Trinity University's instrumental ensembles are comprised of students with passions for intricate instrumental performances. From classical pieces to original scores, the Trinity Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Handbell Ensemble, and Jazz Ensemble perform on the Trinity stage and around the world. Music ensembles are open to students of all majors and academic disciplines.
Joseph Kneer, conductor
The Trinity Symphony Orchestra is comprised of wind, brass, string, and percussion players from the entire student body. The TSO presents two full concerts annually featuring string and full orchestra works and performs at the Christmas concert and the Trinity Family Weekend concert. In the spring term, the TSO combines with the Trinity Choral Union to present a masterwork of the choral/orchestral repertoire.
Membership in the TSO is open to all students by audition and counts as one credit hour per semester. Rehearsals are held in the Ruth Taylor Recital Hall on Mondays (strings only) and Thursdays (full orchestra), from 7 to 9 p.m.
James Worman, director
The 65-member Trinity University Symphonic Wind Ensemble performs a variety of works for winds and percussion, including traditional marches, representative works from the standard wind band repertoire, and contemporary works of distinction. The ensemble rehearses four hours per week, is open to all students by audition, and as with all university ensembles, the participating student receives one academic credit per semester.
The ensemble interacts with musicians from across the globe, including composers, conductors, and performers including Samuel Adler, Sir Malcolm Arnold, Terry Austin, Rusty Banks, Brian Bondari, Andrew Boysen, Jr., John Frantzen, Adam Gorb, Stephanie Key, Timothy Kramer, Chia-Wei Lee, David Maslanka, Linda McNeil, Ron Nelson, Mark Rogers, Clark Rundell, Felicia Sandler, Michael Schelle, Asha Srinivasan, James Syler, Carolyn True, Dan Welcher, Eric Whitacre, and Dana Wilson.
Performance tours have taken the Symphonic Wind Ensemble all over the world, including: Abilene, San Angelo, and Austin in Texas; Albuquerque, Grants, and Santa Fe in New Mexico; Washington D.C. and Virginia; Chicago, Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri; and London, Manchester, and Birmingham in England.
Instrumentation: 1 piccolo, 6 flutes, 4 oboes, 3 bassoons, 10 clarinets, 3 bass clarinets, 1 contrabass clarinet, 4 saxophones, 6 horns, 6 trumpets, 6 trombones, 3 euphoniums, 3 tubas, 1 string bass, 1 harp, 1 piano, and 6 percussion.
Number of members: 65
Number of former All-State/Area Players: 21
Number of former All-Region/District: 20
Number of different Major Represented: 21 (not counting double majors)
The Director: James Worman is currently coordinator of Winds and Percussion and Associate Professor of Music at Trinity University. Prior to his appointment in 1997, Worman served as adjunct professor at Edgewood College and Virginia Commonwealth University, and Instructor of Saxophone at the University of Richmond. He was a high school band director for ten years in Maryland and Virginia, and received the B.M.E. from Shenandoah Conservatory, the M.M. in conducting from Virginia Commonwealth University, and the Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin.
He is the former National Chair for the American Music in American Schools and Universities committee of the Society for American Music, and former College Representative for the TMEA Region XII. Worman currently serves on the board of the International Revelli Band Composition Competition for the National Band Association. In addition to many conference presentations, he presented a paper at Oxford University entitled "Performance-based courses and Academic Legitimacy." He is also a member of the College Band Directors National Association, and his band arrangements are published by Daehn Publishers, TRN, and Hal Leonard.
Diane Persellin, director
Trinity Handbell Ensemble performs on six octaves of Schulmerich Handbells and five octaves of Malmark Chimes. Recent performances have included a guest appearance with the San Antonio Symphony at their annual Holiday Pops concert and at the San Antonio Fiesta Coronation. In Spring 2010, the handbell ensemble participated in the worship service at Parkway Presbyterian Church in Corpus Christi as well as on the beach on Mustang Island. Trinity University percussionists frequently join forces with the ensemble when performing on campus or at local schools, and membership is open to all students by audition.
Dustin Jessop, director
An 18-member, traditional big band consisting of saxophones, trumpets, trombones and rhythm section (piano, bass, drums, and guitar), the Jazz Ensemble performs traditional and contemporary styles including swing, bossa nova, ballad, samba, and rock. In addition to campus performances, the Jazz Ensemble performs at events in and around San Antonio.
Vocal Music Program
Trinity's Vocal music program enjoys a national reputation and is one of the largest student organizations on campus. All Trinity students are eligible to participate with choir members comprising every academic discipline at the university including student-athletes, Greek life, and leaders of numerous campus organizations. What they all share is a passion for choral singing.
The choirs have been featured on television, radio, and frequent tours throughout the United States and abroad. They have received invitations to perform for professional conventions including the National Collegiate Choral Organization, the Music Educator's National Conference, the College Music Society, and the Texas Music Educators Association. International tours have included Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Romania, Yugoslavia, and Israel, the latter of which produced an invitation to perform with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. Since 2012, they have performed 6 separate programs with the San Antonio Symphony.
Auditions are held the beginning of every fall and spring semester. They are low-stress and typically last no more than 7 minutes each. For more information, please contact Gary Seighman, Director of Choral Activities.
Several offerings, including the Trinity Choir, Chamber Singers, Voix d’Esprit, Choral Union, and Opera Workshop provide a wide range of artistic outlets for our singers. Commitment ranges from 1-4 credited rehearsals per week depending on the ensemble. But whether you are a former All-State singer or a new singer willing to learn, there is a seat for you.
As one of Trinity’s oldest student organizations, the Trinity Choir dates back to the late 1890’s and is also the largest student ensemble on campus. They perform varied repertoire including sacred and secular music from all of the major historical eras, folk songs, spirituals, gospel music, Broadway selections, and the premiere of new works.
Among its annual concerts, the Trinity Choir performs at the popular Christmas Concert and Trinity Vespers at Parker Chapel, a candlelit lesson and carols service that is one of the university’s most respected traditions. These two programs alone draw audiences of over 4000 people annually.
Each spring, the choir also performs a major choral-orchestral masterwork either as part of the combined Choral Union or in collaboration with a local symphony orchestra. Recent programs include Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Mozart’s Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and sharing the stage with a cast of Broadway stars in a medley of popular hits. In 2013, they were the only student artists invited to perform in the city-wide San Antonio Brahms Festival, giving an acclaimed performance at the San Antonio Museum of Art.
The Trinity Choir rehearses two times a week on Monday and Thursday evenings.
The Chamber Singers are comprised of approximately 40 highly advanced singers. They were one of only two invited collegiate choirs to be featured at the 2015 Texas Music Educators Association Convention. In addition, they were the only invited college choir in recent TMEA history comprised solely of undergraduates and with a majority of non-music majors.
The Chamber Singers have premiered numerous new works and served as ensemble-in-residence for the Composer’s Alliance of San Antonio. In Fall 2014, the ensemble jointly premiered a composition by Norway-based composer, Andrew Smith, with the Grammy-nominated New York Polyphony quartet who served as artists-in-residence. Other recent projects include a Spanish Baroque program with the Walden Chamber Players of Boston, a production of Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with period instruments, Tomás Luis de Victoria’s 12-voice Missa “Laetatus sum” in Washington, DC, and the nationally-touring Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddess multimedia concert at the Majestic Theatre.
Locally, they have been featured at numerous civic events along with radio and television appearances. In the summer of 2014, the choir had the pleasure of performing for the private wedding of Axelle Francine and NBA superstar, Tony Parker. Last March, they embarked on a major West Coast tour performing in Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, Berkeley, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
The Chamber Singers rehearse 4 days a week in preparation for a busy schedule of campus and off-campus performances.
Voix d'Esprit ("Voices of the Spirit") is Trinity’s premiere female classical vocal ensemble. It is comprised of gifted vocalists dedicated to exploring the vast breath of music written to display the beauty and power of the female voice. In the spring of 2014, the ensemble participated in San Antonio’s World Music Symposium by performing in masterclasses led by acclaimed vocal artist, Eva Salina, and a joint evening program featuring the music of eastern Europe. In 2013, Voix d’Esprit premiered a composition by Los Angeles-based composer Dale Trumbore, winner of numerous awards including Chanticleer's Composer Competition, The work, Frozen In, was recognized this by the American Choral Directors Association’s “Composition Spotlight” and recently published by Boosey & Hawkes.
In 2010, the ensemble established Trinity’s annual Celebration of Women's Voices, a multi-disciplinary event involving music, art, poetry, and dance with all proceeds benefiting a local charitable organization such as the SA Family Violence Prevention Service. Guest performers ranging from local folk bands, female dance troupes, actors, and the UTSA Women’s Choir have joined Voix to help raise awareness of important issues in our community. In addition, Voix d’Esprit has given performances of rarely-heard SSAA choral-orchestral masterworks and participated in the Texas Collegiate Women's Choir Festival.
Voix d’Esprit rehearses once per week on Tuesday evenings with occasional sectional rehearsals.
The Choral Union is an annual chorus comprised of the combined Trinity student choirs joined by faculty, staff, alumni, and community singers. Each spring, the Choral Union performs a major choral/orchestral work with the Trinity Symphony Orchestra or Symphonic Wind Ensemble, a concert involving hundreds of musicians. Rehearsals are Monday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. in Margarite B. Parker Chapel the two months preceding each April performance.
Trinity is unique to have such a significant number of faculty and staff who are also singers. For example, recent performances have included guest choir members from residential life and counseling services staff, campus police, administration, TU Press staff, librarians, admissions counselors, academic affairs staff, and faculty from the Business, Communications, Economics, Education, Engineering, English, Geosciences, Math, Classical Studies, Modern Languages & Literature, and the Music departments, among others. Serving as a reminder of how much singing is embedded within Trinity's culture, Choral Union represents a true embodiment of a liberal arts education. There are few schools in which a student can boast performing Mozart’s Requiem standing in-between her engineering and business professors.
Trinity’s Opera Workshop explores the principles and techniques of musical stage production culminating in a public performance. Students receive one-on-one instruction in dramatic staging, vocal coaching, and stylistic musical understandings within the Western classical operatic tradition. All lead and ensemble roles are comprised of undergraduate students. Trinity’s opera productions are also unique in that the majority of its cast members are non-music majors, though all of whom are talented and dedicated to high quality performances within this art form. Unlike other universities, our undergraduate students are not sitting backstage learning understudy roles behind a graduate vocal program. Rather, they are amassing performance experience and résumés full of operatic and musical theatre roles. For musical theatre, see the Department of Human Communication.
Recent and current productions include Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Menotti’s The Consul, Lehár’s The Merry Widow, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana. Select music and non-music majors also enjoy annual participation in the Young Artists Opera projects in Taiwan and Beijing, established by Chia-Wei Lee on the vocal faculty.