The Music Department of the University at Buffalo offers a wide variety of performing ensembles: resident professional ensembles, faculty ensembles, student-run ensembles, as well as a number of ensembles in which professionals, faculty, and students work side-by-side. Information regarding auditions and rehearsal schedules is found in each individual group's page. The vast majority of student ensembles are open to all students in the university, regardless of major.

Large Ensembles

UB Symphony in Slee Hall
The Slee Sinfonietta is the professional chamber orchestra in residence at the University at Buffalo and the flagship ensemble of the Robert and Carol Morris Center for 21st Century Music. The Sinfonietta presents a series of concerts each year that feature performances of challenging new works by contemporary composers and lesser-known works from the chamber orchestra repertoire. Founded in 1997 by composer David Felder, and comprised of a core group including UB faculty performance artists, visiting artists, national and regional professionals and advanced performance students, the group is conducted by leading conductors and composers. This ensemble has produced world-class performances of important repertoire for fourteen years, and its activities include touring, professionally produced recordings, and unique concert experiences for listeners of all levels of experience.
UB Chorus is the vocal ensemble for students who:
  • like to sing in a large chorus often accompanied by orchestra
  • are free to sing only after 5 p.m.
  • might be apprehensive about auditioning for a smaller ensemble
Recent concerts by the Chorus include The Creation by Haydn, German Requiem by Brahms, Carmina Burana by Orff, and Requiem by Fauré.
UB Concert Band presents a diverse repertoire during two concerts each year. Recent concerts have featured works by Bach, Wagner, Ellington, Zappa, Shostakovich, and others. The ensemble is open by audition to students of all majors.
The UB Symphony Orchestra is a full-sized symphony orchestra with more than 60 members, composed of UB students of a variety of majors and select community members, conducted by Music Director Rachel Lauber. The orchestra presents at least four public concerts in Lippes Concert Hall each year. The 2013-2014 season features a year-long celebration of "Shakespeare-In-Music", in honor of April 2014's 450th anniversary of 'The Bard'. The UBSO will present classic staples from the repertoire--such as Tchaikovsky's immortal "Romeo and Juliet" Fantasy-Overture, and Ralph Vaughan-Williams' "Serenade to Music"--alongside lesser-known masterworks like Franz Liszt's tone poem, "Hamlet", Mily Balakirev's overture to "King Lear", and BedÃ…â"¢ich Smetana's "Richard III" (each of which the UBSO will present in the area-premiere performances!). In addition to our four Lippes Concert Hall performances, this year the UBSO will partner with vital cultural institutions from around Buffalo and present run-out community concerts featuring season repertoire. Fall Semester auditions will take place during the first week of classes, with auditions-by-appointment available during the week directly preceding classes.
UB Choir is an auditioned ensemble, though the choir is open to all majors. The choir performs once each semester and rehearses twice a week. Recent concerts by the Chorus include In the Beginning by Aaron Copland, Magnificat by J.S. Bach, and Verdi's Requiem, performed in Carnegie Hall, with UB Chorus and 4 other choirs.

Chamber Ensembles

Jon Nelson Conducting
The UB Contemporary Ensemble is devoted to the preparation and performance of music from our time. Auditions are held at the beginning of each semester. The course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Instrumentation varies from semester to semester based on the makeup of the ensemble.
The Genkin Philarmonic is a collaborative ensemble comprised of UB Music Department faculty, students, alumni, and local performing artists. The band draws on musical genres spanning rock, jazz, improvised and chamber music, and features works by Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, and other avant rock composers.
PLOSION Flute Ensemble specializes in chamber music written for and/or including flutes. Recent performances include WBFO-FM Radio's "OPUS: Classics Live", the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Monet Exhibition (Gala Openings), Baird and Slee Recital Halls, and concerts for William Christie (Les Arts Florissant).
Dedicated to the study and performance of new works for a variety of solo and multiple percussionists, the UB Percussion Ensemble regularly performs both on and off campus, including at a number of major festivals and conferences.
UB Jazz Ensemble offers opportunities for both small combo lineups and big band groups. Instrumentation and repertoire varies by semester.
The World Music Ensemble course is one of the UB's most unique and multi-faceted ensemble opportunities, offering instruction and performance opportunities in diverse world music traditions. Standard orchestral instruments, along with traditional instruments from Argentina, Eastern Europe and others are hallmark of the ensemble's concerts.
UB Wind Ensemble and Wind Chamber Music Program offers students the opportunity to perform and rehearse in small ensemble settings. The specific makeup of these ensembles changes by semester based on the instrumentation available.

Thunder of the East Marching Band

UB's most visible performing ensemble, the Thunder of the East Marching Band performs at all home football games as well as local appearances in exhibition for NYSFBC Band Competitions, parades, and select away games, and has also been seen on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN.