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Performing Groups & Organizations

music department

Middle Eastern Ensemble Performing at Arts Fest
BC's newest group, the Middle Eastern Ensemble, performing at the Arts Fest


Welcome to Performance in the Music department. We are the home of an active, extensive program of large and small performance ensembles, with concerts presented throughout the semester. Performing groups are also sponsored by the Bands Program, Irish Studies Program, Office of Campus Ministry, and the Student Programs office.

Large Ensembles

Boston College Symphony Orchestra

John Finney, director

The BCSO, with a membership of 50-60 players, is dedicated to the performance of major works from the symphonic repertoire, and also collaborates with the Boston College Chorale on occasion. The BCSO also sponsors an annual concerto competition, and features the winning student as concerto soloist. The orchestra is open to the entire BC community, and rehearses Mondays 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. and Wednesdays 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. in Lyons 423.

For more information contact BCSO e-mail or visit the BCSO website.

Audition schedule for 2015:

  • Monday, September 7, 11:00-1:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 8, 11:00-1:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, September 9, 11:00-1:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 10, 11:00-1:30 p.m.

Sign up here to audition for the Boston College Symphony Orchestra.  Please indicate what instrument you play, and be sure to include your e-mail address.  For the audition, you should be prepared to play a solo of your choice (a movement from a concerto or sonata, any other solo, or your part from an orchestral piece you have played).  You will be asked to play scales appropriate to your instrument, and to sight-read a short selection.  If the auditions times are all taken, or if none of the audition times is possible for you, please contact the Conductor (Professor John Finney) directly at and he will arrange for an audition time for you. Please note: all auditions will be held in Lyons Hall, Room 427.


University Chorale of Boston College

John Finney, director

The University Chorale is a mixed chorus of 140-150 singers, and performs a wide variety of both classical and contemporary repertoire. In addition to presenting several exciting concerts throughout the school year, the Chorale has the honor of performing with the Boston Pops Orchestra during BC Parents Weekend and traveling to a unique European destination every Spring break. This year, the Chorale will be traveling to Budapest, Hungary and Vienna, Austria to perform and explore on a week-long tour.

For more information, please visit the Chorale at the annual Student Involvement Fair on Friday, September 4th or contact the Chorale's current President, Andrew Malley at

Fall 2015 Auditions

The audition process requires NO PREPARATION; all interested students please note that you will be asked to sing 'My Country Tis of Thee' or a short musical selection of your choosing that is no longer than two minutes.

For auditions, please go to Lyons Hall 426; no appointment necessary

Auditions schedule:

  • Sunday, September 6 from 2-6 p.m.
  • Monday, September 7 from 2-6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 8 from 2-6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, September 9 from 2-6 p.m.

Bands Program

For the following ensembles visit the Bands Program website.

  • University Wind Ensemble of Boston College
  • Symphonic Band
  • The "Screaming Eagles" Marching Band
  • BC bOp! Jazz Ensemble
  • Pep Band

Voices of Imani Gospel Choir

For more information visit their website.

Small Ensembles/Instrumental


Boston College Chamber Music Society

Sandra Hebert, director

The Chamber Music Society is an umbrella organization that sponsors numerous small ensembles that include instrumentalists, pianists and vocalists, and is open by audition to all members of the BC community(see ensembles below). Ensembles have the opportunity to work with members of our outstanding performance faculty. Repertoire ranges from early music through the most recent contemporary works in ensembles from two to ten or more musicians. Numerous performances take place throughout the semester.


Instrumental Chamber Music

Sandra Hebert, director

Chamber music groups of two to eight or more players of orchestral instruments as well as classical guitar and piano are included in Instrumental Chamber Music. Each ensemble meets weekly with a coach and also alone for rehearsal. To sign up for an audition time, please click here.

Fall 2015 Auditions:

Tuesday, September 1: 3:00-6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 2: 11:00-2:00 p.m.

Friday, September 4: 3:00-6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 9: 3:00-5:00 p.m.

Students should prepare two contrasting pieces, movements or excerpts plus scales/arpeggios appropriate to instrument and proficiency level. Students will also be asked to sight-read. All auditions will take place in Lyons 406.


Boston College Flute Ensemble

Judy Grant, director

The Flute Ensemble is a group of 6 - 12 flutists that performs throughout the year in conjunction with the Chamber Music Society. In addition to a wide range of flute ensemble repertoire, members also often partner in duos or trios. Through working in both larger and smaller ensembles, students have the opportunity to develop performance and musicianship skills.

The Flute Choir rehearses on Sundays from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. in Lyons 423, and is open by audition to all members of the BC community. BC Honors Flute Quartet (optional, by audition) rehearses from 8:30 - 8:55 p.m. in Lyons 423.  For more information, please contact Judy Grant.

Boston College Cello Ensemble

Junko Fujiwara, director

The BC Cello Ensemble is a group of 8 - 15 cellists, performing arrangements and original works for multiple cellos. Repertoire ranges from the Baroque through contemporary works, as well as arrangements of rock and jazz classics. The Cello Ensemble performs regularly in conjunction with the Chamber Music Society, and rehearses on Wednesdays from 5:00–6:00 p.m. in Lyons 423.

Auditions are by appointment only. For more information contact Junko Fujiwara.


Boston College Piano Ensemble

Linda Papatopoli, director

The Piano Ensemble provides an opportunity for pianists to meet with one another and play four, six and eight-hand works at both one and two pianos. The Ensemble is open by audition to all members of the BC community who are pianists at an intermediate or higher level.

Rehearsals and coaching times are scheduled for each individual group between 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. on Sundays in Lyons 409. For more information contact Linda Papatopoli.

Auditions will be held on September 9 and September 13 from 6:45-9:00 p.m., to arrange your audition, please click here.


Boston College Baroque

Anne-Marie Chubet, director

BC Baroque is a small string ensemble that specializes in music of the Baroque period, including J.S. Bach, Vivaldi, Telemann and their contemporaries. Students learn Baroque bow techniques, and have the opportunity to play solo parts in the varied concerto literature of the period. The ensemble performs in late spring both in Gasson Hall and as a part of the Arts Festival.

BC Baroque meets during the spring semester; auditions will be announced in November, and a Sunday rehearsal schedule will be posted as well. For more information contact Anne-Marie Chubet.


Boston College Middle Eastern Ensemble

Ann Lucas, director

BC's newest group, the Middle Eastern Ensemble is dedicated to learning how to play music from cultures of the Middle East: the Arab World, Iran, Turkey, as well as parts of Central Asia. Repertoire covered includes rural and urban repertoires, popular music forms as well as art music genres. The Middle Eastern Ensemble meets on Thursdays from 8:00-10:00 p.m. in Stokes 195S. Permission of instructor is required for enrollment. For more information, contact Ann Lucas.

For the Middle Eastern Ensemble's fall audition schedule, please click here.


Irish Fiddle, Tin Whistle and Dance


Sponsored in conjunction with the Irish Studies program, the Music department offers weekly group lessons in traditional Irish fiddle, tin whistle and dance. Students wishing to study fiddle should have at least a rudimentary knowledge of the violin; for tin whistle and dance, no previous experience is necessary.

Irish Fiddle meets Thursdays 4:30 - 6:30 (beginners) and 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. (intermediate and advanced) in Lyons 409, and is taught by Sheila Falls-Keohane.

Irish Tin Whistle meets Thursdays 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. in Lyons Hall 202, and is taught by Jimmy Noonan.

Irish Dance meets Wednesdays 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. in the Brighton Campus Dance Studio, and is taught by Kieran Jordan.


For more information contact Seamus Connolly (fiddle and whistle) or Kieran Jordan (dance).

Small Ensembles / Vocal

Opera Workshop

Randy McGee, director
Lindsay Albert, assistant director and pianist
Barbara Gawlick, director of Children's Opera

Opera Workshop is open by audition to all BC students seeking vocal and stage experience in opera, operetta and musical theatre repertoire. OpShop presents three performances each year: a fall scenes program, the winter Children's Opera and a spring scenes program. Students have the opportunity to experience lead, supporting and ensemble roles, and occasionally will also present solo arias.

Rehearsals, typically 1 to 1 1/2 hours, take place Sundays between 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. during the fall semester, and Saturdays between 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. during the spring semester. For more information contact Randy McGee.

Singing for the Stage Workshop

Randy McGee, director

Singing for the Stage is a weekly workshop that focuses on individual performance in any vocal genre. Students prepare and perform a solo in any style, then are coached in front of an audience of peers. No audition is required.

The workshop meets most Sundays at 3:30 or 4:00 p.m. (depending on the specific week) in Lyons 423. A schedule of meeting times will be distributed. For more information contact Randy McGee.


Madrigal Singers

The Madrigal Singers of Boston College is a student-run vocal ensemble dedicated to performing high-quality chamber choral works with roots in and around the Renaissance. Although we specialize in madrigals and motets, we have been known to perform some more contemporary settings now and then. Our group attracts members from many different musical backgrounds with varying levels of experience--however, all of our members share (at least) one common thread: we all have a passion for bringing the choral art to life and having lots of fun in the process.

For more information visit their website.


Liturgy Arts Group

For more information about the Liturgy Arts Group contact Meyer Chambers or JoJo David or the Campus Ministry website.


Pop, Rock, and Jazz

Popular Styles Ensemble

Erik Kniffin, director

The "Pop Styles" Ensemble provides musicians an opportunity to hone skills in rock, blues, jazz and fusion in a band setting. No audition is necessary, and the ensemble is open to all members of the BC community. In addition to weekly jams, the ensemble performs each spring as part of the Arts Festival.

Pop Styles meets Wednesdays from 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. in Lyons 423. For more information contact Erik Kniffin.
View Popular Styles Ensemble flyer.



Erik Kniffin, director

Improvisation classes range from Introductory to Advanced levels, helping students learn to solo in a variety of styles, including folk, rock, jazz and blues. All instruments and levels of experience are welcome.

Classes meet on Mondays in Lyons 409
Introductory 6:00 p.m.
Intermediate 7:00 p.m.
Advanced 8:00 p.m.

For more information contact Erik Kniffin.
View Improvisation flyer.


A Cappella Groups

Sponsored by the Student Programs office.


Music Guild

The Music Guild is a student-run club that organizes practice space, concerts and musician contacts of student musicians in pop, jazz and rock. For more information contact faculty advisor Jeremiah McGrann.


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