Department of Music

Instrumental Ensembles

Commercial Music Ensemble
This MUS 352 course is a performance group(s) dedicated to commercial music techniques. Each semester will be devoted to a specific type of commercial music (country, rock, jazz, mixed dance styles) and the ensemble will explore the various styles encountered within each type. May be repeated for credit
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 MWSU 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.
Golden Griffon Marching Band
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 MWSU 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 hinton@missouriwestern.edu 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 MWSU 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

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

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 MWSU- 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 MWSU 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 cnaeger@missouriwestern.edu
Jazz Ensembles
Jazz Ensemble

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 MWSU Music Department has offered a Concentration in jazz, open to all music majors.

Director of Jazz Studies: Bob Long long@missouriwestern.edu


The Missouri Western State University Jazz Ensemble is one of two large jazz ensembles in the music program, and is the premier 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 MWSU 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 long@missouriwestern.edu


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 will be 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 smolloy@missouriwestern.edu
Orchestra
Orchestra

Orchestra

An essential component of any music school is its symphony orchestra. The MWSU 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 MWSU Orchestra. The orchestra is dedicated to provide the about 55 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.
Percussion Ensemble
The percussion program at MWSU 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. MWSU percussion alumni have distinguished themselves as successful performers, public school band directors, studio teachers, and published composers. Students may apply for departmental and academic scholarships.
Symphonic Winds
Symphonic Winds

Symphonic Winds

The Missouri Western Symphonic Winds (MWSW) 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. MWSU 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 MWSW 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 MWSU. Many of our outstanding players receive more than $3000. Students receiving band scholarships may also be eligible for additional academic scholarships.