soul, swing, blues, and gospel. The four octets are eight-piece ensembles that blend the sounds of big band with small group performance. There are also 12 combos, each consisting of four to six members. 

  • Jazz Orchestras I-III
  • Jazz Octets I-IV
  • Jazz Combos

Musique 21 

Musique 21 is a project-based group of musicians with a flexible instrumentation. Focusing on innovative presentations of new work utilizing a variety of media including theatre, film, and movement, this adventurous troupe pushes the envelope of 21st century performance. Using a style that has often been called “Theatre of Music,” M21 has been enthusiastically celebrated by students, audiences, and critics alike.

MSU Opera Theatre

Each season, MSU Opera Theatre presents two fully staged and costumed productions with orchestra.Opera productions are presented in the newly renovated Fairchild Theatre, bringing a new theatrical intimacy and stellar acoustics to audiences. MSU’s recent productions of The Pirates of Penzance and The Magic Flute took top prize within their respective divisions for the National Opera Association’s college competition.

Outstanding  Venues

Cook Recital Hall

Historic Cook Recital Hall is the heart of performance life in the College of Music. The intimate, 182-seat venue has been completely renovated to meet contemporary performance standards, and is used for student rehearsals, recitals, faculty concerts, and master classes. 

Fairchild Theatre

Fairchild Theatre has transformed from a 75-year-old proscenium-stage facility into a modern performance venue with state-of-the-art acoustics, thanks to a recent $20 million renovation. The 462-seat historic hall hosts College of Music courses, rehearsals, master classes, and performances.

Wharton Center for Performing Arts

The Wharton Center’s Cobb Great Hall, which seats 2,420, is used for most College of Music large ensemble performances. Wharton’s Pasant Theatre with its thrust stage and intimate ambiance, seats 596 and hosts a variety of performances each year.

Sights and Sounds

We present more than 400 concerts and recitals each year — orchestral, band, jazz, choral, and small ensemble concerts; faculty artist, guest artist, chamber, student, and studio recitals — as well as two fully staged operas. Enjoy select sights and sounds on YouTube or witness a live concert on Livestream.