The Department of Visual & Performing Arts offers a variety of ensembles for our students to participate in, ranging from The Ambassador Chorale to The Presidential Jazz Ensemble. Click the link to the desired ensemble to get a brief description.
Dr. Argarita Johnson-Palavicini, Director
The Chorale was founded by the late Professor Roosevelt Williams during the 1975-76 academic year with four eager members to officially represent the University as its public relations entity. Today the Ambassador Chorale with upwards of fifty members not only performs as an independent ensemble but enjoys the accompaniment of the steel band and jazz ensemble. This enables the Chorale to perform a wide range of music and experiment with different styles and sounds. The Chorale has performed in the United States and Europe to great acclaim. Members hold responsibility for the organization and some musical arrangements.
Nicole Yarling, Director
The Popular Music Ensemble, also started in 1996, seeks to assist the individual student to become a music contractor whether as a recording artist, group member, composer and/or producer. Students are responsible for preparing or creating music arrangements and selecting musicians for their presentations. Each student must demonstrate the ability to understand the business of music, including copyright, publishing and contracts. The culminating activity for each semester is a live performance of varied music in one of the area’s clubs.
Lamont Snyder, Director
The concert/pep band provides one of the opportunities for music education majors to fulfill their ensemble requirements and gives non-music majors with high school or prior instrumental music experiences a performance outlet. Although the University does not have a football team, the band in the pep band format, serves the same function for the basketball team.
Dr. Nelson Hall, Director
The Chamber Choir is a teaching choir, designed give students greater exposure to sight-reading and vocal technique. The Choir performs one major concert each semester joining with community church and school choirs to give these choirs the opportunity to expand their repertoire and technical expertise.
Mrs. Patricia I. Warren, Director
The Theater Guild, formerly known as the Players’ Guild which started under the direction of Mrs. Patricia I. Warren in 1978 was re-established in the Fall of 2004 to train and prepare students to become aware of the value of the performing arts and its impact on the campus and the global community. Guild members also usher and serve as student apprentices in the Lou Rawls Center for the Performing Arts. Mrs. Warren’s untimely passing in the summer of 2010 has left a void which is yet to be filled.
Dr. LaToya Davis-Craig, Director
The Dance Ensemble is the newest ensemble. While dance has always an integral part of the Department’s offerings, the formal Dance Ensemble was established in the Fall of 2011. The ensemble works with the department as a whole in community outreach. Members of the ensemble performed with the Chamber Choir and the Massed Community Choir at their December 2011 production and at the 16th Annual Florida Memorial University Melton Mustafa Jazz Festival. The ensemble will be producing a major production each semester.