• UC Band

    Marching/ Pep Band

    The University of Charleston Squadron of Gold Marching Band is dedicated to representing the university through athletic and community events with high level of performance of the marching arts. Students perform in a variety of sections such as winds, drumline, color guard and twirlers. Students explore modern corps style drill, a variety of musical repertoire and embrace the University of Charleston traditions.

    Symphonic Wind Ensemble

    The Symphonic Wind Ensemble (SWE) is a concert ensemble for advanced woodwinds, brass, and percussion performers who entertain and expose audiences to contemporary, historic and popular repertoire of the modern wind band. This ensemble has two to four performances opportunities throughout the semester.  Performers are expected to elevate their instrumental and performance skills, develop an advanced understanding of the performance process, and establish emotional connections between themselves, the ensemble and our audience.

    UC Jazz Orchestra

    The UC Jazz Orchestra (UCJO) is a modern big band committed to performing classic jazz literature to modern styles such as Latin, Funk and Rock. This ensemble has two to four performances opportunities throughout the semester.  Performers are expected to elevate their instrumental and performance skills, develop an advanced understanding of the performance process, and establish emotional connections between themselves, the ensemble and our audience.

    • Scholarship Auditions

      Auditions/Interviews are schedule in 15-30 minute increments.  During the auditions, students will be demonstrating their abilities with:

      1. 4 Major Scales from the Circle of 5ths as many octaves as you know
        • Woodwinds, Brass and Double Bass – Two Octaves
        • Violin, Viola, and Cello – Three Octaves
        • Percussion – Two/Three Octaves
         
      1. Part of a standard solo or etudes (technical and lyrical – student’s choice
      2. Prepared Excerpt provided by UC
      3. Basic sight reading, which is provided at the time of the audition.


      Percussion students should perform a 2-3 minute solo or etude of their choice on each of the following three instruments: 

      1. snare drum,
      2. timpani,
      3. marimba or xylophone
      4. Drum Set* - Demonstrate (Swing, Rock, Bossa Nova, Shuffle and Jazz Waltz)

      *Students who wish to be considered for Jazz Orchestra or Pep Band

      Ask your director, private lesson teacher, or email UC for suggestions.  These solos/etudes can be something recently performed at a Solo & Ensemble Festival, or that you are studying.

      Students who live more than 250 miles from an audition site may submit a video audition. Each audition is to be recorded and uploaded to YouTube and the link submitted to the Director of University Bands Please contact the Department of Instrumental Music for details.

      Students who wish to take the Music Theory Exam and Proficiency Test to strengthen their scholarship candidacy.

    • John Christian, Music Educator

      John Christian is the newly appointed Director of University Bands at the University of Charleston in Charleston, West Virginia. Prior to his current appointment, he served as a PK-12 Fine Arts Chair and Music Educator at schools Kazakhstan, Morocco and the United States. He has also held higher education posts at Southern Catholic College, Barry University, Alma College, Kazakh National Conservatory and the State University of New York at Buffalo.

      Mr. Christian has been a Guest Conductor at the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial – Pearl Harbor, the Australian Band and Orchestra Association Convention in Melbourne, Australia, the NAfME National Convention in Minneapolis, MN, Georgian National Conservatory-Tbilisi, Kazakh National Conservatory-Almaty, college and universities.  Mr. Christian has been an active conductor and adjudicator for festivals at Hard Rock Live, Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. In 2013, he conducted a series of chamber wind concerts with performers of the Atlanta Symphony and the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics.

      Mr. Christian has also conducted honor ensembles, clinics and lectured at higher education institutions on Music Education on Independent/Parochial School in ten states, Europe, Asia and Africa. He was appointed three terms as a National Instrumental Music Teacher Mentor for NAfME and was nominated to the Advisory Board for the Music Educators Journal in 2010-11 school year.

      John earned a Bachelor of Music from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Master of Arts from Central Michigan University. He also has done post-graduate study in Instrumental Conducting and Music Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His mentors include Dr. Glenn Hayes and John Williamson.

      His Professional Memberships Include:  National Association for Music Education, West Virginia Music Educators Association, American String Teachers Association, College Band Directors National Association, Educational Theatre Association, The Conductors Guild, International Society for Music Education, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity.