Music Performance Opportunities

Music Performance Opportunities for Marylhurst Music Students

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Calling all students and community members. Marylhurst University welcomes singers and instrumentalists of all ages and experience levels to join our numerous performance ensembles. Participation is not limited to students enrolled within the university’s music degree programs.

Ensembles are directed by Marylhurst’s renowned faculty. In recent years, each ensemble has worked with visiting choral luminaries like Morten Lauridsen, Roomful of Teeth and Gwyneth Walker.

Numerous local and international performance opportunities await you. Marylhurst ensembles have collaborated on concerts with groups from Portland, Vancouver and Boise, in notable venues including The Grotto Festival of Lights, the Portland Audubon Society and Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. The Jazz Ensemble tours locally, and the Marylhurst Chamber Choir has traveled to Carnegie Hall and to Europe to compete in the Cork International Choral Festival and the Grand Prix of Nations.

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Choral Ensembles at Marylhurst University

With three different ensembles and over a hundred singers, there is something for everyone in our choral program!

Choral and Vocal Faculty
Dr. Justin Smith, Director of Choral Activities, Director of Chamber Choir & Choral Union
Prof. Megan Elliott, Director of Women’s Chorale
Prof. Michael Barnes and Jeff Wood, collaborative pianists
Prof. Jill Soltero and Prof. Pollyanna Hancock-Moody, voice faculty

Marylhurst Chamber Choir, Marylhurst University, 2016Marylhurst Chamber Choir

For Marylhurst credit: ENS 230/430
Rehearsals Wednesday nights, 7:00-9:30 p.m.

Our thirty-two voice mixed ensemble is the University’s top choir, comprised of highly experienced student and community singers. Entrance is by audition only, which take place the week before classes begin. Chamber Choir regularly collaborates with world-class artists, including Roomful of Teeth, Morten Lauridsen Portland Chamber Orchestra, Cantus and Cappella Romana, and tours to Europe for international competition each summer. It has been internationally recognized with major awards at the Cork International Choral Festival and gold medals at the Third European Choir Games in Riga, Latvia.

For more info, contact Dr. Justin Smith or sign up for auditions here.

Justin Smith, director, choral activities, Marylhurst UniversityMarylhurst Choral Union

For Marylhurst credit: ENS 130
Rehearsals Tuesday nights, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

The Marylhurst Choral Union is a large non-auditioned community choir open to all singers regardless of experience level. Matching pitch accurately is the only requirement for admission. The Choral Union frequently combines with the Marylhurst Chorale to perform large-scale choral-orchestral works. In recent years, they have performed the Mozart and Faure Requiems, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. In 2018, they will collaborate with Stumptown Stages for performances of the Leonard Bernstein MASS.

For more information, contact Dr. Justin Smith.

Women's Chorale, Marylhurst UniversityMarylhurst Women’s Chorale

For Marylhurst credit: ENS 200/400
Rehearsals Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 11:30-12:45 p.m.

The Marylhurst Women’s Chorale is a non-auditioned treble ensemble, intended for both the university’s music majors and singers from the university community. The Chorale provides rigorous vocal training, developing both a secure vocal foundation and outstanding musicianship that enables singers to succeed in their musical careers. The Chorale frequently receives invitations to sing in and around the Marylhurst community. In the past, the Chorale has performed at Reunion Weekend, the annual Mass of the Holy Spirit, the Marylhurst Symphony’s holiday concert, First Baptist Church in Portland, and many other venues.

For more info, contact Megan Elliott, director.

Spring Opera Program

Spring Opera, Marylhurst UniversityEach year, Marylhurst’s choruses join together to perform a fully staged operatic production.

All lead roles are cast from chorus membership whenever possible, and performances occur at the end of Marylhurst’s winter or spring term.

Participating students enjoy the opportunity to work under opera program director Alistair Donkin of England, a world-renowned expert in British comic opera.

Marylhurst Jazz Ensemble

Jazz Ensemble, Marylhurst UniversityMarylhurst’s auditioned jazz ensemble is intended primarily for music majors, although qualified non-majors are also admitted. The group provides training for jazz instrumentalists where you will develop the skills necessary to thrive in a professional jazz combo.

Improvisation, group arranging, and composition are all explored through regular rehearsals and performances. All periods of jazz are explored, from early jazz, through be-bop, to the present day. As a student, you are encouraged to bring your own compositions and arrangements for the ensemble to perform at Marylhurst and in the local community.

Auditions are held by appointment. Contact Joseph Aloia, director, Marylhurst Jazz Ensemble.

Marylhurst Guitar Ensemble

Marylhurst Guitar Ensemble

Marylhurst’s auditioned Guitar Ensemble is intended primarily for music majors and experienced guitarists from the university community. The group provides in-depth training for guitarists, working to develop the technical, musical and collaborative skills demanded by the teaching and performing professions.

The Marylhurst Guitar Ensemble focuses on the public performance of a varied repertoire and regularly performs at Marylhurst and throughout the community.

Preview the work and inspiring sound of the Marylhurst Guitar Ensemble as they perform Handel: Guitar Ensemble Concerto, 1st Movement.

For more information, contact William Jenks, director.


Marylhurst University connects with the local community through music in many ways:

  • Preparatory Music Program: Through our preparatory music program, Marylhurst proudly offers preschool through high school aged students on-campus instruction from highly qualified, experienced teachers.  Quality instruction is offered in both group and private settings.
  • Summer Choir CampOur teen summer camp, situated on the beautiful Marylhurst campus, is an excellent, concentrated musical experience designed specifically for enthusiastic, committed musicians. Registration is open to students entering 9th through 12th grade in high school and community singers.

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