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Chair of the Division of Music and Performing Arts and Director of Bands
The Horton School of Music prepares students for careers as professional musicians, educators, music therapists and worship leaders and furthers the performing arts in the Charleston region and beyond.
The Horton School of Music consists of four undergraduate degree programs.
CSU is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.
Auditions & Scholarships
All prospective students are eligible for music scholarships based on successful completion of an audition. All incoming students wishing to audition for the Horton School of Music are eligible to receive scholarships, but only incoming freshman music majors may be awarded the Premiere Scholarship. To register for an audition, please fill out the Music Scholarship Application. It is recommended you audition for a music scholarship during your senior year of high school. An audition date and time will be confirmed after receiving your Music Scholarship Application form.
- Bel Canto
Bel Canto was established as the CSU Women’s Chorale in the fall of 1999 under the direction of Jennifer Canfield with only 18 singers. During the past 13 years, they have continued to receive high praise for their excellence in choral singing and promoting the beauty of the treble voices through their performances on campus and throughout the area.
Membership in Bel Canto is open to females on campus, regardless of major and does not require an audition.
- Chamber Ensembles
The Horton School of Music chamber ensembles are designed to offer students a performance venue in which they are exposed to music for smaller instrumentation and a more intimate nature, such as flute choir, woodwind quintet, brass ensemble and percussion ensemble. The CSU chamber ensembles perform both on and off campus every semester and offer students the musical experience necessary for a career in music performance and/or public school teaching. Membership in the Chamber Ensembles is open to any student currently enrolled in the large ensembles or studio lessons. Current Chamber Ensembles include:
– Chamber Ensembles
– Buc Brass Choir
– Low Brass Choir
– Clarinet Choir
– Contemporary Collaborations
– Flute Choir
– Guitar Ensemble
– Percussion Ensemble
– Saxophone Quartet
– Piano Ensemble
- Concert Singers
The university’s premier vocal ensemble, the Concert Singers, specialize in music of all genres. The 28-member group is composed of music majors, music minors and nonmajors and has performed throughout the East Coast and in Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, England, Germany and Scotland. They have performed twice in the Washington, D.C., National Cathedral and at St. Patrick’s in New York City in addition to performing at various schools and churches in Virginia, New Jersey, South Carolina and Florida.
Membership in the Concert Singers is by audition or permission of the instructor, with students of any major permitted to audition.
- Jazz Ensembles
Jazz Band: The Jazz Band is a select ensemble of the university. Membership in the Jazz Band ranges from 18 to 20 musicians.The CSU Jazz Band provides students with the opportunity to play jazz in a large ensemble setting and covers styles from the swing era to the present day. The ensemble performs concerts both on and off campus throughout the school year.
Membership in the Jazz Band is by audition or permission of the director, with students of any major permitted to audition.
Jazz Combo: Charleston Southern also offers a smaller performing ensemble. The CSU Jazz Combo consists of between four and nine students and provides students with the opportunity to perform in the improvisation-based small group setting. The group also performs regularly on campus and in the community throughout the academic year.
Membership is by audition or invitation by the director, with students of any major permitted to audition.
- Lyric Theatre
Lyric Theatre produces a season of fully staged productions, opera and musical revues, cabaret and other scene style productions each year. CSU’s Lyric Theatre has produced shows like “South Pacific,” “Oklahoma,” “The Music Man,” “The Wizard of Oz,” and “West Side Story.” Lyric Theatre has also performed in the Piccolo Spoleto Festival and has offered performances for thousands of public and private school students in the Charleston area.
Auditions are open to all Charleston Southern students, regardless of major.
- Athletic Bands
Pride of the Lowcountry (Fall)
The Pride of the Lowcountry is the premier marching band of the university. New members receive a $1,000 activity grant for the first year, and the award grows each year to $2,000 by your senior year. Full activity grant amount is awarded through successful participation in Pride of the Lowcountry marching band in the fall, Sixth Man Pep Band in the fall and spring, and Symphonic Band in the spring. The time commitment is much less than for high school band: 1. band camp is the week before classes begin, not in the middle of the summer; 2. we only practice during class time and game days; 3. performances are limited to an average of five home and two away games – not every weekend!
Membership is open to any student on campus, regardless of prior experience or major.
Sixth Man Pep Band (Fall-Spring)
Sixth Man Pep Band participation is required with enrollment in the Pride of the Lowcountry Marching Buccaneers and the Symphonic Band. Members of the Pride of the Lowcountry will rotate into various squads for basketball pep band performances. The Sixth Man Pep Band plays for the CSU men’s and women’s basketball games on campus and travels to two or three away games during the season.
Membership is open to any student on campus, regardless of prior experience or major.
- Singing Buccaneers
The Singing Buccaneers men’s vocal ensemble was formed in 2000 by former CSU voice faculty member, Anthony Offerle, and is a group of singers from many majors. These gentlemen perform concerts on and off campus and in local schools and churches. It is the goal of this ensemble to explore a variety of vocal literature and refine the performing skills of the members.
Membership in the Singing Buccaneers is open to male CSU students, regardless of major and does not require an audition.
The CSU Orchestra is an ensemble limited to string students, with winds being added from the Wind Ensemble ranks during a portion of rehearsals and concerts each semester to perform some full symphonic orchestra music. The CSU Orchestra performs selections from chamber orchestra, string orchestra and full orchestra literature.
The CSU Orchestra is open to any student enrolled at the university who has experience performing in high school orchestra or the equivalent.
- Symphonic Band
The Symphonic Band performs the finest literature available for winds and percussion from the Renaissance through the 21st century. Activity grants are available to participating students. Full activity grant amount is awarded through successful participation in the Pride of the Lowcountry marching band in the fall, the Sixth Man Pep Band in the fall and spring, and Symphonic Band in the spring.
The CSU Symphonic Band is the largest non-auditioned instrumental ensemble of the university. Membership is open to any student on campus, regardless of prior experience.
- Wind Ensemble
The Wind Ensemble is the premier wind and percussion ensemble of the university. The ensemble performs the finest literature available for winds and percussion from the Renaissance through the 21st century. In the summer of 2016, the Wind Ensemble performed in the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles Conference in Prague, Czech Republic, and the Mid-Europe Wind Music Festival in Schladming, Austria. Charleston Southern’s Wind Ensemble receives many invitations to perform in a variety of international festivals and conferences. Scholarships are available through a successful audition into the ensemble.
Membership in the Wind Ensemble is by audition or permission of the instructor, with any student permitted to audition.
- Worship Ensembles
Elevate Worship is the premier worship ensemble that leads worship and praise services both on and off campus throughout the academic year. This ensemble primarily prepares music in the modern worship style but occasionally sings different hymns of faith and genres of Christian music in the traditional setting. The Elevate worship ensemble performs many weekend services in churches and schools throughout the Lowcountry. This ensemble travels with a praise team style band which includes vocalists, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, bass guitar, keyboard and piano and drums.
Membership in Elevate Worship is by audition or permission of the instructor, with any student permitted to audition.
Total Praise is a campus choir that leads worship in a variety of different Christian worship styles. The ensemble performs selections in genres ranging from Hymns & Spirituals, Contemporary Christian, Southern Gospel to African American Gospel music. This group celebrates Christian unity through a diversity of music.
Membership in Total Praise is open to any CSU student, regardless of major and does not require an audition.
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