Symphonic Band

Conducted by Dr. Mark Fenderson, the Symphonic Band meets Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11:40 to 12:40.  Concerts are performed in Cisel Recital Hall each year (one at the close of both the fall and spring semesters).  In addition, the band performs at area schools.  The Symphonic Band is not limited to music majors; it is open to all interested students. This 1 credit course can be applied towards the General Education - Arts requirement and can be repeated for additional General Education credit.

Jazz Ensemble

Conducted by John Roberts, the Jazz Ensemble meets Tuesday and Thursday from 12:10 to 1:40 and performs two concerts per year in Cisel Recital Hall (one at the close of both the fall and spring semesters).  In addition, the group performs at other campus events as well as at area schools. The Jazz Band is not limited to music majors; it is open to all interested students, however, an audition is required. This 1 credit course can be applied towards the General Education - Arts requirement and can be repeated for additional General Education credit.

Jazz Band auditions will consist of the following on Sept. 9th, 12:10 – 1:40 PM, in Cisel room 128.

  1. Be able to play all your major scales ascending and descending in eighth notes at BPM =120. The instructor will ask for specific scales, i.e. “play Ab, B, and Db scales”.
  2. Play 2 choruses of blues improvisation in the key of your choice.
  3. Be prepared to play your part from the music at the following link. The instructor will choose approximately 16 bars at random:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0rpvv04p1vhgd0s/AACaSAcElxuun2sIoSIqzpj5a?dl=0

Choral ensemble: University Chorus

Conducted by Dr. Daren Small, the Concert Choir meets Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2:00 to 3:30 and performs two concerts per year in Cisel Recital Hall (one at the close of both fall and spring semesters). The group performs a wide variety of music ranging from masterworks of the choral repertoire to African-American spirituals. The Concert Choir is not limited to music majors; it is open to all interested students. This 1 credit course can be applied towards the General Education - Arts requirement and can be repeated for additional General Education credit.

Chamber Ensemble: Singers

Conducted by Dr. Daren Small, Chamber Singers meets Tuesday and Thursday from 2:00 to 3:30 and performs two concerts per year in Cisel Recital Hall (one at the close of both fall and spring semesters). In addition, the group performs annually at Commencement, as well as additional performances at area schools and other local venues. Chamber Singers is open to all students, however, students must audition to become members of Chamber Singers.

Percussion Ensemble

Conducted by Luke Kestner, the Montana State University Billings Percussion Ensemble performs a diverse selection of music ranging from traditional African improv to popular pieces of the 21st century. Percussion Ensemble performs a minimum of once each semester in Cisel Recital Hall.  Additionally, the ensemble travels to various venues around Montana.  The ensemble is not limited to music majors; it is open to all interested students, however, an audition is required. 

Chamber Ensembles

Interested students are encouraged to take opportunities to work in small ensembles. Department faculty members not only mentor these ensembles, but often perform with them, enriching the students’ learning experiences. Through individual arrangements with the professors, students may receive credit for participation in these ensembles.

Jazz Combos

Directed by Dr. Scott Jeppesen, the Jazz Combos are some of the most active ensembles in the Music Department. In addition to performing at end-of-semester jazz concerts, the Jazz Combos regularly perform at events around the MSUB campus and the city of Billings. Rehearsals focus heavily on standard jazz repertoire, working within a small ensemble, and jazz improvisation. Jazz Combos meet on Tuesday evenings and are not limited to music majors.

Commercial Ensembles

Directed by John Roberts, these ensembles explore a different them every school year, ranging from Funk, Soul, Blues, Originals, Latin, Hip-Hop, Rock, and more. Students arrange songs for contemporary ensembles and learn the details for authentic performance. Improvisation and composing in the different styles are standard in this performance class, and multiple performances occur each year, on and off-campus.