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Ensembles & Facilities

Ensembles & Facilities2018-06-19T20:40:08+00:00

Concert Chorale

The Concert Chorale is a non-audition ensemble made up of majors, minors, and non-music majors from across our MWSU campus. This ensemble enjoys performing challenging repertoire in a fun, high-energy environment. This group performs for MWSU events and three public concerts a year, including the annual MWSU High School Honor Choir. Join our music family and celebrate community when our society is focused on individualism. You will make friends for life while stretching yourself as a musician and artist by singing history’s greatest works. This ensemble has enjoyed performances at the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts and at the Missouri Theater with the Saint Joseph Symphony Orchestra. Members from the Concert Chorale traveled to Ireland for an international tour in May of 2017 as a part of the Music Celebrations International Concert Series.

Renaissance Chamber Singers

The Renaissance Singers/Chamber Singers is an audition ensemble made up of the finest voices in our region. This ensemble enjoys performing several times a year and serves as the department’s major touring choral ensemble. The Chamber Singers have recently been invited to perform on Missouri’s state music conference in January, 2018. Each fall, the ensemble produces a full Elizabethan-style holiday dinner in November/December titled “Ye Olde Madrigal Feaste.

Concert Band

Come one, come all! This band is open to any and all who can regularly attend rehearsals. The size of this group varies from concert to concert, but normally averages around 100 players. Instrumental music education majors are expected to perform in this band on instruments other than their major instrument to better prepare them for their careers. This band is directed by Jeffrey Hinton, Director of Missouri Western bands. Several guest and student conductors also work with the band to add variety for the playing members and to give young conductors opportunities to perform. There are scholarships available for auditioning members of this band. Contact us for more information.

Community Chorus

Community Chorus

The St. Joseph Community Chorus was founded in 1980 and celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The Chorus presents interesting, challenging, and diverse programs of choral music from classical to contemporary throughout the Midwestern United States. This ensemble is the largest all-volunteer performing organization in Northwest Missouri and enjoys a rich history of outstanding choral performances in many beautiful settings. In addition to its three-concert season, the Chorus collaborates regularly with the St. Joseph Symphony. For the past several years, the chorus has performed fall exchange concerts with another community chorus. Two holiday concerts are presented annually in the St. Joseph Cathedral and feature favorite works of the Christmas season. The chorus is frequently asked to perform for various celebrations and memorable occasions. In 1996, the chorus toured Great Britain performing several concerts in the cathedrals of England and Wales. This tour included a performance for the Rotary Festival in Colchester, England, our sister city. In the summer of 2001, SJCC was honored to receive two unique invitations. Eighty-eight of the chorus’ 110 voices traveled to the state 2002 MMEA convention to perform as one of eleven choruses on the convention program. Forty-four choristers toured to perform in Budapest, Vienna and Prague and participated in the 2002 International Choral Festival in Innsbruck, Austria. From within the chorus, a select Chamber Choir was created in 1987. It performs a wide variety of chamber choral music for numerous events besides presenting a spring concert as part of the season series. This past season, the Chamber Choir presented a Victorian Madrigal Feast that benefits the Endowed Scholarship established in 2000. This chamber ensemble is invited frequently to perform at public and private events during the year and will perform on each of the chorus’ three subscription concerts. The St. Joseph Community Chorus always strives to adhere to its mission statement that is to foster the enjoyment and appreciation of good choral music among its membership and the community at large by providing an organization of the highest musical caliber to present exceptional performances of choral literature. We take pride in the fact that we regularly involve over ninety singers from Northwest Missouri in the creative process of singing together. The chorus is a significant musical ensemble helping to bring the college and community together in an artistically meaningful way.

Concert Chorale

The Concert Chorale is an auditioned choral ensemble of 50 singers comprised of both music majors and non-music majors. This group of dedicated musicians performs a wide variety of choral music from all historical and stylistic genres. Touring annually, the Concert Chorale presents a fall concert and a spring concert for the community each year and has traveled to Europe on several occasions. It performs major works regularly with the St. Joseph Community Chorus and Symphony.

Golden Griffon Marching Band

Golden Griffon Marching Band

Become a member of this exciting performance based ensemble! The 140+ members of this marching band perform at Griffon Football home games and various special events and festivals in the region. The GGMB has performed in exhibition at the Blue Springs Marching Festival, The Carrolton Band Days, the Southwest Iowa Band Jamboree, the St. Joseph Southside Parade, The Lincoln (NE) All‐City Festival, Valleyfest in West Des Moines, IA and the Greater St. Louis Marching Festival.

The GGMB host the annual Tournament of Champions marching festival in Spratt Stadium on the Missouri Western campus. More than 20 or our area’s finest bands come together to share their shows and compete as a national‐level judging panel scores the bands. E‐mail for more information regarding this well established festival.

The GGMB is made of three major components. The Horn Line is recognized for its strong and well‐balanced sounds. The Missouri Western Drumline is nationally recognized as one of the leading marching percussion sections in the country and the Golden Griffon Guard and the Mystics Dance Team come together to add visual excitement to the performances.

All members of the GGMB receive a scholarship/stipend for their membership and work. Please contact Nate Gay, Director of Bands, for information about joining this band.

The GGMB is led by Director of Athletic Bands, Nate Gay and GGMB assistant director, Bob Long.

Golden Griffon Color Guard

In a marching band, the colorguard is a non-musical section that provides additional visual aspects to the performance.The marching band and colorguard performance generally takes place on a football field while the colorguard interprets the music that the marching band is playing via the synchronized spinning of flags, sabres, rifles, and through choreographed movements. The color guard uses different colors and styles of flags to enhance the visual effect of the marching band as a whole. Colorguard is also a team, best friends, and a lot of the times we are as close as sisters. We work with each other to make everything as graceful and beautiful as we can. This is what makes up the Golden Griffon Guard.

 Golden Griffon Winter Guard

Golden Griffon Winter Guard

The Golden Griffon Winter Guard is a dynamic group of performers who exude excellence in flag, dance, and weapon choreography. Established in 2014, the Winter Guard is a new and exciting part of the music department at Missouri Western. Competition is a big part of the season; the Guard participates in competitions around the state with the Mid-Continent Color Guard Association (MCCGA). Performances for the Missouri Western- student body are also part of the season. The Winter Guard works hard to ensure their skills are top notch; scheduled rehearsals including dance class taught by the Missouri Western Mystic’s Captains, total 8 hours per week. This team has a can do attitude, creating parts of their uniforms, designing and constructing props for their show, and writing their own routines takes up a great deal of time as well. Performing members of the Winter Guard include Mo-West students from all different majors and departments. It is not a requirement to be a performance major or even a member of the Golden Griffon Color Guard (Marching Band Color Guard) to be a member of the Winter Guard. If you would like more information about the Golden Griffon Winter Guard please contact Corey Naeger (President) at

Jazz Ensembles

Jazz Ensemble

The Missouri Western Music Department supports a comprehensive jazz program, offering university students the opportunity to participate in ensemble settings as well as classes in the jazz curriculum. Courses offered include jazz improvisation, jazz history, and jazz pedagogy, with ensembles including two big bands and combos. St. Joseph’s and Missouri Western’s close proximity to a major metro area also offers the students numerous opportunities to perform in the region, whether in university ensembles or their own groups. Since 2010, the Missouri Western Music Department has offered a Concentration in jazz, open to all music majors.

Director of Jazz Studies: Bob Long

The Missouri Western State University Jazz Ensemble is one of two large jazz ensembles in the music program, and is the premiere jazz group of the university. The Jazz Ensemble has a rich and deep heritage of giving outstanding performances across the Midwest. Accomplishments include performing at the Elmhurst Jazz Festival in Chicago, the Wichita Jazz Festival, the Mobile Jazz Festival, as well as performing at the Missouri Music Educators Convention. Last year saw the Jazz Ensemble perform several times in the region as well as perform for the second time in three years at the Missouri Music Educators Conference. The Missouri Western Jazz Ensemble performs an eclectic mix of literature, ranging from the great classics of Duke Ellington and Count Basie, to new and original material by some of today’s leading writers.

The MWSU Jazz Ensemble is conducted by Bob Long

The Jazz Lab is the second of two big bands on the Missouri Western campus. The ensemble is open (through auditions) to any majors and non-majors on campus. The Jazz Lab’s focus is to further develop an appreciation and understanding of jazz literature written for this genre. A variety of literature is covered, ranging from newer originals to historical transcriptions. The Jazz Lab gives 3 to 4 performances each school year. As the name implies, the Jazz Lab is also used as a lab band, and may have student directors (who are in Jazz Pedagogy) standing in front of the group at various times working on their conducting/rehearsing skills. Music majors on secondary instruments are also encouraged to take this ensemble.

MWSU Lab Band is conducted by Steve Molloy

Opera Workshop

Phantom 2011

Providing workshops in staged music productions each fall and spring semesters, the MUS 318 course is available by audition to all Missouri Western students, singer and non-singer alike. Directed by Susan Carter, D.M.A., each actor/singer experiences the wonder of performing on stage with costumes, sets and orchestra. Past works have included full productions of Menotti’s The Medium, The Telephone, Barber’s Hand of Bridge on the main stage and scenes from Sondheim’s Into the Woods, performed for the Missouri Western Foundation dinner.



An essential component of any music school is its symphony orchestra. The Missouri Western Orchestra is an outstanding college/community orchestra, presenting two or more performances each year. It performs well-known works from the standard repertory for orchestra as well as less familiar literature, from the baroque to the contemporary. Student soloists selected through a concerto/aria competition are featured every spring with the Missouri Western Orchestra.

The orchestra is dedicated to provide student and community musicians the opportunity to play in an orchestra and be exposed to the unique techniques called upon for an orchestral player. These techniques include transposition, reading in unusual clefs or octaves, playing as a solo player, and similar tasks. All interested string students are welcome, wind and brass students are accepted by audition or teacher recommendation.

Students perform in a Master Class for violinist Arturo Delmoni, concertmaster NYC Ballet Orchestra.

Percussion Ensemble

The percussion program at Missouri Western trains students to become excellent performers and teachers. Students are given instruction in both percussion literature and percussion pedagogy. Each student will follow a curriculum sequence that will develop advanced technical and musical skills in all areas of percussion (e.g. snare drum, all mallet instruments, timpani, multi-percussion, drum set, and electronic percussion). In addition to the Percussion Ensemble, there are a wide variety of other ensemble performance opportunities available. This curriculum is designed to provide the students with a well-rounded percussion experience, yet has the built-in flexibility to allow students the opportunity to specialize in the area of their choice. Practice facilities and equipment are excellent and have been developed to provide the student an optimum learning experience. Missouri Western percussion alumni have distinguished themselves as successful performers, public school band directors, studio teachers, and published composers.

Renaissance & Chamber Singers

Renaissance Singers 2011

The Missouri Western Renaissance/Chamber Singers is an auditioned ensemble made up of singers majoring in a wide variety of subjects. During the fall semester the Renaissance Singers focus on learning and performing early secular and sacred choral literature. Spring semester features the Chamber Singers, an ensemble that sings music from all genres. The Chamber Singers recently performed J. S. Bach’s cantata 106 Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit. they were also invited to perform with the St. Joseph Symphony in the performance of Karl Jenkins Armed Man: Mass for Peace. The Renaissance Singers have performed annually at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival in Bonner Springs, KS since its inception in 1980. Fall 2010 semester marked the first music festival and competition and the Renaissance Singers were awarded 1st place. The Renaissance and Chamber Singers frequently perform at community functions, area public schools, and have been invited for the last three years to perform at Heartland Regional Medical Center’s Celebration of Life.


Symphonic Winds

Symphonic Winds

The Missouri Western Symphonic Winds is the premier wind and percussion ensemble on our campus. Students in this 45 to 60 member ensemble are selected by audition. While the majority of the student performers are music majors, there are also performers who major in other areas in this ensemble. This wind ensemble performs a wide variety of music including past masterpieces and current offerings from today’s outstanding composers. Missouri Western Bands are very active in sponsoring new works for band from a wide variety of composers. This group tours to various Midwest destinations to share our music. Recent tours have focused on Kansas City, St. Louis, Des Moines, Iowa, Lawrence and Topeka, Kansas, Springfield, Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska and Mid‐Missouri. Under the baton of Mr. Jeff Hinton, the Missouri Western has performed at the Missouri Music Educators Association Convention in Osage Beach. Scholarships are available. Amounts ranging from $700 per year to $6000 per year are based on auditions where talent, background, focus of study and departmental needs are factors in determining the scholarship amount. All‐State Band members from Missouri or any state in contact with Missouri’s borders will receive a minimum of $3000 per year in instrumental music scholarships at Missouri Western. Many of our outstanding players receive more than $3000. Students receiving band scholarships may also be eligible for additional academic scholarships.

Vocal Jazz Ensemble

Vocal Jazz 2013

This MUS 341 course is designed to give singers experience in the style of jazz singing in both ensemble and solo formats. The singers in the course will learn jazz style, scat improvisation, introduction to charts/chording, song forms, performance processes/etiquette, and the use of electronic sound reinforcement. Meets three hours per week. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in a major choral ensemble and departmental approval.

Potter Hall

Potter Hall houses the Departments of Art, Music and Theatre:

  • Two large rehearsal halls
  • A professional music library
  • Private teaching studios
  • Numerous well-equipped practice rooms
  • Keyboard lab
  • Computer labs
  • “Smart” classrooms with up-to-date presentation technology
  • State-of-the-art digital recording studio

For further information or reservation inquiry regarding Potter Hall Theater, please contact Michael Scroggs at

In 2014 Missouri Western added a percussion annex.

Students have access to two full HD editing suites and a Pro Tools HD-3 Recording studio, including full surround sound.

Kemper Recital Hall is located in Leah Spratt Hall, and is another small hall, although more formal than the Choir Room. A 9-foot Concert Steinway is located here for performances. The seating capacity is 232 and has the capabilities of being a recital hall as well as a screening room with a large video projection screen and surround sound capabilities. This is primarily used for small concerts, film festivals and as a large lecture hall.