Student Ensembles

PSU Orchestra

The PSU Orchestra, conducted by Ken Selden, performs a broad range of symphonic repertoire. Under his direction, the PSU Orchestra has received three awards in Adventurous Programming from ASCAP and the League of American Orchestras. Recent guest artists with the orchestra include Manuel Barrueco, Matt Haimovitz, Anna Polonsky, Awadagin Pratt and Orli Shaham, as well as PSU faculty members Hamilton Cheifetz and Carol Sindell. The PSU Orchestra also performs annually with the PSU Opera Theatre and The Portland Ballet. The orchestra is open to music majors and non-majors by audition.  For more information please go to thepsuorchestra.wordpress.com or email kselden@pdx.edu.

PSU Chamber Choir

Winners of the 52nd annual Seghizzi International Choral Competition, the nationally and internationally acclaimed PSU Chamber Choir, conducted by Ethan Sperry, is the premier choral ensemble at Portland State University. Comprised of 32 talented singers, the Chamber Choir performs music at the highest level of choral artistry, with a focus on music composed in the 20th and 21st Centuries. Participation in the Chamber Choir is open to all PSU students, regardless of major, but requires a considerable amount of skill and previous choral experience, as well as a commitment to hard work and musical excellence. An audition is required, please review our Choir Brochure for details. For further information, please contact Ethan Sperry at esperry@pdx.edu.

Opera Production

Portland State has a 30 year tradition of opera productions. It is the only university in the state that produces a full opera with orchestra each year. Recent productions of Così fan tutte (2007), Don Giovanni (2002) and Le Nozze di Figaro (1999) received first and second place awards in the National Opera Association Production Competition. Internationally recognized artists such as Marilyn Horne, Sherrill Milnes, Martina Arroyo and stage director Tito Capobianco come to Portland State University each year through the Jeanine B. Cowles Distinguished Professorship to share their expert knowledge and understanding with the students as they prepare the opera. Each year an opera is chosen that best represent the talents and skills of Portland State University students. The operas are double cast whenever possible to provide more students with an opera performance experience.

PSU Guitar Ensemble

The PSU Guitar Orchestra studies and performs classical repertoire carefully selected and created for a large, multiple-guitar orchestra. The group is primarily for classical guitar majors at PSU and is by audition only. For further information about the group or audition requirements please contact the director, Professor Bryan Johanson.

PSU Jazz Lab Band

This large ensemble performs Jazz literature in a big band setting. The ensemble is under the direction of Professor Charles Gray. An audition may be required. The band rehearses three hours per week.

PSU Wind Symphony

The PSU Wind Symphony enjoys a reputation of excellence.  By invitation, the Wind Symphony has made recent regional appearances at the College Band Director's Association Conference and the Oregon Music Educator's Conference.  The ensemble is comprised of music majors, non-majors and includes select graduate students.  Under the direction of Dr. Edward Higgins, the ensemble emphasizes musical performances that perpetuate the finest wind literature.  Admittance into the Portland State University Wind Symphony is granted by audition to all PSU students regardless of the student’s major.

Auditions take place during the first week of classes of the fall term.  They are by appointment and can be scheduled during the first week of classes.  Those interested in auditioning should attend the annual audition meeting held in Lincoln Hall room 37 at 11:15 AM on the first Monday of classes of the fall term.

Audition repertoire should consist of one etude or solo showing technical ability and one etude or solo showing lyrical ability.  No orchestral excerpts will be accepted. Sight-reading and all major scales will also be included.  Audition materials for flute will be determined by PSU instructor of flute Dr. Sydney Carlson.  She may be contacted at sydneyc@pdx.edu.  Additional questions may be addressed to Dr. Edward Higgins at ehiggins@pdx.edu.

PSU New Music Ensemble

The PSU New Music Ensemble, conducted by Ken Selden, performs music of the past 25 years by major contemporary composers from all over the world. The Ensemble also hosts an annual Composition Competition. Audition is required. For more information, please email kselden@pdx.edu.

PSU University Choir

The University Choir is a select group of 50-60 singers, and is open to PSU students of all majors. With its focus on education, the University Choir performs a wide range of choral music from all style periods. The University Choir is the ideal place for voice and music education majors beginning university-level study, music majors who are new to singing, or non-music majors with choral experience. An audition is required, please review our Choir Brochure for details.

PSU Concert Band

Admittance into the Portland State University Concert Band is granted to all PSU students regardless of the student’s major.  Non-music majors are granted admittance without audition however; music majors seeking admittance must audition.

Auditions take place during the first week of classes of the fall term.  They are by appointment and can be scheduled during the first week of classes.  Those interested in auditioning should attend the annual audition meeting held in Lincoln Hall room 37 at either 11:15 AM on the first Monday of classes of the fall term or, at 1:00 PM on the first Monday of classes of the fall term.

Music major audition repertoire should consist of one etude or solo showing technical ability and one etude or solo showing lyrical ability.  No orchestral excerpts will be accepted.  Sight-reading and all major scales will also be included.  Audition materials for flute will be determined by PSU instructor of flute Dr. Sydney Carlson.  She may be contacted at sydneyc@pdx.edu.  Additional questions may be addressed to Dr. Edward Higgins at ehiggins@pdx.edu.

Man Choir & Vox Femina

Both single-gender choirs are select ensembles comprised of PSU students of all majors. These choirs are high-level musical ensembles ideal for voice and music education majors, music majors who are new to singing, or non-music majors with choral experience. Man Choir is conducted by Ethan Sperry & Jason Sabino.Vox Femina is conducted by Joan Szymko & Chris Edwards.  For more information, please review our Choir Brochure.

Opera Workshop

Students may audition for opera workshop to study the skills of the singing actor, stagecraft, and prepare opera scenes that are presented at the end of each term on and off campus.

Madrigals & Conductors Chorus

The Madrigals & Conductors Chorus are a place where interested singers are broken into smaller groups under student leadership to learn and perform the music of the Renaissance and related music from later periods. This is an ideal ensemble for a singer who wants to have a smaller Chamber Music experience. Madrigals is conducted by Debbie Glaze.  For more information, please review our Choir Brochure.