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Music Ensembles

All Cairn students are eligible to participate in music ensembles and may earn academic, elective, and ministry credit through their participation. Led by directors of the highest quality, all students who participate benefit from the unique experience of making music with peers studying in the diverse programs from across the University.

Chamber Ensembles

Numerous chamber music experiences are available for all Cairn students including string quartets, piano quartets, guitar ensemble, flute choir, saxophone choir, and other traditional and non-traditional chamber music instrumentation.The Roots group provides a unique opportunity for students to explore America’s history of folk, bluegrass, and jazz music within the structured context of the ensemble format. Participation in these ensembles provides room for individual growth within the context of a small ensemble.

Handbell Choir

Directed Mr. Kenneth Borrmann

A five-octave choir with four-octave choir chimes. The Handbell Choir performs classical and sacred music which feature dynamic techniques and compositional approaches within the context of the handbell repertoire. The Handbell Choir tours locally each spring.

Symphony Orchestra

Conducted by Dr. Thomas Hong

Presenting major works from the orchestral repertoire, Symphony Orchestra welcomes students from across the student body to participate and receive stipends. Community members also enjoy the experience of rehearsing and performing with the quality direction and performances made available by the University. For more information on student stipends and community involvement contact [email protected].

Wind Ensemble

Conducted by Ms. Heidi Wolfskill

The University’s largest instrumental ensemble is made up of students, and local community players looking for an exciting and fun music making experience. The repertoire is challenging and engaging allowing the players to explore the vast styles of music written for concert band. Students have the possibility of earning stipends in exchange for their participation!

Chamber Singers

Directed by Dr. David Shockey

A select choral ensemble made up primarily of music majors joined by students from across the university. Repertoire includes sacred and secular music for small vocal ensemble from various periods in music history (primarily classical and predominantly a cappella). Touring annual, the Chamber Singers frequently travel internationally. Some recent tour location include: Austria, Japan, Germany, England, Sweden, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.


Directed by Dr. David Shockey

The University’s concert choir. Touring and performing annually for audiences across the country and around the world, the University Chorale performs major choral works from the standard repertoire. Among the featured selections are oratorios, hymn settings, and spiritual arrangements. This unique cross-section of the University has representatives of nearly all of the 70+ programs offered at Cairn.

Gospel Choir

Directed by Deion Payton

Cairn University’s Gospel Choir is an enthusiastic, engaging, inspirational ensemble, comprised of singers and select instrumentalists. The gospel choir explores music in African-American traditions with a repertoire, which consists of African American Spirituals, African praise music, anthems, hymns, contemporary and jazz influenced worship music.

Chapel Worship Teams

These faculty-led teams are instructed and groom to be able to present effective worship experiences within the context of a band. Emphasis on sound design and arranging equip students with skills in music making as well as communication and group dynamics while providing regular opportunity to put their skills into practice on and off-campus for chapels, conferences, and events.

Jazz Ensemble

Directed by Mr. Daniel Bennett

An ensemble comprised of a flexible mix of traditional jazz band instruments, woodwinds, brass, and strings. Students focus on reading, stylization, improvisation, and composition within the jazz medium. Students explore the pillars jazz tunes while venturing into their own territory or exploration.

Opera Theater

Directed by Mr. Steven Condy

This performance organization trains students on stage in elements of singing, acting, dance, interpretation, set design, lighting design, costuming, staging, stage management, and all other aspects of stage production as they relate to opera and musical theater. Offering both scene and full productions, students have the opportunity to participate in productions where everyone has a principal role from a well-known opera or musical as well as produce full Broadway-styled musicals with a full compliment of roles and pit orchestra.

Contact the School of Music