Sept. 15, 2014

Celeste Burnham
cburnham@uccs.edu

A variety of choir and band ensembles are offered to singers, musicians and any students interested in joining. More students are jumping at the chance.

“I have seen significant growth in the classes year after year. We have twenty more music majors than last year,” Colin McAllister, Visual and Performing Arts music program coordinator, said.

Two scholarship programs have been developed to assist students who are part of the ensembles.

A Mountain Lion Pep/ Concert Band scholarship for $500 a year is offered through a partnership of the athletic and music departments. The scholarships are offered in order to attract pep band participants, as they perform at all home basketball games in addition to concerts at the end of each semester.

“If students are interested they should start attending the rehearsals,” McAllister said.

An Honors Ensemble scholarship, worth between $1,000 and $2,000 a year, is only attained through an audition, but any student is welcome to try out. This ensemble performs at a variety of different university events such as both commencement ceremonies.

Jane Rigler, assistant professor of music, takes great joy in being able to offer students scholarships. “We are really happy that we can provide them that opportunity.

We are very grateful to the Chancellor helping us with the funding of scholarships,” Rigler said.

The next auditions for the Honors Ensemble will be in January.

“Based on who auditions we put together certain groups like a jazz trio or a brass quintet,” McAllister said.

Auditions are becoming more necessary, but McAllister explained that they are not too high-pressure.

“For all ensembles we tell people to go ahead and come to the audition. Usually it is an informal thing,” McAllister said.

The purpose of the audition is to see the talent varieties on campus and how they will best fi t together.

“We really want anyone to audition. We have a lot of talent on this campus,” Rigler said.

To be a part of either ensemble you sign up for it just as you would any other class. Auditions are held within the first few weeks of class to get an idea of where the student is and place them where they will fi t best.

“We have to listen, debate and figure out who will work [best] with who. It is a semiprofessional ensemble. We guide them with repertoire and help if they need it,” Rigler said.

While the audition process is low key, being a part of any of the ensembles is not taken lightly.

“[Students] are the face of the band program. They have to dress nice and show up on time to events. We trust them to represent us, be professional, have fun and build the repertoire,” Rigler said.

The UCCS student ensembles are looking for more prospective students, music majors and students that aren’t music majors to join. Rehearsals take place on Wednesdays from 6:45-8 p.m. in University Hall 168.