Students from all over the University participate in musical activities and performances, and are often joined in the ensembles by faculty and members of the community at large.
The ensembles perform a wide variety of music, including Western art music, jazz, folk music, popular music, and music of non-Western cultures. Several ensembles make recordings and take part in tours of foreign countries.
The following ensembles require auditions: Heinz Chapel Choir, Jazz Ensemble, Men's Glee Club, Symphony Orchestra, and Women's Choral Ensemble. Information about auditions will be posted on the music department homepage prior to the fall semester. Audition information will posted prior to the spring semester when ensembles have openings.
African Music and Dance Ensemble
The Pitt African Ensemble was founded in 1983 by Ghanaian ethnomusicologist Willie O. Anku as an African drumming ensemble. Presently directed by Yamoussa Camara, the ensemble is now known as the Pitt African Music and Dance Ensemble (PAMDE) and specializes in music and dance from Africa.
The music department's newest offering, Afropop Ensemble (Music 0661), exposes the interconnections between African music and the music of the African diaspora such as reggae and jazz.
The Bluegrass Ensemble will draw from students who have some experience with bluegrass vocals and instruments, including violin (fiddle), guitar, mandolin, banjo and dobro. The ensemble will perform as a group and will make connections with the folk music revival scenes in Pittsburgh.
Heinz Chapel Choir
For more than 75 years, the Heinz Chapel Choir has presented a cappella music from a variety of time periods and cultural traditions and in a wealth of languages. The Choir’s home for the majority of its Pittsburgh performances is the Heinz Memorial Chapel on the University of Pittsburgh campus.
The Pitt Jazz Ensemble has played at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and has toured the American South and Trinidad. Annually since 1990, the ensemble has spent a two-week residence in Jamaica, touring area schools and performing at community festivals.
Men's Glee Club
The Men's Glee Club, founded in 1890, is the oldest non-athletic extracurricular activity on campus. The club has enjoyed successful tours throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. They have been musical guests at two World's Fairs, and continue to be featured in various television and radio appearances, including a spot on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns.
The University of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is composed mostly of non-music majors who have a strong devotion to music. Our level of performance improves substantially every year and all skilled musicians from throughout the University (students, faculty and staff) are welcome as well as people from the general community.
The University Gamelan was founded in fall 1997 and is directed by Andrew Weintraub. The instructor for the course is currently Jay Arms. The University Gamelan Ensemble (Mus 0690) plays the gamelan music of the Sundanese people, an ethnic group that inhabits roughly the western third of the island of Java.
Find out more about past gamelan performances and repertoire.
Women's Choral Ensemble
Founded in 1927, the University of Pittsburgh Women's Choral Ensemble is open to all women of the University community, including undergraduates, graduate students, and staff. The ensemble sings the National Anthem for the Pitt women's soccer team home games, participates in the Women's Choir Festival in Western Pennsylvania, and performs each semester on campus.