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Music Ensembles and Organizations

The ETBU Choirs and Bands perform under the direction of Dr. Justin Hodges and Mark Crim. The ETBU Choirs are comprised of students majoring in almost every discipline offered at ETBU. While some of these groups require an audition, all students are encouraged to participate. For more information contact the appropriate music faculty for information regarding these ensembles.

The ETBU Bands and Chamber Ensembles are exciting and highly skilled performing organizations that provide performance opportunities for all students majoring in almost every discipline offered at ETBU. While some of these groups require an audition, all students with training and experience in wind instrument or percussion instrument performance are encouraged to participate. For more information, contact the appropriate music faculty for information regarding these ensembles.

Hilltop Singers

What is Hilltop Singers?
Hilltop Singers is a select choral chamber ensemble, selected by audition from the singers in Concert Choir. The Hilltop Singers present several concerts, including a Christmas concert, each year and also perform in the Music Department's spring and fall choral concerts. In addition to singing in several University Chapel services each semester, the group is often invited to perform for local and area churches and civic groups. This ensemble studies and performs choral chamber music from different periods and styles including madrigal, pop, jazz, and classical literature. 

Do I have to be a music major?
No. The only requirement is that you are currently in Concert Choir. Students interested in auditioning for Hilltop Singers should contact Cammy Burkhalter, Assistant Professor of Music, School of Communication and Performing Arts. 

So what is a typical Hilltop Singers audition like?
The audition usually consists of prospective singers auditioning during a Hilltop Singers rehearsal; prospective singers will read a choral piece with the current members. Based on that, Dr. Hodges makes his decision on who will join Hilltop Singers.

Okay. I want in! When are auditions?
When spots become available, Dr. Hodges normally announces auditions at the beginning of each semester. Anyone in Concert Choir, regardless of age or major, is invited to audition for Hilltop Singers. We would love for you to come and be a part of our Hilltop Singers family!

Being in Hilltop Singers is a wonderful opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there. Yes, the group is much smaller but there is something wonderful about being in a close, tight-knit group of singers and making music with them. We travel, we sing some really great music, and the dynamic is unlike any other choral experience because of the small group size.

Not for you but still want to hear us? Join us at our next concert!

Contact Information
Cammy Burkhalter
Assistant Professor of Music, Music Education Coordinator
903.923.2155 |

Men's Choir

The Men's Choir is a non-auditioned ensemble that performs music of all styles and genres. The choir regularly collaborates with the ETBU Concert Choir and Women's Choir and also regularly performs at university events.

Who can be in Men's Choir?
Anyone (males only!) who has the desire to sing and be part of a choir.

For more information about Men's Choir, please email Dr. Justin Hodges.

Interested? Awesome! We can't wait to start making music with you! If you are ready to be part of Men's Choir, register for MUSI1138.07.

Women's Choir

The Women's Choir is a non-auditioned ensemble that performs music of all styles and genres. The choir regularly collaborates with the ETBU Concert Choir and Men's Choir and also regularly performs at university events.

For more information about Women's Choir, please email Laurie Lee Cosby.

Interested? Great! We can't wait for you to join us. If you're ready to be part of Women's Choir, register for MUSI1138.08.

Concert Choir

What is Concert Choir?

The Concert Choir is a select group of mixed voices, which performs some of the more challenging music from the various periods and styles. This choir serves as a public relations arm of the Music Department and tours in the spring of each year. Membership is by audition and formal attire is required. Music laboratory credit may be earned in this course. 

Who can be in Concert Choir?
Since Concert Choir membership is by audition only, anyone who has a successful audition is welcome.

Contact Information
Dr. Justin Hodges
Chair, Department of Music
903.923.2162 |

Musical Theater

We offer Musical Theatre productions every other year in collaboration with the Department of Theatre Arts. The productions offer students practical application in the basic skills of acting, movement, singing, stagecraft, makeup, choreography, and leadership in these areas, as well as opportunities for assisting in musical theatre directing and stage management. ETBU Musical Theatre productions are fully-staged and costumed productions with orchestral accompaniment. The Marshall Civic Center serves as the performance venue for these productions. 

The repertoire performed is varied and carefully selected to allow the students an opportunity to discover their full potential as a singing actor. 

Musical Theatre (MUSI 1159)
Musical Theatre is open to all students regardless of major. Auditions are required for participation in these productions. Past productions include: Bock's She Loves Me, Schoolhouse Rock, Live!, Sondheim's Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George, Urinetown, and Fiddler on the Roof.


The Opera Workshop and Opera Theatre courses at ETBU offer our students the opportunity to experience fully-staged operas and scenes programs. Productions are carefully selected with several goals in mind, including exposure to a wide variety of repertoire in a broad range of theatrical and musical styles and periods. We also strive to provide both solo and ensemble opportunities that offer the best fit, both dramatically and vocally, for each student in the production.

Preparation for each production emphasizes process, as well as product; in other words, we structure our productions to educate our students, not just to produce high-quality entertainment for our audiences. We aim for the highest standards of performing excellence through individualized, consistent training in the areas of character development, language, appropriate historical style, and movement, with the goal of allowing our students to discover their potential as singing actors.

Additionally, we provide our students with the knowledge and application of the basic skills of stagecraft, makeup, set construction, costuming, and lighting. 

Opera Theatre (MUSI 3157)
The Opera Theatre program provides our students opportunities for major and secondary roles in a fully-staged opera production. Our productions are typically accompanied by chamber orchestra and are staged in Mabee Recital Hall. The Opera Theatre course is open to all students, regardless of major, but experience in Opera Workshop and Beginning Acting is required. Additionally, auditions are required for participation.  Past productions include: Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, Pergolesi's La Serva Padrona, Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief, Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, and Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel.

Opera Workshop (MUSI 1157)
In Opera Workshop, we present our students in varied programs of scenes from the broad operatic repertory. Participation in Opera Workshop is open to all students, regardless of major and experience, though auditions may be required for casting purposes only. The scenes programs allow beginning and advanced students to participate in solo, ensemble, and chorus roles from great operas, before they participate in full-length operas. Typically, our scenes programs are accompanied by piano and staged in Mabee Recital Hall.

Symphonic Band

The Symphonic Band meets in the spring semester and is the premiere instrumental ensemble at ETBU. The band tours regionally and nationally every two years, and performs concerts on campus, in the Marshall community and in churches and schools throughout the area. The band programs classic band literature as well as the newest compositions by today’s composers.  The band has recently participated in commissioning new compositions by David Holsinger and Gregory Youtz.

In March 2015 the Symphonic Band traveled by train from Marshall to Chicago to perform in the prestigious Percy Grainger Festival held at Orchestra Hall, home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  The band performed music of Grainger, Holst, Handel and a new transcription of a Ralph Vaughn Williams work by local composer-arranger James Mears.  The band's itinerary included a tour of the Art Institute of Chicago and a performance by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

The Symphonic Band is comprised of music majors studying to be professional musicians and music teachers as well as students from nearly every academic discipline. It is open by audition to any student attending ETBU.  Interested high school students are invited to sit in with the band during our regular rehearsal time Monday-Thursday from 4-5:15pm.  "Band Ensemble" scholarships are available to non-music majors participating in Symphonic Band. 

Marching Band

The ETBU Tiger Marching Band is a dynamic part of campus life. The Tiger Marching Band performs at all ETBU home football games, pep rallies, parades and occasional out-of-town performances.  The band is made up of students from every academic major, with non-music majors making up two-thirds of the band's membership.  Rehearsals are planned around your busy schedules, with rehearsals Monday through Thursday 4-5:15pm, just five hours per week! Students are able to juggle their academic courses and work on or off campus with their membership in the band.

High school students with an interest in ETBU and the Tiger Bands are invited play in the stands with us during the game or join us for the "Tiger Walk" and tailgating before the game! 

Auditions for the Tiger Marching Band are not required for non-music majors. However, there are placement auditions for certain sections of the band (i.e. colorguard, feature twirlers and drumline). Non-music majors may qualify for a "Band Ensemble" scholarship to help pay for your education.  Contact Mark Crim, Director of Bands, for more information or download the band camp information at the end of the page.

Contact information
Mark Crim, Director of Bands
903.923.2168 |

Jazz Band

The ETBU Jazz Band provides an opportunity for students to learn to play various jazz styles that will prepare them for careers in teaching or performance. In addition to traditional big band jazz, the band provides opportunities to improvise and other forms such as Blues, Latin, Jazz-Rock Fusion, and Funk. The Jazz Band presents two campus concerts annually and performs at numerous sites in Marshall and in surrounding communities through tours to high schools and churches. Recent performance repertoire includes: Count Bubba by Gordon Goodwin, Anthropology arranged by Victor Goines, Birk’s Works and Black Bird arranged by Mike Tomaro, La Suerte de los Tontos arranged by Victor Lopez, and Quintessence by Quincy Jones.

The ETBU Jazz Band is an auditioned ensemble open to performers on saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, piano, bass, and drums. Auditions are open to all students regardless of major.

Contact information
Dr. Doug Lockard
School of Communication and Performing Arts 
903.923.2167 |

Chamber Ensembles

ETBU Instrumental Program offers students many opportunities to participate in chamber ensembles. These groups are open to all ETBU students regardless of their major, and, in some cases, faculty, local professionals, and other non-ETBU students will participate. These ensembles perform for various on-campus concerts, local civic clubs, commencement exercises, Tiger Awards, and many other venues.

The following is a list of the chamber ensembles that are offered.

  • Flute Choir
  • Woodwind Choir
  • Saxophone Quartet
  • Brass Choir
  • Trumpet Choir
  • Guitar Ensemble
  • Percussion Ensemble   
  • Handbell Choir  

Contact information
Dr. Doug Lockard
School of Communication and Performing Arts 
903.923.2167 |   


NAfME Collegiate Chapter

ETBU's chapter of The National Association for Music Education (NAfME, formerly MENC) is also affiliated with Collegiate Texas Music Educators and Texas Music Educators Conference (the state chapter of NAfME).  It exists for the purpose of:
Making available to members opportunities for professional development;
Acquainting students with the privileges and responsibilities of the music education profession;
Providing all members with the opportunity to become acquainted with leaders in the music education profession through participation in programs, demonstrations, discussions, workshops, and performances planned by this chapter, the state music educators association, and the National Association for Music Education;
Assisting the school in various projects throughout the year; and
Providing the opportunity to have contact with collegiate members from other schools.
This group organizes a yearly trip to the Texas Music Educators Association convention in San Antonio.  Recent accomplishments include winning Best Booth at the 2014 Homecoming Carnival with their Instrument Petting Zoo and receiving Chapter Growth Awards from the national organization for both the 2013-2014 and 2014-15 school years.  Membership is open to any ETBU student interested in music teaching and learning.  The group's faculty advisor is Cammy Burkhalter, Assistant Professor of Music and Music Education Coordinator. 

Tau Beta Sigma and Kappa Kappa Psi

Tau Beta Sigma and Kappa Kappa Psi are honorary service organizations whose sole purpose is to serve the college or university band programs through service projects, fundraisers, social events, and other projects as needed.  Tau Beta Sigma operates primarily as a student service and leadership recognition society whose chief aim is to assist the directors in developing the leadership and enthusiasm that they require of their band.  Our goals are not only to provide the band with organized and concentrated service activities, but to give our membership valid and wholesome experiences in organization, leadership, and social contacts.  The honorary nature of membership is based on our premise that "It is an honor to be selected to serve" this band, its department of music, its sponsoring institution, and the cause of band music in the nation's colleges and universities.  On the local level, chapter responsibilities include concentrated service activities as well as providing the intangible items of morale, spirit, enthusiasm, atmosphere, and attitude within the band.  As noted in the Preamble of our Constitution and as charged in much of our Ritual, the cultivation and maintenance of an agreeable and enthusiastic attitude is mandatory for all of our members, and this serves to foster the wholesome and cooperative spirit that each director wants for his/her band. 

Mr. Mark Crim is the advisor for the ETBU Tau Beta Sigma and Kappa Kappa Psi chapters. For more information, visit the KKY/TBS website.