Music Department Ensembles
The Wind Symphony is the primary instrumental ensemble at Mars Hill University. Admission is by audition. The wind symphony performs campus concerts throughout the year and has appeared at state and regional conferences such as North Carolina Music Educators Association and the College Band Directors National Association.
The Collegiate Band is comprised of Mars Hill University alumni, community members, and current Mars Hill students. No audition is required. The ensemble rehearses weekly and performs one concert each semester.
The Jazz Ensemble includes trumpet, trombone, saxophone and rhythm section players and admission is by audition. The ensemble meets weekly and performs each semester for campus and community events.
Marching Mountain Lion Band is open to all Mars Hill students by director approval. The marching band appears at all home football games and select community events throughout the season.
Chamber Ensembles for woodwinds, brass and percussion are organized each semester. Admission is by audition. Ensembles vary depending on class size, but commonly include woodwind quintet, clarinet quartet, brass quintet, low brass choir and percussion ensemble.
Mars Hill College Choir is the primary choral group on the campus of Mars Hill University. The choir rehearses daily in preparation for its demanding schedule of performances throughout the academic year. The singers perform regularly with the college’s instrumental ensembles in concerts held on the campus and, like their instrumental counterparts, tour regularly in the region, performing for numerous church, university, public school and community functions. Locally, the choir has been in demand for performances of major works with both the Asheville Symphony and the South Carolina Philharmonic and has performed regularly for conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and the Music Educators National Conference. The choir boasts several thousand alumni who return to the campus regularly for the Choir’s performances and for the Alumni Reunions.
Chamber Singers, selected from among the members of the Mars Hill University Choir, also rehearse regularly within the academic schedule to prepare for their numerous concerts each year. This group is composted primarily of music majors who often conduct as well as accompany the ensemble in off-campus concerts. In recent years the ensembles have participated in the North Carolina ACDA Collegiate Choral Festivals, the Winthrop University Invitational Chamber Choir Festival, have performed in several concerts in New York City’s Carnegie Hall, and have taken a European tour, performing in Great Britain, France, Austria and Germany.
Chapel Choir is the ensemble on campus whose primary role is to provide music for the Crossroads Chapel program. In addition, the choir performs with the Mars Hill University Choir in the performance of major choral pieces throughout the year; some off-campus performances are also scheduled in local church and school settings. Students in the Choral Conducting discipline often conduct chapel choir rehearsals as well as performances in their preparation as conductors under the supervision of the music faculty. The chapel choir is open to all students and is required of all freshman voice and keyboard majors.
Southern Appalachian Chamber Singers, founded by Joel F. Reed in 1998, is an ensemble composed primarily of Mars Hill University Choir alumni and music faculty. Members travel from across North Carolina as well as from Virginia and South Carolina to rehearse and perform with this ensemble. The choir performs regularly for college events as well as maintaining a busy off-campus concert series throughout the western North Carolina area. In the Fall of 2001, the ensemble performed for the NCADA Fall Conference at UNC-Greensboro and this past year performed for the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC.