The St. Mary’s University Music Department offers a wide variety of performing instrumental and vocal ensembles for students interested in furthering their music making abilities, while also participating in the full university experience. Each performing ensemble is comprised of students from the department of music as well as the many other fantastic departments around campus.

Scholarship opportunities are available to students performing in the ensembles at St. Mary’s University, and are open to music majors, music minors, as well as students from other degree plans wishing to perform with the ensembles. The Wind Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra, Concert Choir “Coro Santa Maria,” String Orchestra and the Opera Workshop perform in Treadaway Hall. The Rattler Band performs in the fun and exciting Greehey Arena during basketball games. The Chapel Choir is also active during Campus Mass at Guadalupe Chapel and Holy Rosary Church.

Alumni of the St. Mary’s University performing ensembles have gone on to become professional musicians, incredible music educators, as well as highly successful doctors, engineers, business people and more.

Concert Choir

The Concert Choir is a mixed choir of SATB voices and performs a wide range of vocal literature, from Renaissance through the 21st century. All students, faculty and staff on campus are welcome to participate in the ensemble and sing their hearts out. No audition is necessary unless the student would like to audition for a small scholarship. The choir usually performs one or two full evening concerts each semester to an enthusiastic audience in the Treadaway Recital Hall, located on the north end of campus.

The Concert Choir is a one-hour credit course and may count towards the Fine Arts requirement or as an elective. There is no fee for being in the choir.

Jazz Orchestra

The St. Mary’s University Jazz Orchestra under the direction of John Rankin, D.M.A., was formed in 1980 by the Department of Music and continues to be the longest continuously performing university jazz band in San Antonio.

Over the years the Jazz Orchestra has been a regular guest at area and regional music festivals, including: Jazz’s Alive, University of Houston Jazz Festival, Greehey Jazz Festival (Colo.), Temple College Jazz Festival, Fiesta Jazz Festival, and the Texas Jazz Festival.


Outstanding soloists that have been featured with the Jazz Orchestra include: Gordon Goodwin, Rufus Reid, Don Menza, Kevin Mahogany, Bobbby Shew, Wayne Bergeron, Noboku, and James Polk, DMA. Dedicated to performing America’s treasure, jazz music, the ensemble performs class jazz arrangements from all style periods.

Opera Workshop

The Opera Workshop is an auditioned vocal ensemble of SATB voices. Although the ensemble is comprised mostly of voice majors, students from other majors are welcome to audition to participate. Opera Workshop combines voice performance with stage acting. During the fall semester, Opera Workshop traditionally produces an opera scenes production and the spring semester features either a light opera or Broadway musical, done in coordination with the Drama Department.

Recent productions include: Godspell; A Grand Night for Singing; Real Housewives of Opera: Scenes of Gossip and Deception; Songs of Faith, Love and Hope; RENT; Amahl and the Night Visitors; Dido and Aeneas; and Cendrillon (Cinderella).

The Opera Workshop is a one-hour credit course and may count towards the Fine Arts requirement or as an elective. There is no fee for being in the ensemble.

Vocal music student sings expressively in a Cinderella opera performance on campus


From Bach to Bloch, St. Mary’s Orchestra performs a variety of music from across the centuries, and in collaboration with other departments and organizations. The ensemble was founded in 2012 with the help and support of Brother Michael Sullivan and its founding director, Philip Johnson.

Under the direction of Deana Johnson, the ensemble continues its mission of preparing musicians for the professional world, and bringing the beauty and joy of music to our community. The orchestra is open to experienced string players with four or more years of experience on violin, viola, cello or bass. While formal auditions are not required, scholarship auditions are recommended. Music scholarships are available to all string students, including students pursuing non-music degrees.

Rattler Band

The St. Mary’s University “Rattler Band” is under the direction of Matthew Mireles, D.M.A., Director of Bands, and performs regularly at the home basketball games at the magnificent and electrifying college basketball venue Greehey Arena.

The band performs a repertoire of contemporary pop tunes, famous pep band favorites, as well as St. Mary’s cheers. Students performing in the group include music majors, music minors, and participants from other degree areas. Scholarships are also available to any student looking to perform in Rattler Band.

Wind Ensemble

The St. Mary University Wind Ensemble carries a rich tradition of making music at the highest level, and for engaging students in a first-class collaborative artistic environment. The ensemble was founded in 1947 by the legendary and illustrious bandmaster Frank “Pop” Sturchio, who for many years educated the St. Mary’s music students for a future in successful music making.

For generations, students performing in the St. Mary’s Wind Ensemble have gone on to become professional musicians, highly successful music educators in Texas and the U.S., and fantastic professionals in other fields such as medicine, engineering, business, and more.

Under the direction of Matthew Mireles, D.M.A., the St. Mary’s Wind Ensemble performs high energy, captivating, and moving concerts with repertoire ranging from contemporary wind band literature to some of the most cherished standard wind band pieces. Scholarship auditions are open to music majors, music minors and students from other degree plans.

All students performing in the St. Mary’s University Wind Ensemble are required to perform a placement audition before the semester begins. These auditions will take place in Treadaway Hall, Recital Hall, and will be heard by the Director of Bands, and other St. Mary’s professors of each instrument.

Students are required to perform all of the specific excerpts assigned for their instrument included in the links below. The auditions are blind and will last approximately five minutes. Once the auditions have concluded, the panel will assign parts based on each performer’s musicality and technical ability.

Since auditions are blind, each student will be given an audition number after they have signed up for an available time slot.

Audition Excerpts (PDF sheet music)

Audition materials and procedures will be posted by the end of July 2020. Please check back for more information.

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