FIU Symphony Orchestra
Who may audition: Non-Majors, Majors
Contact: Dr. Javier Jose Mendoza, firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Mendoza has received a Fullbright Scholarship for Fall 2023. During this time, please contact Luis Aguilar at email@example.com.
Welcome to the vibrant world of the FIU Symphony Orchestra and String Orchestras, where the magic of music comes alive in the Wertheim Concert Hall and beyond! Our orchestras, led by our esteemed conductor, Javier Jose Mendoza, offer an unparalleled opportunity for students to embark on an extraordinary musical journey. His approach to conducting and passion for music ensures that every student reaches new heights of artistry, while also fostering a supportive and collaborative environment.
Here, students practice and perform in the magnificent Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center, a world-class venue that provides the perfect backdrop for performances. We take great pride in engaging with the vibrant Miami community and bringing the joy of music to diverse audiences and contributing to the cultural tapestry of this dynamic city. But our musical journey extends beyond our home stage. As a testament to our commitment to artistic outreach, not only do our students perform in our annual FIU Music Festival and regularly engage in master classes with visiting artists, but many have the opportunity to go on tour where they will learn to navigate new environments, collaborate with fellow musicians, and develop skills that shape them into well-rounded and accomplished performers ready to embrace the ever-evolving world of music.
Our orchestra’s history traces back to the visionary Carlos Piantini, a former first violinist with the iconic New York Philharmonic under the legendary Leonard Bernstein. Piantini’s legacy as a celebrated conductor of major orchestras in Europe and the Americas continues to inspire and guide our journey. Following in his footsteps, a line of exceptional conductors, such as Stewart Robertson, Carlos Riazuelo, and the acclaimed trumpeter and conductor, Arturo Sandoval, have enriched our orchestral tradition.
Throughout the years, the FIU Symphony Orchestra has been graced by the baton of accomplished guest conductors, including Richard Stolzman, Robert Craft, Jose Serebrier, Giancarlo Guerrero, James Judd, Neal Varon, David Effron, and Gustav Meier, infusing our performances with unique perspectives and invaluable experiences.
If you seek to immerse yourself in a world of unparalleled musical expression, where tradition meets innovation, and where you’ll be surrounded by a community of passionate artists, then become part of our legacy of orchestral music at Florida International University.
The string chamber music experience at FIU is designed to help students further their skills on their instrument, develop awareness of musicality, and experience a variety of chamber music repertoire under the leadership of FIU’s Ensemble-in-Residence the Amernet String Quartet, FIU Artist-in-Residence and violinist Robert Davidovici, along with violinist Marcia Littley. Following auditions, students are placed together in small ensembles, such as string quartets, trios, and quintets. Other chamber music ensembles include University Brass Choir, Flute Choir, Saxophone Ensemble, Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble, and University Brass Choir.
The string chamber music experience at FIU is designed to help students further their skills on their instrument, develop awareness of musicality, ensemble skills and experience a variety of chamber music repertoire under the leadership of FIU’s Ensemble-in-Residence the Amernet String Quartet and soloist Robert Davidovici. Our close-knit string student community promotes musical collaborations over the course of study at FIU. This study along with the performance opportunities builds reinforces students confidence, musicianship and widens their musical spectrum. Following an audition, students are placed together in small ensembles, such as string quartets, trios, and quintets. When available, there are opportunities for collaborations such as piano trios, piano quintets or with winds, such as clarinet quintets or other combinations. Chamber groups are required to rehearse intensively on a regular basis each week of the semester. Each group receives a weekly coaching from a member of the string faculty. Groups are required to perform in string forums throughout the semester and to perform a final chamber music jury. Specially selected ensembles are chosen to perform on a featured chamber concert, open to the public, each semester.
For individual auditions or more information, contact String Area Coordinator Marcia Littley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Florida International University Flute Choir is a performing ensemble open to all university students with permission from Professor Elissa Lakofsky. It is a very advanced group that performs music composed or arranged for flute choir on campus and throughout the community. This ensemble typically performs two concerts per term with frequent appearances at FIU events. The FIU Flute Choir is designed to help students further their ensemble skills on their instruments, develop musical awareness, learn about the importance of chamber ensemble playing and experience a variety of chamber music repertoire written for flute choir. This class provides intensive study in the areas of sound production, technique, intonation, rhythm and flexibility. These skills give the students the necessary tools to hone their playing ability, making them stronger musicians and educators. The FIU Flute Choir, along with the many performance opportunities presented throughout the semester, builds and reinforces each student’s confidence and musicianship.
For further information, about the FIU Flute Choir, please contact Professor Elissa Lakofsky at email@example.com or call 305-458-3975.
The Florida International University Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble, under the direction of Jay Bertolet, is an ensemble open to all University students with permission from Professor Bertolet. This unique ensemble performs music composed or arranged for tuba/euphonium ensemble, during the spring term. This ensemble typically performs one concert in the spring term with frequent appearances at FIU events.
For further information, please contact Professor Jay Bertolet at firstname.lastname@example.org or 305-348-2896.
University Brass Choir/Brass Chamber
The FIU University Brass Choir and Brass Chamber groups, under the direction of Jim Hacker, are designed to help students further their skills on their instrument, develop awareness of musicality, sharpen their ensemble playing abilities and experience a variety of styles from the brass choir repertoire. Concentrated rehearsals and performance opportunities presented throughout the semester help to build and reinforce student’s confidence, musicianship and widen their musical spectrum. The music performed each year will include some of the great antiphonal music from the renaissance period by composers such as Giovanni Gabrieli, and continue through to works by some of the great contemporary composers of present day.
The University Brass Choir is typically made up of ten to sixteen players while the size of the chamber groups are based on available instrumentation and playing levels of the students. Following an audition, students are placed in ensembles that include the brass choir and smaller chamber groups ranging from trios to octets. Annual performances include FIU Chamber Winds concerts, the Presidential Faculty Convocation Awards ceremony, University Commencements, and concert collaborations with other areas within the School of Music and community organizations. Performances by the Brass Choir have included the Miami Chapter of the American Guild of Organist’s Organ Spectacular concert and the Footlighters concert series.
For more information about the University Brass Choir or Brass Chamber Music, please contact Jim Hacker at email@example.com or call 786-897-6500.
Do you love to sing?
At Florida International University, all who wish to sing with a choral ensemble are welcome. There are a variety choirs with or without audition, ready to suit every singer regardless of previous singing experience or ability level. No choir is restricted by major, but some do require an audition.
The FIU University Singers is a large choral ensemble that performs a wide variety of music with membership that is open to all FIU students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the greater Miami community. A sincere love of singing and a desire to share your talents with like-minded singers is all that’s required. Rehearsals are held on Monday evenings from 6:30 – 9:30pm in the Wertheim Recital Hall (WPAC 150).
To get involved, contact Maibel Troia at firstname.lastname@example.org or 786.681. 2815
FIU Gospel Choir
The FIU Gospel Choir is open to all FIU students and non-degree students. The FIU Gospel Choir will begin again for the Fall 2022 semester and we encourage you to register for this 1 credit course. Course numbers include: MUN 1391L, 3394L, or 5396L. Meeting times will be displayed on the course as Tuesday evenings.
If you would like further information, please email the Wertheim School of Music at email@example.com or call our Wertheim School of Music main office number at (305) 348-2896. Thank you for your interest in the FIU Gospel Choir and we look forward to seeing you in class this coming Fall!
FIU Concert Choir
MUN 1310/3313/5315. Rehearsals are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 1:00-2:50 in the recital hall (room 150).
Concert Choir is Florida International University’s premier choral ensemble, performing repertoire from a wide variety of genres, languages, and styles. They perform several times throughout the school year, including choral concerts and collaborations with other instrumental ensembles and music festivals, spanning small choral octavos to large, choral/orchestral works. Previously, the ensemble has recorded on the Capstone and CRI labels, and they have been invited to perform at state, regional, and national music and choral conferences.
Membership includes undergraduate and graduate singers and is open to students of all majors. Previous choral experience and some sight-singing ability is preferred, and an audition is required for all singers each year.
For further information, please contact Dr. Erynn Millard, Director of Choral Activities: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are opportunities to perform on-campus concerts and events, as well as jazz festivals and clubs. Well-known guest artists such Adam Nussbaum, Ingrid Jensen, Jim Snidero, Paquito D’Rivera, Johnathan Blake, Marco Marcinco, John Fedchock, Randy Brecker, and others are often featured in concerts, as well as workshops and clinics.
FIU Latin Jazz Ensemble
The performing ensemble of eight musicians that includes three brass, three saxophones, piano, bass (acoustic or electric), drums, and percussionist. The repertoire will be based on a fusion of Latin and American Jazz styles, and the emphasis will fall on original compositions and arrangements. This ensemble provides students with performance experience in, and understanding of, an international array of contemporary idioms (Peruvian, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Argentine, etc.) and their integration into North American Jazz performance practice.
FIU Studio Jazz Big Band
The FIU Studio Jazz Big Band, under the direction of Jim Hacker, is one of the most visible artistic groups at FIU. With major performances annually both as a featured group and with world-renowned guest artists, the band has been internationally recognized as one of the premier college jazz ensembles in the world. Invitations to the International Association for Jazz Education Convention, the Mid-West Band & Orchestra Clinic, the Wigan Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Quito Jazz Festival, and the Maceo Jazz Festival have taken this world-class group of graduate and undergraduate students beyond the realm of the ‘typical’ college band. Recent local performances include opening night of the inaugural Miami Nice Jazz Festival at the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Theater for the Performing Arts, The Gold Coast Jazz Society concert series at the Amaturo Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Larry Rosen’s Jazz Roots concert series at the Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, and the South Motors Jazz Series in the Banyan Bowl at Pinecrest Gardens.
The members of the FIU Big Band are full-time graduate and undergraduate students, many of whom are currently working professionals with local, national, and international artists. A number of the featured soloists are past and present scholarship recipients from Downbeat, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, the Gold Coast Jazz Society, and the International Trumpet Guild.
For more information about the Jazz Big Band, please contact Jim Hacker at email@example.com call 786-897-6500.
The performing ensemble that works with original compositions/arrangements by the student members, and new and original approaches to existing material. The major goal is to achieve a group “sound” or concept that is coherent and consistent, providing for the soloists a focused context for improvisation. Specific harmonic, rhythmic, and linear techniques for each composition are also examined. This provides the students with the necessary skills to meet the demands of professional small group performance and recording.
Jazz Guitar Ensemble
Jazz guitar ensemble consists of 5 or more electric guitars plus rhythm section. Entry to the ensemble is by audition and/or instructor permission. Participation in jazz guitar ensemble will give guitarists the opportunity to gain experience performing as part of a section and to develop general ensemble participation skills like blending, following a conductor, and following a section leader. Students will become familiar with small jazz ensemble style repertoire typically played by a jazz big band or horn band. There will also be an emphasis on sight-reading skills, with particular attention to sight-reading problems specific to guitarists. The ensemble performs at least once per semester, and is directed by Tom Lippincott. For further information, please contact Tom Lippincott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jazz Vocal Ensemble
The Jazz Vocal Ensemble is directed by Dr. Lisanne Lyons and consists of twelve to fifteen vocalists and a four-piece rhythm section who perform a varied and challenging repertoire of jazz and jazz-influenced music, as well as contemporary, latin, and a cappella styles. The group emphasizes close harmonies, improvisation, cutting-edge repertoire, and new works by students and FIU faculty. They also perform music from the library of Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, Swingle Singers, Groove for Thought, and original arrangements written by some of the finest jazz arrangers in the country. The group is open for audition for all FIU music students and all vocal jazz principles and majors.
In July 2021 the group was honored with a Student Music Award from Downbeat Magazine, widely recognized as the most prestigious publication in jazz education.
For more information, contact Lisanne Lyons at email@example.com.
The FIU Opera Theater was founded in 1997 by Prof. Robert B. Dundas. It is the premier vocal performance ensemble of the Vocal Studies Performance Program. Its mission is two-fold: to promote professional training and practical performing experience for student singers, conductors, and pianists, and to serve as a cultural service of the School of Music, the students and faculty of Florida International University, and the greater south Florida community.
Role study and rehearsal takes place in the Opera Workshop class. Students work with the professional coaching staff to learn the diction, musical styles, and interpretive traditions of each role. They also receive instruction in theater techniques to develop the basic acting skills required by an operatic performer. These include: improvisation, dance & movement, character development, stage combat, basic stagecraft, make-up, costume & scenery design and construction, and stage management. Students also receive special training through master classes with visiting professional artists. Recent clinicians include: Helen Donath, Allen Charles Klein, Bliss Hebert, Adina Aaron, Janet Bookspan, Vladimir Chernov, Pamela Coburn, Katharine Goeldner, David Lefkovitch, Victoria Malipiero, Mikhail Svetlov, Carole Farley, and Sherrill Milnes. Recent graduates of the Vocal Performance program at FIU are presently engaged as Young Artists with the Florida Grant Opera.
Recent productions have included: Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Cosi fan tutte, Handel’s Agrippina, Vaughan Williams’ Riders to the Sea, Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, Hindemith’s Long Christmas Dinner, and Massenet’s Cendrillon. In February, 2014, the FIU Opera Theater presented a critically acclaimed production of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene. Photographs of the Street Scene are available by clicking here. The 2014-2015 season featured a rare performance of Chabrier’s L’Etoile, performed in French with English supertitles. Photos of the production can be found by clicking here. In 2016, John Blow’s, Venus and Adonis, was performed with the FIU Collegium in collaboration with the FIU Department of Theatre and in April, 2017, the presented Domenico Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio segreto. In January 2018, the FIU Opera Theater presented Giancarlo Menotti’s Old Maid and the Thief and Amelia Goes to the Ball.
In 2019, the FIU Opera Theater produced a fully-staged zarzuela-Doña Francisquita. It is based on Lope de Vega’s play La discreta enamorada, and tells the story of young lovers, Francisquita and Fernando, in mid-19th century Spain during the Carnival season. It was a massive collaboration that began over 4 months ago and involved over 40 cast members, 20 chorus members, 9 ballet dancers from Conchita Espinosa Conservatory of the Arts Segovia Ballet Español, a 45-member FIU Symphony Orchestra, a team of artistic and technical staff, and support and guidance from the Hispanic-American Lyric Theatre.
In 2021, an impressive partnership between the Santa Fe Opera and the School led to the orchestral world premiere of a one-act opera about civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer: “Is This America?” “Is This America?” is one of several works through which opera companies, organizations and educational institutions have begun exploring questions of race, personal history, social justice and civil rights.
For more information, contact the Coordinator of Vocal Studies, Dr. Vindhya Khare at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The FLEA (FIU Laptop & Electro-Acoustic) Ensemble is FIU’s newest musical group. The group performs exciting new work and reinterprets classics of the avant-garde by combining hi-fi and lo-fi technologies. Each piece offers new ways of (re)interpreting technology with or without the aid of acoustic instruments or objects. The group’s repetoire has included pieces by Kristine H. Burns, Alvin Lucier, David Dunn, Doug Van Nort, Paula Matthusen, Orlando Garica, Pauline Oliveros, Jacob David Sudol, Gustavo Matamoros, Eliot Sharp, Erik DeLuca, and Samuel Pluta.
For more information, please contact Jacob Sudol at email@example.com
READ: The Flea Ensemble brings a fire extinguisher to life
New Music Ensemble
Founded in Fall 1987, the FIU New Music Ensemble specializes in the performance of contemporary chamber, experimental and electronic music with an emphasis in the music of the last 50 years. The ensemble’s instrumentation changes from semester to semester allowing for the presentation of a variety of repertoire. Performances include those on campus each semester as well as those in the community at galleries, libraries, museums, and other universities/colleges in the region. The ensemble has recently been featured at the Subtropics Music Festival, The Society of Composers National and Regional Conferences, and the National Conference of the College Music Society. To date the ensemble has presented music by a variety of composers representing a wide range of aesthetics, styles, and media from the US and diverse parts of the world including works written for the ensemble as well as works by young and established composers alike. The ensemble is made up of some of the School of Music’s best student performers.
For more information, contact the New Music Director, Jason Calloway, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FIU Miami Guitar Orchestra was founded in 2013 by its current director guitarist/composer Mesut Özgen. The FIUMGO aims to present new ensemble works for guitar, in addition to transcriptions and arrangements of the traditional repertoire. Dr. Özgen commissioned and premiered many works for the guitar orchestra by renowned composers, such as Benjamin Verdery, Jack Vees, Phil Collins, and Christopher Pratorius. Among the orchestra’s repertoire are “Pick and Roll for guitar ensemble, basketball, two violins, and tenor saxophone” by Benjamin Verdery, “Strum” by Phil Collins, “Quaditorio” by Jack Vees, “Snapshots by the Bay” by Chris Pratorius, “Mountain Mission” by Adam Cotton, “Following the Wind” by Mark Aitken, “Twangology” by Mark Houghton, “Segni Meravigliosi Nos. 3-5 for guitar ensemble and flute choir” by Gerald Garcia, “Acerca del cielo, el aire y la sonrisa” by Leo Brouwer, “Tantra” by Carlos Rafael Rivera, and the guitar orchestra arrangement of Giuliani’s “Grand Overture” by Peter Constant. Some of the other repertoire performed by the ensemble include works by Bach, Tchaikovsky, Johanson, Duarte, Ogawa, and Charlton.
The orchestra meets three times a week and presents regular public concerts both on and off campus in the fall and spring, including the Miami International GuitART Festival. All students who are enrolled in guitar lessons at the Herbert and Nicole Wertheim School of Music & Performing Arts guitar studio are required to enroll in the guitar orchestra. In addition to classical guitarists, other instrumentalists, such as mandolin, banjo, ukulele, bass guitar, double bass, flute, violin, voice, and others, are also welcome to join the orchestra. Players who are not already an enrolled FIU student may also audition and, if accepted, can enroll as a non-degree seeking student or join the rehearsals and concerts without curricular credits.
For individual auditions or more information, please write to Mesut Özgen at email@example.com.
The FIU Collegium Musicum is an ensemble that provides a forum for FIU students and members of the FIU community to study and publicly perform solo and ensemble music composed prior to 1800 and dances from before 1900. Some of the collegium’s instruments include a Carl Fudge transposing Flemish double harpsichord made possible in part through a generous grant from the Lady Suzanna P. Tweed and Carleton Tweed Charitable Foundation, an archlute, a sackbutt, crumhorns, and a complete set of bows for baroque orchestra built by the English maker David Van Edwards. Collegium members learn to apply historically aware performance practice to the vocal and instrumental music of pre-Romantic eras through the acquisition of a working practical knowledge of musical and performance style characteristics of earlier repertoires. In addition, students may also have the opportunity to learn to dance some of the popular dances of these eras. During the fall semester Collegium members participate in concerts presented by other FIU ensembles, study performance practice issues, and prepare repertoire for the annual spring FIU Collegium Musicum concert. The spring semester is devoted exclusively to preparation for this event.
For more information, to become a member, to participate in the collegium on any level, or to be notified of future collegium events, please contact Dr. David Dolata at firstname.lastname@example.org or 305-348-2076.
LEARN MORE ABOUT EARLY MUSIC @FIU!
FIU bands are open to non-music majors and have opportunities for once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences!
FIU Wind Ensemble
Based on the model that Dr. Frederick Fennell formed at the Eastman School of Music in 1952, the Florida International University Wind Ensemble (FIUWE) is the university’s premiere ensemble for wind and percussion students. Drawing from the rich repertoire of music from early Baroque to the music of today’s most innovative composers, the FIUWE performs the works with the composer’s specifications without the doubling of individual parts. Many of its members have gone on to careers with the world’s finest orchestras, service bands, and contemporary ensembles. Under the artistic direction of its conductor Dr. Brenton F. Alston, the FIUWE looks forward to the future with new commissioning projects, multimedia events, concert tours, side-by-side concerts and recording projects. This ensemble is open to any full-time FIU students by audition. Audition materials may be picked up at the School of Music after July 6th. This ensemble rehearses on MWF from 2:00-3:50pm and performs 2-3 concerts per semester.
Placement information can be found by visiting the degree page.
For information, contact Dr. Brenton F. Alston at email@example.com or call (305) 348-2497.
FIU Marching Band & Courtside Players
The FIU Marching Band has been creating campus spirit and providing entertainment for FIU Athletic events since 2002. The band is actively engaged in all FIU Home Football games, select away football games, Freshman Convocation, plus numerous campus and community performances. Members of the Band who desire, can also participate in the Court Side Players (Men’s and Women’s Basketball Band). Drawn from virtually every college on campus, membership offers a fun, challenging and musically creative environment. The FIU Marching Band is open to ALL FIU students as well as MDC and BCC students for credit, regardless of major, but all members must audition. All students receive one credit in tuition reimbursement for their participation. Full-time FIU students will receive a $1500 scholarship and FIU non-degree seeking students (MDC & BBC) will receive a $1000 scholarship.
For more information on how to join, visit our website here or fill out this form here.
FIU Indoor Ensembles
FIU Indoor is an auxiliary program of the FIU Marching Band. They compete under Winter Guard International Sports of the Arts. There are currently three types of ensembles available: FIU Indoor Winds, FIU Indoor Percussion, and FIU Indoor Winter Guard. FIU Indoor Winds is made up of Woodwind and Brass instruments, as well as electronic and percussion instruments. FIU Indoor Percussion is made up of all percussion and electronic instruments. FIU Indoor Winter Guard is made up of all equipment used in Colorguard and they perform to a soundtrack.
Any members of the community between the ages of 18-22 are eligible to perform in FIU Indoor. For more information, please click here.
FIU Symphonic Band
Stemming from the grand tradition of concert bands throughout western music’s history, the FIU Symphonic Band is a dynamic ensemble open to any university student, faculty or staff without audition. Participants should have prior musical/band experience. This ensemble performs significant core and contemporary repertoire for wind, brass and percussion instruments. Under the artistic direction of its conductor Professor Barry Bernhardt, the FIU Symphonic Band looks forward to the future with new commissioning projects, concert tours and recording projects. This ensemble typically performs two concerts per term with frequent appearances at FIU events. This ensemble rehearses on Tu/Th from 5:00-6:45pm at the Herbert and Nicole Wertheim School of Music & Performing Arts in room 157 and performs two concerts per semester.
For further information about the Symphonic Band, please contact Professor Barry Bernhardt at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (305) 348-1547.