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Music Performance Opportunities


Dr. Richard Bell

MUSC 1710/3410 University Orchestra

String players at Clayton State participate in 2 orchestras – a string orchestra and a symphony orchestra – performing one concert with each every semester. Wind, brass and percussion players participate in the symphony orchestra playing two concerts each semester. For symphony orchestra concerts Clayton State music students join with the Southern Crescent Symphony Orchestra.

  • The CSU Orchestra is open by audition to strings, percussion, orchestral winds and orchestral brass.
  • The student’s audition for the CSU music program serves as the orchestra audition.
  • Students in any major may audition for the ensemble and will need to register for course credit.
  • The string orchestra rehearses on Monday and Thursday afternoons from 5:00 to 6:15.
  • The symphony orchestra rehearses on Tuesday evenings from 7:15 to 9:15.

Jazz Band

Mr. Stacey Houghton
staceyhoughton@clayton.edubig band group

Clayton Community Big Band

Formed in the fall of 2000, the Clayton Community Big Band is a full size instrumental jazz ensemble comprised of Clayton State University music students and talented volunteers in the surrounding community. Participation is open to performers on saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, guitar, bass, and drums. Selection is based on instrument needs and formal audition. The CCBB attempts to preserve the 80-year tradition of large jazz ensembles, and its repertoire includes music of all jazz styles, including swing, Latin, American standards, blues, fusion, and contemporary idioms. The band's high-energy performances include two full-length concerts per year in Morrow's prestigious Spivey Hall, as well as occasional appearances in the local area. The ensemble's performing season runs from August to May.

Things To Know:

  • Participation is by audition or prior permission from the director.
  • Ensemble size is limited to 5 saxophones (2 altos, 2 tenors, 1 baritone), 4-5 trumpets, 4 trombones, piano, guitar, bass, and drums/percussion. Occasional exceptions exist, but they are limited to the director's discretion.
  • The course can be taken for university credit.
  • Regular rehearsals take place from August to May on Monday evenings, 6:30-9:00 pm. Spivey Hall concerts also occur on Mondays.
  • The ability to improvise is not required, except in the rhythm section, but advanced music reading skills are necessary.

The Audition:

Instrumentalists who wish to audition should contact director Stacey Houghton to schedule an appointment. Auditions are typically held at the beginning of every semester for students who wish to be enrolled for university credit, but they may be held anytime when a particular vacancy exists in a section. Specific requirements are as follows:

  • SAXOPHONE, TRUMPET & TROMBONE: Two exerpts or etudes in contrasting jazz styles (swing, Latin, or funk) to demonstrate reading ability and stylistic appropriateness. Materials may be selected by the director. OPTIONAL: Improvisation on a blues or standard jazz progression.
  • PIANO & GUITAR: A knowledge of jazz voicings and chord symbols is required. Performance of an exerpt from a jazz ensemble part or etude containing written notation, as well as an additional exerpt containing chord symbols to be interpreted. The two exerpts should be in contrasting styles (swing, Latin, funk).
  • BASS: Performance on an appropriate exerpt of a jazz ensemble part or etude containing written notation, as well as an additional exerpt containing chord symbols to be interpreted. All bass auditionees should know how to walk improvised bass lines on a set of chord changes.
  • DRUMS: Performance on an exerpt of a jazz ensemble part containing time sections with rhythmic accents to hit and set up. Demonstration of timekeeping in the following styles: swing, Latin (bossa nova or samba), rock, funk, and ballad.

Please contact the director at for suggestions and appropriate audition materials

Choral Ensembles

Sean Vogt

Clayton State University is home to world-renowned Spivey Hall ( Our students, ensembles, and faculty perform regularly in Spivey Hall, and our music students have access to free tickets to Spivey Hall concerts and master classes.

Opera and Musical Theatre

Dr. Kurt-Alexander Zeller


In the Department of Visual and Performing Arts’ Music Drama Workshop, students learn techniques of musical acting appropriate to all forms of Western music drama (including opera, operetta, and musical theatre) and apply them to public productions.  The philosophy of the ensemble is that all these forms of music drama are equally valid expressions of acting through the medium of music.  Spring shows are fully produced and performed in Spivey Hall with orchestral accompaniment.  Fall shows or scenes programs are performed in a variety of venues that may include school tours, Young People’s Concerts, performances for CSU classes, and off-campus performances.

Things to know:

  • Participation is by audition only
  • Some students are placed in the ensemble automatically by virtue of their scholarship or entrance auditions to the Music or Music Education majors.
  • Any student may audition at the VPA Department General Auditions each spring or by contacting the director before the beginning of each semester.  Auditions must be completed by the end of the add-drop period each semester.
  • Participation in productions requires enrollment in the 1-credit course, MUSC 3570
  • Rehearsals are Fridays, 2:10-4:50 AND Tuesdays 3:35-6:15 (only 5:00-6:15 Fall semesters)
  • Evening rehearsals are required each evening of production week
  • Students in any major may participate.
  • For some roles, music reading ability is required, but students who do not read music notation can participate and have done so in numerous productions.
  • The staffing needs of the ensemble vary more greatly each semester than do those of a choir or orchestra, according to the specific repertoire being performed.  Consequently, it is possible that a student may successfully win a place in the ensemble for one production and then not do so for the next.
  • Students interested in registering for the course and participating in a non-performance capacity (for example, stage management or technical theatre) should contact the director before the beginning of the semester.