Sonoma State Department Of Music Performing Ensembles



Chamber Singers

Dr. Jenny Bent, conductor
Chamber Singers is a select choir of 20 singers that performs a variety of short and medium-length choral compositions including a cappella music and/or works accompanied by light instrumentation. Repertoire represents all historical periods and styles from early classics to significant contemporary works. The Chamber Singers perform throughout the campus community and beyond.
20 members
Contact: Dr. Jenny Bent


Symphonic Chorus

Dr. Jenny Bent, conductor
Symphonic Chorus is a large vocal ensemble comprised of music majors, students from other majors, staff, faculty and members of the community. Numbering over 80 singers under the direction of Dr. Jenny Bent, the Symphonic Chorus presents two-to-three major concerts each semester, performing large works such as the Mozart Requiem and Orff's Carmina Burana, as well as thematic projects including Music of Latin America and The Long Road to Freedom.
80-120 members



Opera and Music Theatre

Dr. Lynne Morrow, music director and conductor
Full productions of standard and new shows are presented each year in Evert B. Person Theatre. Ticket prices vary. Productions alternate each year between opera and music theatre. The 2016 production will be Sondheim's Into The Woods. Private vocal instruction is an important component of this program. Enrollment varies.
Contact: Dr. Lynne Morrow


Vocal Repertory Class

Lynne Morrow, director
Voice Faculty
Vocal Rep class is a weekly forum for vocalists to perform solo repertoire and study elements of performing with members of the Voice Faculty and occasional master-classes by visiting artists. Students produce two full concerts per semester as a result of these endeavors. 20-30 members
Contact: Dr. Lynne Morrow



Concert Jazz Ensembles

Dr. Doug Leibinger, director
The jazz program features several combos that focus on a particular jazz sub-genre or era. This year’s Concert Jazz Ensembles are Blue Note Ensemble, Latin Band (Kendrick Freeman, director); Ornette Coleman Ensemble (Kasey Knudsen, director); and ECM Ensemble (Dave Len Scott, director).
5-10 members each group
Contact: Doug Leibinger

Latin Band

Kendrick Freeman, director
An awareness of other musical languages gives perspective to the practice of jazz. This ensemble provides an introduction to various styles, rhythms and concepts found in music from the Caribbean, Brazil and Haiti, delivered with an improviser's sensibility.
10 members
Contact: Kendrick Freeman

Faculty Jazz Ensemble

Doug Leibinger and George Marsh, leaders
Faculty Jazz Ensemble gets together voluntarily for tuning listening skills and exploring ways to refine and inform our improvisations together, whether through free improvisation or straight ahead jazz--co-led by Doug and George. The SSU Faculty Jazz Ensemble performs several times throughout the year and includes Kasey Knudsen, saxophone; Dave Len Scott, trumpet; Doug Leibinger, trombone; Ken Cook, piano; Will Johnson, prepared piano; Randy Vincent, guitar; Cliff Hugo, bass; George Marsh, drums.
What principles or beliefs guide our work?
We all believe in developing the skills to understand one another’s voice as players in a group context that can take several shapes: Exercises that inform jazz improvisation, free improvisation, original ideas.
The study of technique is to serve the need to say something through music. That “something” can change and be informed by the group’s cohesion.
Contact: Dr. Doug Leibinger
Contact: George Marsh

Jazz Orchestra

Dr. Doug Leibinger, director
An 18-20 piece jazz big band: 7 saxophones; 4 trombones; 4-6 trumpets; piano; guitar; bass; drums. Performs frequently in conjunction with Concert Jazz Ensembles and/or Latin Band. Annual Jazz Artist Residency concert each Spring semester.
18-20 members
Contact: Dr. Doug Leibinger


Brass Ensemble

Ruth Wilson, director
Dr. Brian S. Wilson, guest conductor
Founded in 2004 as an outgrowth of the University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the Sonoma State University Brass Ensemble is a vibrant group of interested trumpet, horn, trombone, baritone and tuba players. The Brass Ensemble plays a major concert each semester and performs community outreach in local churches.
15-20 members
Contact: Ruth Wilson

Concert Band

Dr. Andy Collinsworth, conductor
Concert Band provides students of all ability levels the opportunity for continued musical growth through the careful selection of appropriate repertoire. The ensemble is led by Dr. Andy Collinsworth and assisted by senior music education majors, creating a unique learning environment. The Concert Band typically performs 1-2 concerts per semester in Weill Hall.
Contact Dr. Andy Collinsworth


Guitar Ensemble

Eric Cabalo, director and conductor
Designed for students to perform classical guitar repertoire for duos, trios, quartets and large
ensemble. Guitarists attain a working knowledge of ensemble skills like following a conductor, giving and receiving cues, listening and responding musically to the ensemble, and rehearsal techniques.
10-15 members
Contact: Eric Cabalo

Percussion & Improvisation Ensemble

Jennifer Wilsey Marsh, director
Development of professional chamber ensemble skills is at the core of the course objectives, group improvisational skills is also an essential aspect of this course. Opportunities for student composition and arranging for percussion ensemble are available.
5-10 members
Contact: Jennifer Wilsey

Rock Collegium

Dr. John Palmer, director
Rock Collegium is an outgrowth of MUS 481 –Special Topics Workshop whereby students study various styles of Rock music, compose in those styles and perform their pieces as a final project.
10-15 members playing guitars, vocals, bass, drums
Contact: Dr. John Palmer
Dr. John Palmer


Symphonic Wind Ensemble

Dr. Andy Collinsworth, conductor
The 55-member Symphonic Wind Ensemble is one of the premier large instrumental ensembles at the university. Membership in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble is open to all University students, regardless of major. The group regularly performs four to six concerts on campus during the year, and has performed on tour throughout California.
55 members on all woodwind and brass instruments with orchestral percussion
Contact: Andy Collinsworth




Dr. Alexander Kahn, conductor
Led by Orchestral Studies Program Director Alexander Kahn, the Sonoma State Symphony Orchestra performs a diverse array of orchestral literature, ranging from the Baroque period to world premieres and from classical repertoire to film, opera, and educational works. In addition to performing 2-4 concerts each year in the beautiful confines of Weill Hall, the Symphony Orchestra performs regularly on tour throughout California and beyond. Contact: Alexander Kahn,


Instrumental Repertory Class

Marilyn Thompson, director
Instrumental Rep class is a weekly forum for instrumentalists to perform solo repertoire and chamber music assigned to them by their studio instructor, with regular master classes by visiting artists. Students produce five concerts per semester as a result of these endeavors.
20-30 players on woodwind, brass, string and piano in solo and small groups
Contact: Marilyn Thompson,

Sonoma Musica Viva

Brian S. Wilson, director and conductor
Sonoma Musica Viva is a chamber music alliance at Sonoma State University dedicated to the recognition of significant works from the 20th and 21st centuries. Sonoma Musica Viva combines the talents of university music faculty alongside qualified student performers.
• Sonoma Musica Viva's goal is to make a wider public aware of new music.
• Sonoma Music Viva is committed to bringing to life great, If often overlooked, works for conducted ensembles of mixed instrumentation.
• Sonoma Music Viva concerts have an inviting and informal atmosphere, without the trappings of traditional stuffy classical concerts.
5-20 members
Contact: Brian S. Wilson

Trio Navarro

Marilyn Thompson, piano
Victor Romasevich, violin
Jill Brindel, cello
Trio Navarro is a piano trio (piano, violin and cello) that has served as Music Department Artists in Residence since 1992. They present three concerts of classical music each year. Pianist Marilyn Thompson is director of piano and chamber music at SSU and has performed at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd Street “Y” in New York City, the Phillips Gallery, Washington, D.C., Boston’s Symphony Hall, Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, the Teatro Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica, and Beijing, China. Violinist Victor Romasevich joined the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra as Associate Principal Violist in 1990, and in 1992 moved to the First Violin section. He appears frequently in recitals and chamber concerts as a violinist, violist, and keyboard player. Cellist Jill Rachuy Brindel, a member of the San Francisco Symphony and cello coach SFS Youth Orchestra, is the resident Studio Cello instructor. She has served as a Symphony mentor in the SF Symphony Community of Music Makers program.
Contact: Marilyn Thompson


Student Composers

Will Johnson and Marcia Bauman, coordinators
Student composers in the music composition program present two concerts of original music each semester, collaborating with fellow students, faculty and community performers to produce/perform/conduct their own works.
10-20 performers in vocal, classical, jazz, acoustic and electronic media
Contact: Will Johnson
Contact: Marcia Bauman


Faculty Composers

Brian Wilson and Doug Leibinger, coordinators
SSU faculty composers work in a variety of formats, from classical to avant-garde; from piano/vocal to jazz and more. This eclectic annual event brings together composers and performers from all walks of life in celebration of artistic creativity.
10-30 performers in vocal, classical, jazz, acoustic and electronic media.
Contact: Brian Wilson
Contact: Doug Leibinger