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UCM ensembles performing (Choir and String Quartet)


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Music at UCM

Music at UCM includes more than 250 undergraduate and graduate students. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and a designated All-Steinway School, our highest priority at UCM is inspiring the academic and musical success of all students. Our faculty, many with international and national music careers, have developed outstanding performance opportunities and a music curriculum with high academic standards.

With our many undergraduate degree offerings—including Music Education, Instrumental and Vocal Performance, Jazz and Commercial Music, and Music Technology— and a Master of Arts, UCM is your best opportunity for music.

UCM Music also has many ensemble opportunities for non-Music Majors, scroll down for more information.

Degree Programs, Scholarships, and more

Choose Your Undergraduate Major or Minor in Music

Graduate Degree in Music

Apply for Music Now! Scholarship and Audition Information

Ensembles (Open to all UCM students)

Ensembles at the University of Central Missouri are open to all students regardless of major. Most ensembles require an audition and it is recommended that students contact the directors listed below if they are interested in joining, or for more information.


Chamber Winds and Wind Ensemble

The Wind Ensemble is UCM’s premiere concert band and is open to all UCM students by audition. Auditions are held prior to the first day of classes each fall semester. The Wind Ensemble performs contemporary repertoire for wind ensemble and concert band as well as some of the most important core literature; they are also actively involved in commissioning and premiering new works for winds and percussion by both established and emerging composers.

The Wind Ensemble performs at least two concerts each semester in Hendricks Hall, a Chamber Winds recital in Hart Recital Hall, and at university commencements at the end of each semester. In addition, the Wind Ensemble frequently tours throughout the region. Significant performances include the 2014 Southwest Division Conference of the College Band Directors National Association at the University of Arkansas; 2008, 2011, and 2015 performances at the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference; featured performances in New York's famed Carnegie Hall (2010 and 2016); and the UCM President's Concert at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

Symphonic Band

The UCM Symphonic Band performs three concerts annually and is open to all UCM students. Chair placement auditions are held during the fall semester for participation in the November Winter Bands Concert, with rehearsals beginning at the conclusion of the Marching Mules season. Students who join only for the spring semester will complete their chair placement audition before classes resume after Winter Break.

Students in the Symphonic Band come from all the colleges on UCM campus and have one common mission: to enjoy performing music with other students. The music performed comes from many sources stemming from standard literature of the mid-late twentieth century to modern works composed recently. The ensemble offers music education majors the opportunity to fulfill scholarship obligations in the spring semester and as a home for those in the Wind Ensemble to perform on a secondary instrument through audition.

Marching Mules

The UCM Marching Mules have a tradition of serving the institution as the musical ambassadors for the university community. Consisting of students from almost every department and major on campus, the Marching Mules provide excitement on and off the field during the football season. All members of the Marching Mules receive a $600 service award for their participation, and additional scholarships may be available depending on the student's performance ability and availability to audition for other UCM Music ensembles.

To audition for the Marching Mules, incoming freshmen should complete the prospective member form by clicking here. Once completed, students will be contacted about setting up an audition date on campus or through an acceptable platform (unlisted YouTube link, Skype audition, etc.). Students who wish to audition during their summer orientation session are allowed to do so; however, scholarship funds will likely be completely depleted by that time.

Auditions usually consist of the student performing one or two scales, two contrasting excerpts (something technical and something lyrical), and a short sight-reading excerpt. In many cases a student will simply audition on something they have already prepared for solo/ensemble or an honor band audition. Students are recommended to audition prior to the UCM Music’s February Audition Days, as scholarship funds are assigned quickly after that date.

For more information, please contact Dr. Anthony Pursell, Director of Bands.


The UCM Jazz Bands provide an opportunity for all UCM students to experience performing Jazz at a high level. The program has two big bands, both which serve the campus and regional community in entertaining programs consisting of classic big band charts and contemporary literature.

For more information on the Jazz/Commercial offerings, please contact Dr. David Aaberg, Director


UCM has an outstanding choir program, offering the University Concert Choir, Collegiate Choir, and Women's Choir.

For more information on the choirs, please contact Dr. Adam Zrust, Director of Choirs


The UCM Symphony Orchestra is open to students of all majors by audition. 

For more information on the orchestra, please contact Dr. John Rutland


UCM Percussion is dedicated to excellence from the many areas of percussion to music in general. Percussion students at UCM develop their artistic voice and teaching approaches through the study of percussion at the undergraduate level within Western classical, “World,” Jazz and commercial, chamber, marching, large ensemble, and electronic practices. They also often engage in composition, arranging, and instrument building. All students who are in the percussion studio are required to participate in percussion ensemble as part of their service to the PAS Student Organization. Students are placed into chamber ensembles with which they work on a single piece throughout the entirety of a semester; they receive coachings from Prof. Smith. Because of the music tech major population at UCM Music, some of Prof. Smith’s experiences as a composer and performer of electro-acoustic music, and because experience with music technology for young music professionals is increasingly valuable, the UCM Percussion Ensemble often performs electro-acoustic music.

For more information on the percussion ensemble, please contact Professor Alex Smith


An ensemble comprised of technology-based instruments. This ensemble is open (via audition) to any UCM student who performs on laptop, turntables, or other technology-based instrument. The group performs new compositions, arrangements of traditional works, and pieces for indeterminate instrumentation. Each year, the group issues an international call for works, selecting pieces for performance written by living composers from around the world.

For more information on the New Technologies Ensemble, please contact Dr. Isaac Bickmore


For more information on the New Music Ensemble, please contact Dr. Elisabeth Stimpert


For more information on the Guitar Ensemble, please contact Tom Pender,

Meet the Faculty

Community Music Program

Concert Programs




Eric Honour
Head of Music
Utt 111A
Tel: (660) 543-4530


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