Bands, Ensembles & Orchestras

Department of Music

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Sponsored primarily by the music departments of Abilene Christian UniversityHardin Simmons University, and McMurry University, the Civic Orchestra of Abilene is committed to –

  • Providing an excellent orchestral experience for University students (music majors and non-majors) and faculty;
  • Being a partner with AISD and other schools in the greater Big Country region through joint projects and concerts, membership in the orchestra, and other efforts;
  • An educational mission and focus, reaching and serving the community of Abilene as an artistic ensemble.
  • Additional efforts between the COA, the Universities, schools, and community include musicals, opera productions, special holiday concerts or similar events, chamber music, and other collaboration.

The COA sponsors a biennial Concerto/Aria competition for students from the three Universities, and the winner(s) perform on a concert with the COA.

Rehearsals are held M 5:00-6:00 p.m. (strings only), R 7:00-9:30 p.m. (full orchestra)

For more information visit the Civic Orchestra of Abilene website.

All Instrumental Ensembles

Chamber Orchestra

The ACU Chamber Orchestra meets throughout the year, and serves as the orchestra for the Homecoming Musical, the annual Christmas Vespers, opera productions, and a lab ensemble for orchestration and conducting classes.

All Instrumental Ensembles

Wind Ensemble & Concert Band

Wind Ensemble

The Wind Ensemble comprises the most outstanding wind and percussion students, including music majors and non-majors. Maintaining an active performing schedule, it frequently collaborates with renown guest composers and conductors, tours annually throughout Texas, and regularly performs at conventions and similar venues. The Wind Ensemble has performed at seven TMEA conventions (most recently in 2017) and four CBDNA conferences. In 2010, the group toured internationally to Brazil for a Spring Break concert tour and campaign. Resident composers and conductors have included Carter Pann, Scott McAlister, John Mackey, Steven Bryant, David Maslanka, Fred J. Allen, John Whitwell, and Frank Ticheli.

Rehearsal schedule: MW 11:50-12:50; TR 11:50-1:20. Spring semester.

All Instrumental Ensembles

Concert Band

The Concert Band provides a wonderful outlet for musical creativity, performing high-caliber music in an encouraging and enjoyable environment with a less demanding schedule. The Concert Band often partners with the Wind Ensemble for concerts, and hosting guest conductors and composers. No audition is required.

Rehearsal schedule:  MWF 11:50-12:50. Spring semester.

All Instrumental Ensembles


Jazz Ensemble

The ACU Jazz Ensemble is comprised of 16 to 19 students, both music and non-music majors. Directed by Michael Rogers, this ensemble performs many different styles of music from the Swing era to the present. Its active performance schedule on and off campus consists of annual appearances at Sing Song, various social events and community activities, as well as a three-show concert series. In past years this group has performed at the Wichita Jazz Festival and with professionals such as Allen Vizzutti, Ernie Watts, Carl Fontana, Bill Watrous, Jon Faddis, and Vince DiMartino. Auditions are held on campus during the first week of classes.

All Instrumental Ensembles

Jazz Combos

The ACU jazz combos focus on improvisation with small groups of four to seven students. These combos perform a broad range of jazz standards as well as new compositions and arrangements by the students and faculty. They perform in a wide variety of settings, from on-campus recitals to less formal “gigs” around and out of town. They rehearse 1 hour per week.

All Instrumental Ensembles

For information on booking the ACU Jazz Ensemble or Jazz Combos, please email the music office at or call 325-674-2199.

Contact Dr. Rogers to schedule Jazz Auditions.

Percussion Ensemble & Steelband

The Abilene Christian University Percussion Ensemble and Steelband is a single organization that offers both music majors and non-majors the opportunity to perform a wide range of musical styles and genres. In the category of percussion ensemble music, the group performs everything from standard literature to brand-new compositions. Additionally, the ensemble presents a variety of music for steelband, including socas from Trinidad-Tobago, contemporary popular music, Latin jazz styles, and more. The percussion ensemble is also fortunate to have an outstanding inventory of instruments from around the world, allowing members the opportunity to explore West African drumming, folkloric Afro-Cuban music, and various Brazilian samba traditions.

The ACU Percussion Ensemble and Steelband has been featured as guest artists with the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus Abilene, and has performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention and the Texas Music Educators Association Convention.

For information on booking the ACU Percussion Ensemble or Steelband, please email the music office at or call 325-674-2199. Contact Dr. Teel to learn more about Percussion at ACU.

All Instrumental Ensembles