Music Ensembles

There are many performance opportunities for both students and faculty to perform at Colorado Mesa University. Ensembles are auditioned in the fall semester and are comprised of both music majors and non-music majors.

Colorado Mesa University offers several choral ensembles for students who enjoy singing. Membership requirements and performance activities vary in each ensemble.

Check out the choirs on SoundCloud!

Vocal Arts Ensemble

Colorado Mesa University's flagship choral ensemble. This advanced mid-size, mixed-voice ensemble performs significant choral literature of all styles and concertizes frequently throughout the region and on extended tours. Membership is by audition each year.

VAE sings Ohtul

Women's Choir

This campus-wide chorus is open to all interested student, faculty, and community adult women, with consent of the director. Women’s Choir performs all types of literature written for combined women’s voices, and concertizes with other university choral ensembles and in separate performances on and off campus.

Men's Choir

Campus wide chorus open to all interested student, faculty and community adult men, with the consent of the director. Male Choir performs all types of literature written for combined men’s voices, and concertizes with other university choral ensembles and in separate performances on and off campus.


A high-level small ensemble that performs exclusively unaccompanied music both early and modern. Open to any student by audition.

Vocal Chamber Ensembles

Several vocal chamber ensembles are offered, varying each semester based on interest. These include Barbershop (men's and women's) and Jazz ensembles.

Opera Workshop/Opera Performance

Opera Workshop in the Fall semester provides students with an ensemble to develop and hone their vocal performance skills, in both the musical and theatrical sense. Operatic scenes are selected for class and individual study, eventually to be presented in a public performance. Audition techniques are also presented and practiced as part of this class, including resume construction, repertoire selection, monologues, and mock auditions. Usually a short one-act opera is chosen for educational outreach performances in the community.

Opera Performance is geared at producing fully staged operatic productions.  Past productions include Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2018, Poulenc’s La Voix humaine, Menotti’s The Telephone, John Davies’ Pinocchio, and Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte in 2017.  The 2018/2019 academic year included a touring production of Bach’s Coffee Cantata, student-directed opera scenes, and a double bill production of one-act operas: Puccini’s Suor Angelica and P.D.Q. Bach's The Stoned Guest.  In the fall of 2019, Opera Workshop will be touring Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief.  The Spring 2020 production will be Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel.

Wind Symphony

The Wind Symphony is comprised of the most dedicated and experienced wind and percussion students on campus and is open to all students who possess the skills necessary to perform well. Repertoire consists of standard wind literature as well as recently composed works. The Wind Symphony performs at least one on-campus concert each semester as well as performances in the community and high schools in the region.

Audition Excerpts:

No materials available currently

Marching Band "Maverick Stampede"

The Maverick Stampede is Colorado Mesa University's new, high-energy marching band formed in the fall 2012. This exciting opportunity is open to all CMU students. Due to high interest, demand, and popularity among past and future participants, membership in this ensemble has more than doubled from the 1st to 2nd season to include approximately 120 students, and is proud to be known as CMU's largest student organization! The Stampede is expected to grow to even larger numbers in future seasons. Scholarships are available for participation in this group, regardless of major. If you're interested, read more information on the Maverick Stampede.

Pep Band "Maverick Sound"

The Maverick Sound is a high-energy pep band of approximately 30 members that performs for all home basketball games beginning typically in late January once spring term classes are in session, and ending in early March. Students wishing to participate in this ensemble must have also participated in the marching band the previous fall season. All CMU students, regardless of major, are encourage to participate. Scholarships are available for participation in this group. If you're interested, read more information on the Maverick Sound.

Symphony Orchestra

The orchestra is open to all Colorado Mesa University students, advanced District 51 students, and home-schooled students. Auditions are held each year by music faculty to determine the ability level of each individual. Symphony Orchestra performs numerous concerts, including masterworks with the Colorado Mesa University choirs.

Colorado Mesa University Jazz Ensemble: Bodhisattva - Fred Sturm

Jazz Ensemble

Students enjoy playing a variety of styles during numerous performances throughout the year in the CMU Jazz Ensemble. From big-band era swing to bop to contemporary styles, including rock/funk, ECM, Cuban, and Brazilian music, the group strives to present stimulating and diverse programs for its audiences. The ensemble generally performs two on-campus concerts per semester in addition to several outreach performances throughout the year

at regional high schools, community venues, and jazz festivals. Placement in the ensemble is by audition only at the beginning of each academic year, and is open to both music majors and non-majors.

Jazz Ensemble Audition Materials:

Alto Sax
Bari Sax
Tenor Sax
Bass Trombone
Tenor Trombone
Lead Trumpet
Section Trumpet

Jazz Combos

In the CMU Jazz Combos, students have the opportunity to develop all facets of jazz music-making. Students frequently perform at venues both on and off campus. Combo members also compose and arrange their own music, much of which is performed in concert. Students receive instruction in jazz composition and small-group arranging, and have the opportunity to rehearse and modify their pieces in a workshop setting. Music majors as well as non-majors are welcome to participate in combos with permission of the instructor.

Commercial Combos

The CMU Commercial Combos serve as the primary training ensemble for students majoring in commercial guitar, bass, and drumset and provide diverse musical experiences for all music majors and non-major participants. The combos play at venues throughout the community and are featured on the CMU at Warehouse 2565 performance series. Students take an active role in the ensemble by composing and arranging music, booking gigs, and producing concerts. Repertoire is chosen from many different contemporary and classic popular music genres.


Percussion Ensemble

The CMU Percussion Ensemble rehearses and performs exciting and challenging music from a variety of cultures, including Western art music, African drumming, Cuban popular and folkloric styles, Brazilian samba, jazz, and popular music. The ensemble also provides the opportunity for members of the group interested in composition to write works to be rehearsed and performed in concert. The ensemble performs a full recital in the Moss Performing Arts Center Recital Hall each semester. The ensemble is open to percussion music majors, as well as non-majors by audition. For current recordings of the percussion ensemble, please see the percussion home page.


Brass Quintet

The CMU Brass Quintet is comprised of the most experienced brass players who are usually music majors and hold the principal chairs in the Wind Symphony. The group performs a variety of musical styles from Renaissance to 20th century music, and from jazz to ragtime. They perform for numerous functions, both on and off campus, including community events, church functions, seasonal events and public school performances.

Woodwind Quintet

The CMU Woodwind Quintet is comprised of the most experienced woodwind students who are usually music majors and hold the principal chairs in the Wind Symphony. The Woodwind Quintet performs both on and off campus for numerous events.

Saxophone Quartet

The Colorado Mesa University Saxophone Quartet generally consists of music majors who are members of the Wind Symphony. The ensemble performs a wide variety of music in the classical and jazz styles, both on campus as well as in the community.

Clarinet Choir

The Colorado Mesa University Clarinet Choir consists of clarinet majors and non-music majors who are also members of the Wind Symphony. The ensemble performs a variety of music arranged for clarinet ensemble.

Chamber Strings

This ensemble is comprised of the string section of the Symphony Orchestra and is open to the same personnel. Repertoire is selected from the standard string literature as well as from contemporary works. Audition requirements and performance opportunities are the same as for Symphony Orchestra. Piano Ensemble Piano students gain valuable chamber music experience as they perform a variety of literature of for four to eight-hand piano works.

Colorado Mesa University Faculty Brass Quintet

The Colorado Mesa University Faculty Brass Quintet consists of the faculty who teaches applied brass at Colorado Mesa University. This faculty quintet performs each semester on campus as well as on chamber music series in surrounding communities. Members of the ensemble, who all perform with the Grand Junction Symphony, include Calvin Hofer and Jonathan Hinkle, trumpet; Diana Musselman, horn; Sean Flanigan, trombone; and Richard Morgan, tuba.

Faculty Jazz Quartet

The Faculty Jazz Quartet is directed by Darin Kamstra. The group performs original and standard jazz repertoire in a variety of styles. Members include Sean Flanigan, trombone; Tim Fox, piano; Tim Emmons, bass; and Darin Kamstra.