This ensemble (shown above) includes approximately 60 musicians who perform as a full wind symphony and also as smaller chamber wind groups. The Wind Symphony comprises the most outstanding wind and percussion majors in the College of Music and other gifted nonmusic majors who are selected by audition. The group is dedicated to the performance of the finest wind repertoire, regardless of period or disposition of instrumental forces. Using the player pool concept, the ensemble—consisting primarily of graduate and upper-division undergraduate students—performs music ranging from works requiring as few as six players to personnel who form a full wind band. Flexible instrumentation and player rotation provide members of the ensemble with a variety of responsibilities, challenges, and playing experiences.
An auditioned ensemble of approximately 80 musicians, the Symphony Band consists primarily of upper-division undergraduate music majors and performs a broad range of full ensemble and chamber repertoire, representative of all historical periods and styles. The Symphony Band maintains an active on-campus performance schedule and performs several off-campus clinic concerts. Flexible instrumentation and player rotation provide members of this ensemble with a variety of responsibilities, challenges, and playing experiences.
Concert Band is an auditioned ensemble of approximately 80 musicians, consisting primarily of undergraduate music majors and talented non-majors. This ensemble performs full band and chamber wind literature ranging from traditional to contemporary styles. Flexible instrumentation and player rotation provide members of the ensemble with a variety of responsibilities, challenges, and playing experiences.
The Campus Band includes approximately 120 musicians and provides playing experiences for nonmusic majors and music majors who want to improve their skills on secondary instruments. The mission of the Campus Band is to create maximum enjoyment with limited performance demands. Auditions are not required for membership but are held for chair placements and part assignments.
Spartan Marching Band
The Spartan Marching Band (SMB), founded in 1870 as a ten-member student group, is now made up of 300 members. It has grown into one of the premier college bands in the nation and prides itself on its musical excellence, physical toughness, and military-grade precision. The band has performed for five U.S. presidents, at four Rose Bowls, at two World's Fairs, and at one World Series.
The 120 members of Spartan Brass perform on campus at men's and women’s basketball games and at hockey games during regular play and post-season tournaments.
Spartan Youth Wind Symphony
The Spartan Youth Wind Symphony (SYWS) is an honors wind ensemble for high school students. SYWS is under the direction of Cormac Cannon, assistant director of bands, and is open to the most outstanding Michigan high school instrumentalists (woodwind, brass, and percussion). It provides students with the opportunity to rehearse in a university setting. Students perform with peers from around the state and receive instruction from College of Music faculty and students. They enhance their skills as musicians and ensemble performers through the exploration of advanced-level repertoire in an inspired rehearsal atmosphere. The experience culminates in joint concerts with the MSU Wind Symphony and Symphony Band at the end of the fall and spring semesters.