Music Ensembles

Ensemble Auditions Spring 2024



Vocal and Choral Ensembles

Choral singing has always been an important activity at CSUEB. The Choral Program existed long before the University had a campus, with students from all majors singing masterpieces, inspiring audiences and making lifelong friends.

The Choirs have been acclaimed for their sensitive and exciting performances of varied and demanding repertoire. Music critics have rated them among the finest choirs in the San Francisco Bay Area. CSU East Bay choirs have performed with the San Francisco and Oakland Symphony Orchestras, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and Composers Inc. in San Francisco, and have appeared in conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and the California Music Educators Association. The Choirs have toured nationally and internationally, most recently to Eastern Europe and Mexico, and have also performed several world premieres of major choral works composed specifically for them, including P.D.Q. Bach's Liebeslieder Polkas, which Peter Schickele "discovered" in 1979 and Libby Larsen's If I Begin to Sing, commissioned in honor of CSU East Bay's 40th Anniversary, as well as works by CSUEB faculty and student composers.

Director: Buddy James

  • The East Bay Singers (MUS 351B)
    The East Bay Singers perform regularly on campus, in the community, and on annual tours as ambassadors of CSUEB. Comprised of 32 voices of both non-majors and music majors, the East Bay Singers' engaging repertoire is chosen from the vast history of the choral music. Singers are given individual attention for developing their voice and their musical skills, and sing exciting music from the past 600 years from all over the world.
  • The East Bay Singing Society (MUS 351A)
    The East Bay Singing Society (formerly known as Oratorio Society) is a large 100-voice ensemble of community and student voices that performs the great masterworks of choral literature. The Society sings music with instruments, as well as a cappellamasterpieces, and often joins with the CSUEB Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Orchestra and East Bay Singers to create memorable musical moments. Members include non-majors and music majors, plus community members and music professionals, and all possess a good ear or a nice singing voice (and sometimes both!). The Society inspires audiences and members, and attention is given to developing individual vocal quality and musicianship.
  • The East Bay Jazz Singers (MUS 369C)
    Members of the 12-voice East Bay Jazz Singers are chosen by vocal audition. This collection of outstanding musicians specializes in the performance of vocal jazz and a cappella arrangements. The Jazz Singers present concerts both on and off campus, on tours and in concerts and festivals, you can often hear them singing solos with jazz combos or joining the CSUEB Jazz Orchestra or guest artists.
  • Vocal Repertory Ensemble (MUS 369A)
  • The East Bay Chamber Singers (MUS 369B)

Instrumental Ensembles

The California State University, East Bay Instrumental Music Program prepares students for careers in and relating to music by providing a wealth of opportunities to foster their musical growth. Through private lessons with some of the Bay Area’s top players and teachers, students are given individualized instruction on their instrument. In conjunction with applied lessons, students are exposed to a variety of musical styles and periods by performing in instrumental ensembles, including the East Bay Wind Symphony, Chamber Winds, Brass Choir, String Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Piano Ensemble, and African Drumming Ensemble.

  • The East Bay Wind Symphony (MUS 353) 
    Director: Keith Johnson
    The East Bay Wind Symphony is one of the Music Department's flagship large ensembles, featuring woodwind, brass and percussionists. Comprised of majors and non-majors alike, the ensemble performs on campus, all over the East Bay and on tours across California and surrounding states. The Wind Symphony is recognized for innovative programming and superb musicianship in performance.
  • Rock Band (MUS 360 - NEW Fall 2023)
    Open to music majors and non-majors, as well as community members, the Cal State East Bay rock band welcomes singers, guitar players, bass players, keyboards and drummers/percussionists who want to learn and perform in a rock band environment. Built around performance, this class will study music from many different genres of rock. Stage presence, the use of sound gear and rock music composition will also be covered.
    A basic level of proficiency on instruments or comfort with singing is required, but note-reading is not necessary. Instruments other than those listed above are welcome on a case-by-case basis. Community members are welcome to be part of the ensemble for a nominal fee.
    Starting with rock music’s roots in the blues, this class will go decade by decade learning important songs by important artists from each sub-genre of rock. The context and importance of each song will be covered by actually learning the song. A culminating concert will feature some of the songs learned during the semester.
    For more information contact Jason Eckl:
  • Chamber Wind Ensemble (MUS 361)
    The Chamber Winds ensemble is a small, flexible ensemble consisting of wind players from the East Bay Wind Symphony. The group plays music from various periods and in diverse instrumental combinations, ranging from duets to music for large chamber ensemble.
  • Brass Ensemble (MUS 362)
    Brass players come together to form the Brass Ensemble, performing small chamber works as well as large brass ensemble pieces from various musical eras. The ensemble is open to all students with brass instrument experience and performs both on-and off-campus.
  • Percussion Ensemble (MUS 363) 
    Director: Divesh Karamchandani 
    The Percussion Ensemble is a unique chamber experience for both percussionists and students with some percussion background. The ensemble presents one performance of wide-ranging and stimulating music per semester on-campus.
  • African Drumming Ensemble (MUS 364)
    Using traditional instruments such as the djembe, this ensemble focuses on learning the music of West Africa and music is taught by rote. Previous experience on these instruments is not required.
  • Guitar Ensemble (MUS 366) 
    Director: Marc Teicholz 
    The classical Guitar Ensemble is a distinctive chamber ensemble experience for classical guitarists. The ensemble presents a variety of works from the guitar repertoire in performances.
  • Piano Ensemble (MUS 367) 
    Director: Omri Shimron
    The Piano Ensemble course at Cal State East Bay involves an intensive study of piano duet (one piano, four hands) or piano duo (2 pianos, four hands) repertoire from a diverse array of styles. Students are expected to rehearse with their partners regularly and they receive one weekly coaching. All students are expected to bring repertoire to performance readiness and present a public recital at the end of the semester, usually combined with the Piano Studio recital. The course satisfies the upper-division chamber ensemble requirement and can be repeated multiple times.

Jazz Ensembles

The Jazz Studies Program at CSU East Bay aims to provide students with a deep understanding of the history, culture, and performance practices of jazz and improvised music, to give students the tools to pursue their individual artistic growth and creative exploration, and to prepare them for careers in jazz and improvised music.  The Music Department's B.A. in Music provides the opportunity to take classroom-based courses in jazz theory, composition and arranging, music entrepreneurship, and improvisation techniques.  With these courses, combined with one-on-one instruction with top Bay Area jazz and classical faculty, and prolific performance and recording opportunities in several jazz ensembles, CSU East Bay provides an ideal setting for a well-rounded jazz education.

Director: Dann Zinn

  • The East Bay Jazz Orchestra (MUS 355) 
    The program's flagship big band, the CSU East Bay Jazz Orchestra has toured extensively in Europe (2000, 2003, 2005, 2007) and Brazil (2001). The band's mission is to represent and pass the oral and aural traditions of jazz to the next generation of musicians and listeners. The Jazz Orchestra also aims to demonstrate the “swing feel” along with the other essential elements of jazz. Additionally, the ensemble will perform contemporary and cutting-edge music by today's leading jazz composers. Legendary guest artists who have performed alongside the ensembles skilled soloists include Joe Henderson, Michael Brecker, Greg Osby, James Moody, Gordon Goodwin, Ralph Alessi, Ingrid Jensen, Kenny Wheeler, Tom Harrell, Bob Brookmeyer, Conrad Herwig, Peter Erskine, John Abercrombie, John Patitucci, Jim McNeely, Seamus Blake, Maria Schneider, Lenny Pickett, Benny Green, Eddie Daniels, Stefon Harris, Adonis Rose, and Wycliffe Gordon.
  • The East Bay Jazz Singers (MUS 369C)
    Members of the 12-voice East Bay Jazz Singers are chosen by vocal audition. This collection of outstanding musicians specializes in the performance of vocal jazz and a cappella arrangements. The Jazz Singers present concerts both on and off campus, on tours and in concerts and festivals, you can often hear them singing solos with jazz combos or joining the CSUEB Jazz Orchestra or guest artists.
    Director: Buddy James.
  • Jazz Improvisation Ensemble (MUS 368A)
  • Jazz Standards Ensemble (MUS 368B)
  • Contemporary Jazz Ensemble (MUS 368C)
  • Blue Note Jazz Ensemble (MUS 368D)
  • Latin Jazz Ensemble (MUS 368E)
    Director: Saùl Sierra-Alonso
  • Jazz Composers Ensemble (MUS 368F) 
  • Electric Jazz Ensemble (MUS 370A)
  • Rhythm Section Ensemble (MUS 370B)
  • Sight-Reading Ensemble (MUS 370C)