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Student Activities

  • The Department of Music, Dance & Theatre offers a wide selection of musical opportunities for its students. The performance possibilities range from solo recitals to chamber music, large instrumental, and choral ensemble concerts to opera and musical theatre productions. Take a minute to browse through our myriad of diverse performance opportunities below.

     NJCU Orchestra

    The NJCU Orchestra (formerly the Jersey City State College- Community Orchestra) was established in 1989 by its present director, Dr. Edward Raditz. It has been the tradition of the ensemble to present major works for orchestra and major solo works for piano, violin, cello, voice and other orchestral instruments. Soloists include guest artists and music faculty. On some occasions an extremely talented music major is given the opportunity to perform as soloist with the orchestra. Most of the orchestra members also play in the opera orchestra for the fall productions.

     Symphony of Winds and Percussion

    The Symphony of Winds and Percussion has been the university band since its inception. Though it is a laboratory experience for music performance and music education majors, it brings a wealth of the most high level literature to its audiences. In perspective, it features the performance of original works, orchestral transcriptions and past literature written explicitly for the areas of Winds and Percussion on a professional level.

    It is within this organization that high level students as well as artists, who have traveled the world, get an opportunity to be featured as soloists.

    The Symphony of Winds & Percussion performs on and off-campus. The off-campus activities include performing for high schools in the region as well as community fund raising events. The organization is versatile in its programming, and as a result, can support any function requiring its instrumentation, both indoors and out.

    Those signing up for this organization will be extremely satisfied with the scope and content of its endeavors.

    The NJCU Jazz Ensemble

    THE NJCU JAZZ ENSEMBLE, under the direction of Professor Edward Joffe, has achieved national acclaim over the last seventeen years. A faculty of world class New York area jazz artists in addition to the frequent guest artists who visit the University every semester have contributed to this ensemble's growth. Recent guests have included Joe Lovano, Claudio Roditi, Toshiko Akiyoshi & Lew Tabackin, John Fedchock, Barry Harris, Charles McPherson, Jimmy Heath, Peter Erskine, Marvin Stamm, Eddie Daniels, Mike Longo and Maria Schneider. Largely comprised of undergraduate and graduate students from the BM and MM in Jazz Performance degree programs, the NJCU JAZZ ENSEMBLE performs regularly at jazz clubs and schools throughout the greater New York/New Jersey metropolitan region as well as on campus. During recent years, this group has been featured at The Blue Note, Birdland, Trumpets and Cecil's nightclubs. In 2010, the NJCU Jazz Ensembles released their 6th album—Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow. Prospective jazz majors will receive a copy of this CD. Previous releases have been featured on the nation's largest jazz station, WBGO-FM. The Ensemble's repertoire spans the history of big bands: from Fletcher Henderson, Benny Carter, and Duke Ellington; to Thad Jones, Bob Mintzer, Gordon Goodwin, and Maria Schneider. In addition, original compositions by student and faculty are frequently performed.

    NJCU Jazz Ensemble performs "Big Bruiser" (.mp3 file / Time 0:43)

     Concert Chorale

    The Concert Chorale is a mixed choir of about 50 singers. Its membership includes music majors, and it is open to non-music majors by audition. Each semester the Concert Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Robert Prowse, performs an on-campus concert. This concert often includes a large choral work with soloists and orchestral accompaniment. Occasionally, the choir performs additional off-campus programs. These off-campus performances have included appearances at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Participants receive University credit.

    NJCU Percussion Ensemble

    The NJCU Percussion Ensemble, directed by Greg Giannascoli, performs music specifically composed for percussion as the main instrument, as opposed to being an accompaniment instrument. The music is composed in a wide variety of musical styles: Classical, Contemporary, Jazz and Latin to name only a few.

    The music is usually more challenging that found in a band or orchestra, and as a result, often more interesting to perform. A student will learn to play in a small ensemble setting, playing both with a conductor and also learning the very different skills of performing without a conductor. Students will learn performance techniques, both standard and experimental, on a wide array of instruments, many traditional, many unusual.

    The ensemble travels to area high schools during the semester, and so performers get a number of opportunities to perform their pieces, and to experience what it is like to play in a variety of performance spaces. The ensemble also gets opportunities to perform with noted guest artists, such as Neil Grover, Glen Velez, Jeff Queen and She-e Wu, who also have given master classes to the students in the program.


    Chamber Singers


    The Chamber Singers is a mixed choir of 12 to 16 singers, open by audition to any NJCU student who wishes to try out. This group, directed by Dr. Robert Prowse, performs a mix of literature, from Renaissance madrigals to contemporary chamber choir repertoire, to folk and popular pieces. The Chamber Singers performs in on-campus concerts each semester, and sings occasionally for special events both on and off campus. Participants receive University credit.

    NJCU Studio Orchestra

    THE NJCU STUDIO ORCHESTRA was created by Professor Edward Joffe during the Spring 2005 semester. This group of 20-40 musicians consists of undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, and faculty. They perform music not ordinarily associated with the traditional big band including music written for commercial recordings as well as jazz settings. The repertoire makes use of the unique instrumental abilities of many of the woodwind musicians enrolled in the Master of Music in Multiple Woodwinds degree program as well as the inclusion of strings and vocalists. The compositions and arrangements of Eddie Sauter, Bill Finegan, Johnny Richards, George Handy, Gil Evans, Oliver Nelson, Billy Byers, and Nelson Riddle have been featured in recent concerts.

    NJCU Studio Orchestra performs "Dalvatore Sally" (.mp3 file / Time 0:43)

    The Lab Band

    THE LAB BAND, under the direction of Grammy Award nominated composer/arranger Pete McGuinness, is an ensemble of 12-14 musicians which performs the music written for small "big" bands. Like the NJCU JAZZ ENSEMBLE, this group explores a potpourri of jazz styles and compositions including the music of Bill Holman, Thad Jones, Dave Pike, Gerry Mulligan, Shorty Rodgers, Frank Foster, Ernie Wilkens, Horace Silver, among many others. The LAB BAND performs regularly on campus each semester as well as at jazz clubs throughout New Jersey. Great emphasis is put on learning to read and interpret jazz notation, section playing, and improvising. The group also benefits from the instructor's abilities and experience as one of the finest jazz arrangers in the music industry. Original compositions are written specifically for this ensemble every semester in order to feature the unique talents of its members.

    The Lab Band performs "Jazz Goes to Siwash" (.mp3 file / Time 2:54)

     Jazz Combos

    The JAZZ COMBOS provide undergraduate and graduate jazz performance majors with opportunities to continue to refine their improvisational skills. Ensembles of four to six members are created each semester to explore the music of great jazz artists in addition to allowing students the chance to perform their original compositions and arrangements. In recent semesters, jazz combos have featured the music of Horace Silver, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, The Adderleys, The Bronx Horns, The Yellow Jackets, Tower of Power, Tom Harrell. Benny Carter and Wayne Shorter. Additionally, there is also a Brazilian Combo and an Afro-Cuban Ensemble that music majors are eligible to participate in. Under the direction of members of the jazz faculty, these groups perform frequently on-campus as well as outside the University. Over the last several years, NJCU Jazz Combos have been featured in live performances on WBGO-FM.

    Jazz Combos performs "While There's Time" (.mp3 file / Time 0:47)

     Jazz Vocal Ensemble

    THE JAZZ VOCAL ENSEMBLE is a mixed group of five to eight singers consisting of undergraduate and graduate music majors. Under the direction of pianist/composer/arranger Allen Farnham, this group performs a wide variety of material drawn from groups such as New York Voices, Manhattan Transfer, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, as well as arrangements written specifically for the group. This ensemble has recently performed at The Blue Note, Birdland and Trumpet's nightclubs in addition to concerts on-campus every semester.

     Musical Theatre Workshop

    The Musical Theatre Workshop is offered every semester, by audition. Any NJCU student may try out. Participants receive University credit. In the fall, the workshop revolves around the presentation of a "scenes" program. In the spring, the department does a full production in Margaret Williams Theatre, complete with scenery, costumes, and a pit orchestra. Recent spring musicals have included Anything Goes, The Secret Garden, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, Nunsense, and Grease. (The department offers a Bachelor of Arts degree program in Musical Theatre.)

     Opera Workshop

    A performing ensemble with emphasis and exploration on elements of operatic literature, in combination with stage technique and vocal ability.  (View the complete Opera Workshop brochure featuring audition information, faculty list, syllabus, and much more.)

    New Jersey City Opera Workshop is a performing ensemble with emphasis and exploration on elements of operatic literature, in combination with stage technique and vocal ability. Assessment of this course may include scene programs, one-act operas, or full length productions with piano or orchestral accompaniment.

    The student will receive structured lessons in: Stage movement, character development, rehearsal techniques, musical coachings, basic costume, make-up and prop training. In addition each participant will also be involved in theatre training possibilities including scenic design, lighting, costume design and stage management.

     Solo Recitals



    Chelsea Hughey, Drums, Graduate Recital
    Thursday, March 26th
    7:00 p.m.
    Ingalls Hall 

    Hope Lane, Musical Theatre, Senior Recital
    Tuesday, April 23rd
    7:30 p.m.
    West Side Theatre 

    Lynne Ferrara, Voice, Graduate Recital
    Friday, April 16th
    8:00 p.m.
    Ingalls Hall 

    Ansy Francois, Saxophone, Junior Recital
    Monday, April 20th
    7:00 p.m.
    Ingalls Hall 

    Edward John Enright, Guitar, Senior Recital
    Wednesday, April 22nd
    7:00 p.m.
    Ingalls Hall 

    Taylor Munoz, Voice, Junior Recital
    Tuesday, April 28th
    7:30 p.m.
    Ingalls Hall

    Jesus Garcia, Saxophone, Graduate Recital
    Thursday, April 30
    2:30 p.m.
    Ingalls Hall

    Karlhey Frederic, Voice, Senior Recital
    Sunday, May 3
    3:00 p.m.
    Ingalls Hall

    Arline Jofre, Flute, Senior Recital
    Monday, May 4
    7:30 p.m.
    Ingalls Hall

    Katherine Le Fevre, Musical Theatre, Senior Recital
    Tuesday, May 5
    7:30 p.m.
    West Side Theatre

    Eliza Tipton, Violin, Senior Recital
    Wednesday, May 6
    7:30 p.m.
    Ingalls Hall

    Katherine Acosta, Musical Theatre, Senior Recital
    Wednesday, May 6
    7:30 p.m.
    West Side Theatre

    Ashley Leone, Musical Theatre, Senior Recital
    Thursday, May 7
    7:30 p.m.
    West Side Theatre

    Darius Phillips, Musical Theatre, Senior Recital
    Friday, May 8
    7:30 p.m.
    West Side Theatre

    Anthony Bianco, Bass, Junior Recital
    Saturday May 9
    3:00 p.m.
    Ingalls Hall