Guitar Ensembles

Performance Opportunities

Guitar Ensemble
Members of the Guitar Ensemble study, perform, and record music for multiple guitars and bass from Renaissance through 20th-century composers, including American jazz and rock styles. Students learn improvisation, composition, and arranging techniques. The ensemble presents at least two performances each semester and participates in a recording session in a major recording studio. The Guitar Ensemble premiered a new music video in May 2015. The audio, an excerpt from Dave Brubeck's Blue Rondo a la Turk, was recorded at Creation Audio in Minneapolis. 

Small Guitar Ensemble
This course is intended for the guitarist who is interested in the performance of music for guitar and other instruments. Typical combinations include bass, drums, keyboard, full band, and all other orchestral instruments. All styles and genres welcome. Students present a live performance at the end of each semester.

New Music Ensemble
This mixed instrumental group is devoted to the study and performance of new music.  Repertoire may include non-tonal, neotonal, indeterminate, or experimental genres, collaborative improvisation, and original composition. 

Jazz Ensemble
Members study and perform jazz in various styles with exposure to improvisation, and present formal and informal concerts on campus each semester.

Popular Music Ensemble
Student groups receive individual coaching for small ensembles on the performance of all genres and types of American popular music.

View the rehearsal schedule for all ensembles.

The short answer: YES!

Students Entering St. Thomas Fall 2019 or Later

All ensembles and lessons fit easily into an 18-credit full-time schedule.  Students earn one academic credit for each ensemble and lesson with no additional fees.  Students may fulfill their Fine Arts Requirement by participating in a large ensemble for four semesters.

Students Entering St. Thomas Before Fall 2019

Students earn one free academic credit for participation in each ensemble, saving the tuition per credit of over $1,300 per ensemble, per semester. Students may fulfill their Fine Arts Requirement free of charge by participating in a large ensemble for four semesters, saving over $5,200 in tuition.

We teach, perform, and encourage all styles of music. We believe the guitar is the ultimate "crossover" instrument of the 20th and 21st centuries. Whether your tastes run to the electric or the ethnic, to the classic or to rock, UST Guitar Studies honors your choice and has a faculty member to serve your needs. 

Ideally, yes. Specific styles most often times require different instruments -- i.e. classical and Brazilian on a nylon string guitar, jazz on an electric (although this one can go on all the guitars), folk on steel string, etc.

Yes, St. Thomas provides free loaner guitars to beginning students.

Yes, guitar players can major or minor in music. Majors in performance, music education, music business, liturgical music, and music (B.A.) are available.  Guitar players may also minor in music, recording arts, popular music, or composition.  

Yes, incoming guitar majors have the opportunity to audition for music scholarships. Current guitar majors may audition for scholarships during In-House Auditions (held in May). Guitar players may fulfill their Fine Arts Requirement FREE of charge by participating in Guitar Ensemble for four semesters (a tuition savings of over $5,200).