Westminster ensembles are open to capable and committed students, faculty, staff, and in some cases, members of the community. Ensembles include:
- Westminster Chorale
- Westminster Chamber Singers
- Westminster Jazz Ensemble
- Westminster Chamber Players
- Westminster Chamber Orchestra
- Westminster Opera Studio
Attending Ensemble Events
Westminster University's music program holds many performances throughout the year. Check out all upcoming performing arts events and venue details.
The Westminster Chorale is a place for anyone to sing. Community members, college students, faculty, and staff are all welcome to rehearse every Tuesday evening in the beautiful new Manship Choral Room in Gillmor Hall. Under the inspiring direction of Dr. Jane Fjeldsted and pianist Emily Williams, this fun and inclusive group typically performs a wide variety of classical, traditional, folk, and popular styles of choral music.
Westminster Chamber Singers offers students the opportunity to create and perform excellent choral music from the Renaissance through composers of our day. Performances include concerts in Vieve Gore Concert Hall, community engagements, and regular tours both national and international. Follow along with the Chamber Singers as they travel throughout Italy to sing in beautiful churches from Rome to Venice.
This ensemble is actively trained in the art of jazz improvisation and typically performs at least once a semester. Students may participate in this ensemble with instruments of their choice; the instrumental make-up of the group changes from semester to semester, and vocalists are welcome to join. Many students make arrangements and charts. Past repertoire includes jazz, blues, '40s rhythm and blues, rock and roll, funk, jazz fusion, free jazz, viral jazz, soul, pop, and hip-hop.
The Westminster Chamber Players consists of students who are interested in performing chamber music with one player per part. Students will be coached by string or piano faculty, who are seasoned chamber musicians. The group is open to instrumentalists and singers pursuing any major.
This ensemble takes students through the entire process of learning a role for an opera, musical or operetta -- from casting and preparation to rehearsal and performance, culminating in a fully staged performance with lighting, set elements, costumes, staging and choreography. Course work includes daily improvisations, movement and acting exercises, analysis of performances, discussions of expectations and demands at the professional level, and cultivation of singer-specific rehearsal and performance techniques. Successful collaboration is a major factor in the final performance: Opera Studio regularly collaborates with the Dance Department and Theatre faculty throughout the semester for immersive interdisciplinary performances and learning. Previous vocal training ideal but not required.
Chamber Orchestra Auditions
All Westminster University student, faculty, and staff musicians, as well as members of the community, are welcome to audition for the Chamber Orchestra each semester. Fall 2022 auditions are open to all string, wind, and percussion players and will take place on Aug. 18, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. in the rehearsal room of the Jewett Center. Contact Dr. Brandon Derfler if you are interested in auditioning.
- Full-Time Faculty
- Associate Professor
- Composition, theory, and technology
- Music Theory, Music History, Orchestral Conducting, Music Composition, and Piano
Ph.D. University of Washington
M.A. Univ North Carolina Chapel Hl
B.A. University of Utah