The music department offers students an array of ensembles in which to perform and develop leadership skills. The choruses, bands, orchestra, and ensembles are conducted by members of the faculty and managed by elected student leaders. Nearly all performances except Christmas Vespers are held in Baker Hall in the Zoellner Arts Center.
Students earn one credit per semester for each ensemble or lesson course in which they are registered, but they may register for zero credit to avoid overloading.
Lehigh University Philharmonic Orchestra
The Lehigh University Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by Eugene Albulescu, is a body of 60-70 players from diverse backgrounds. Though primarily a student orchestra, faculty and community members also participate, creating an ensemble that contains unique intersections between students of all majors and professionals, campus and community. Students bring the great works of orchestra repertoire to life in four pairs of concerts a year in Baker Hall, Zoellner Arts Center. Membership is by audition.
The Jazz program, directed by Bill Warfield, consists of a number of groups large and small, including the Jazz Ensemble, the LU Jazz Repertory Orchestra, the LU Funk Band, and a number of combos. The ensembles perform contemporary literature as well as the music of the more traditional bands such as Basie, Ellington, Goodman and Herman. A distinguished faculty of jazz musicians teaches private lessons and coaches the combos. Membership is by audition.
The Marching 97 meets during the fall semester and plays at each Lehigh home game, as well as several away games. Made up of students from all of the colleges at Lehigh, the band is a student-run organization dedicated to building a positive Lehigh spirit at games and off the field. Band camp is held three days during the week prior to the start of classes. No audition is required.
The Symphonic Band meets and performs only in the spring semester of each year. The ensemble consists of students, faculty and staff who are interested in playing music. No audition is necessary.
The Wind Ensemble, under the direction of David B. Diggs, is a select group of students dedicated to performing music for woodwinds, brass and percussion. These students represent many diverse majors. In 1999 the Wind Ensemble was honored by Downbeat Magazine, receiving the award for the most outstanding college classical symphonic band.
Lehigh University Choral ARts
The Lehigh University Choral Arts, directed by Steven Sametz, is the umbrella organization for a number of vocal ensembles:
Lehigh University Choir
The Choir is an active force in campus life. The 60 mixed voices of the Choir, drawn from all majors of the University, are auditioned at the beginning of the academic year. They give four major concerts on campus and tour internationally. The Choir frequently performs with orchestra and regularly performs new music, including many works written especially for them. They have been heard five times on National Public Radio. The Choir has toured to Austria, China, France, Germany, Korea, Portugal, Russia, Thailand, Taiwan, and has performed in Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall at New York’s Lincoln Center.
Lehigh University Choral Union
The Lehigh University Choral Union, composed of students, faculty, staff, and Lehigh Valley community members performs three times a year with internationally known soloists and a full symphony orchestra. The 200 singers of the Choral Union bring major works such as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mahler’s Second Symphony, and the Brahms Requiem to a broad audience. No audition is required.
Lehigh University Glee Club
The recently revived Glee Club sings traditional and new music for male voices under the direction of Steven Sametz. Enthusiastically welcomed by alumni and the university community, the Glee Club has thrilled audiences on campus, on tour in China, and at Lincoln Center, where they performed with the University Choir.
Dolce – Lehigh University’s Women’s Ensemble under the direction of Sun Min Lee begins a new tradition of women’s music on campus. They perform on campus and in the community. This group sings a variety of music written especially for female voices as well as music adapted for the group. Members of Dolce also sing with the University Choir.