Like many colleges and universities, Pittsburg State University offers opportunities related to the arts to its students. The Pittsburg community also has a multitude of performing arts opportunities, both for performers and audience members alike.
The Department of Music offers a variety of performance opportunities for students regardless of major or minor. In the voice area, the department offers university choir, chorale, and opera studio. University choir and chorale perform a variety of ensemble repertoire under the direction of Choir Director and Department Chair Susan Marchant. The opera studio performs both full operas and individual selections and is under the direction of professor of voice Patrick Howle. Both chorale and opera studio require an audition while university choir does not.
In the band area, the department offers marching band, symphonic band, and wind ensemble. The Pride of the Plains Marching Band performs at home football games, select games after the regular season, and special community events such as pep rallies and parades. The band does not require an audition and additionally pays a scholarship for participation in the band. The marching band only performs in the fall semester. Symphonic band only meets in the spring semester and does not require an audition. The symphonic band is not restricted by major or minor and is intended primarily for non-music majors and for music majors playing a secondary instrument. The wind ensemble is an auditioned concert band that performs more advanced repertoire. Audition materials can be found on the PSU Department of Music’s website. The marching band and symphonic band are under the direction of professor of tuba Doug Whitten, and the wind ensemble is under the direction of professor of conducting Andrew Chybowski.
In the strings area, the department offers enrollment in the Southeast Kansas Symphony at Pittsburg State, a professional symphony orchestra that incorporates both students and community members for rehearsals and performance. Membership in the Symphony is not restricted for string players but is restricted by audition for wind players due to limited seats. The Symphony plays a variety of repertoire in both classical and modern styles.
The Department of Music also offers enrollment in applied lessons on a variety of instruments with no additional charge for full-time students.
According to the Department of Music’s website, “The cultural life of Pittsburg State University and the area which it serves is enriched by the many musical performances presented by the department of music faculty recitals, student recitals, chamber music concerts, concerts by our large ensembles, opera productions, and the Solo and Chamber Music Series. As a student, you are an important part of sustaining these cultural offerings.”
The Department of Music’s mission also states that its goals are to inspire and instruct professional musicians, offer courses to the general student body about the appreciation and understanding of music, and provide opportunities for the university community to participate in musical activities.