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Join a Tradition of Excellence!

Our performing ensembles are open to any Graceland University student regardless of major course of study.

The navigation on the right of this page will take you to each of our primary performance ensembles. In addition to these, various smaller ensembles are formed each year according to student interests and have included a variety of smaller vocal ensembles, string quartets and various instrumental ensembles.

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Instrumental Ensembles

Symphonic Band
Jazz Ensemble
Orchestra
Percussion Ensemble
Steel Deal Caribbean Pan Ensemble
Saxophone Choir
Musical Theater Pit Orchestra

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Choral Ensembles

Concert Choir
Chamber Singers
The Graceland Harmonium

About Graceland University’s Bands

The Graceland University Bands Program offers an array of performing ensembles for students of varied abilities and interest level. Our bands are open to all Graceland students regardless of major. The Symphonic Band and Jazz Band perform several concerts throughout the year.


Symphonic Band

MUSC-3190 (Upper Division)
MUSC-1700 (Lower Division)
MW 3:30-5:20 p.m.

Under the direction of Dr. Christopher Brandt, the Symphonic Band is one of the premier performing ensembles at Graceland University and is comprised of woodwind, brass and percussion students from throughout the University. The ensemble performs four to five concerts a year in the recently renovated and expanded Shaw Center and seeks to create expressive, meaningful and authentic performances that continue the longstanding tradition of wind band music in the United States. The band draws on each individual musician to contribute and shape ensemble sound through group dynamics and synergistic interactions. The Symphonic Band performs music of the highest caliber drawn from a rich heritage of music spanning several centuries.

Students interested in joining Symphonic Band or have additional questions should contact Director of Bands Dr. Christopher Brandt


Jazz Ensemble

MUSC-3180 (Upper Division)
MUSC-1600 (Lower Division)
MW 2:00-2:50 p.m.

Under the direction of Dr. Christopher Brandt, the Graceland Yellowjacket Jazz Band is Graceland University’s premier instrumental jazz ensemble. The ensemble is comprised of students from all majors who enjoy the study and performance of the jazz idium. Repertoire for the Graceland University Jazz Band spans a diverse range of styles and genres, including swing, big band, latin, funk, be-bop, cool, ballads and modern. The band is highly acclaimed, regionally, and known for its local Jazz on the Green concerts. Membership into the Graceland Jazz Band is open to all wind and percussion musicians (music majors and non majors) who demonstrate a desire to perform at a high musical level.

Students interested in joining Jazz Band or have additional questions should contact Director of Bands Dr. Christopher Brandt


Under the direction of

Christopher Brandt, DMA
Director of Bands
641.784.5082
cbrandt1@graceland.edu

Orchestra

The Graceland orchestra’s repertoire ranges from Baroque to contemporary. Each year, the choirs join the orchestra in the performance of a major work. Past years have included Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s RequiemThe Prayers of Kierkegaard, Beethoven’s Mass in C and Carmina Burana. The orchestra also features guest soloists including winners from the concerto/aria competition. Membership is open to Graceland University students (regardless of major), university employees and community members.

The orchestra rehearses Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-8 p.m. in Shaw Center room 179.

Scholarship opportunities are available for majors and non majors.


For more information, please contact
Jack Ergo
Orchestra Conductor
ergo@graceland.edu
641.784.5398

Chamber Singers

Comprised of Graceland’s advanced vocalists, Chamber Singers is the University’s select vocal ensemble. Auditions at the beginning of each semester allow for selection of 20-24 students based on musicianship, tone quality and sight-reading ability. Conducted by Professor Sara Blessing, the group performs a varied repertoire of sacred and secular music ranging from Middle Ages to present. This group provides an opportunity for focused study of choral literature of the small group. Chamber Singers proudly embodies Graceland’s core values: exposing students to culture, developing strong friendships and creating glorious music.

Chamber Singers meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 2-3:30 p.m. for practice in the MSC Main Room.


For more Information, please contact
Sara Blessing, MM
Director of Choral/Vocal Activities, Instructor of Music
641-784-5273
sblessi1@graceland.edu

Concert Choir

Graceland’s largest choir offers students from all majors the opportunity to express themselves through secular and sacred choral music. Conducted by Professor Sara Blessing, the Concert Choir performs four major concerts each year on campus and lends their talent to many events in the surrounding community. This ensemble has performed for the Peace Colloquy, the Community of Christ’s Advent service at the Temple and the noontime Prayer for Peace. Each spring, this choir combines with Graceland’s orchestra and other choirs to present a masterwork for chorus and orchestra. Past performances have included the Brahms Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Barber’s Prayers of Kierkegaard, Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms and Handel’s Messiah.

The Concert Choir meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from noon-1 p.m. to rehearse in Shaw Center room 179.


For more Information, please contact
Sara Blessing, MM
Director of Choral/Vocal Activities, Instructor of Music
641-784-5273
sblessi1@graceland.edu

Percussion Ensemble and Steel Band

The Graceland Percussion Ensemble (MUSC1800 Chamber Ensemble Performance course) is open to students of all majors and minors. The group performs a variety of repertoire including classical Western pieces, contemporary music, world music (Brazilian, Caribbean, Afro-Cuban, etc.), pop, transcriptions and more. The group rehearses twice a week and performs once per semester.

The Steel Deal Caribbean Pan Ensemble rehearses alongside the Percussion Ensemble (the Percussion Ensemble rehearses either Tuesday or Thursday from 12:30-1:45 p.m., and The Steel Deal rehearses on the other day). Steel drums are percussion instruments hailing from Trinidad and Tobago. The Steel Deal performs a variety of traditional Caribbean styles of music, arrangements and contemporary music adding a tropical twist to our concerts.

Enjoy the video below of highlights from the Graceland Percussion Ensemble and The Steel Deal Caribbean Pan Ensemble: