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Performance Arts

Ottawa University values the arts through co-curricular and extra-curricular participation. A wide variety of opportunities are available to all students whether pursuing the area as a major or simply living out their passion for the arts. 

The Brave Jazz Combos are chamber ensembles consisting of three to eight members, striving to achieve the highest possible standards in performance. The combos perform a wide range of classic and original material, selected from the best in jazz, and students are encouraged to create original arrangements and compositions for the ensemble. Students will study jazz improvisation, jazz ensemble balance and interaction, a variety of jazz stylistic awareness, small group jazz history, and jazz pedagogy. Each combo rehearses two hours per week. Jazz Combos will perform in concerts and regional and national jazz festivals. Although membership is limited, jazz combos is open to all OU students that play woodwind, brass, and rhythm section instruments. Selection and placement are by audition at the beginning of each semester.

The Brave Jazz Ensemble is the flagship in OU Jazz Studies. It is an 18-piece chamber group featuring rhythm, trumpet, trombone, and saxophone sections, striving to achieve the highest possible standards in performance. The Jazz Ensemble performs campus concerts and attends regional and national jazz festivals. Emphasis is on mastery of the best in standard and contemporary big band music and all performances feature a variety of musical styles. Participation in jazz ensemble gives students tools for better section playing, composition, improvisation, jazz pedagogy, and critical listening skills, and they are encouraged to contribute their own original arrangements and compositions. Although membership is limited to one person per part, jazz ensemble is open to all OU students that play woodwind, brass, and rhythm section instruments. Selection and placement are by audition at the beginning of each semester. 

The Braves Drum Line is an integral part of the Braves Pep Band. The drum line is a crowd favorite at sporting and community events.  This is a student-led group under the direction of Dr. Kevin Marét. The Percussion Ensemble meets in the Spring semester and performs an eclectic and exciting variety of music.  Participation is by audition and invitation.   

The Braves Pep Band is an instrumental ensemble that performs at all home football games and select home basketball games. The pep band is open to all students with an interest in having fun playing popular rock, hip hop and standard pep band music to generate excitement and support for the OU student-athletes. No audition is required. 

Jazz Singers is a select group of 12-16 voices with high expectations of commitment and singing skills. Although its primary focus is on the performance of standard and contemporary jazz repertoire, the ensemble also maintains a multi-functional identify by performing works of other choral styles as well. It performs in area churches, schools, and in on-campus concerts. Membership in Jazz Singers is by audition and is open only to members of Concert Choir.

The Drama Club promotes creativity and fellowship in the theatrical arts by focusing upon common goals. Drama Club organizes social functions such as the Theatre Picnic, Improv workshops, Theatre Awards Night, attends shows at area theatres, supports KCACTF attendees, and organizes community service projects often related to theatre production activities

The Theatre Department annually presents multiple productions. These productions vary in scope and type, including traditional works, musicals, contemporary works, dinner theater, and experimental theater. The productions offer students a wide variety of opportunities to experience theater and become involved in all aspects of theatre productions.

The Concert Choir, founded in 1938, is Ottawa University’s premiere choral ensemble.  Membership is open to all students regardless of major.  Concert Choir performs choral music from the Renaissance through the 21st century from both Western and non-Western traditions.  The University Concert Choir is the major choral ensemble called upon to sing for official University events and to appear on behalf of the University beyond the campus.  It performs frequently in area churches and in on-campus concerts.  The choir has toured nationally and internationally; recent travels include regional tours, New York City, and Rome.

The Wind Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Kevin Marét, is the premier wind and percussion ensemble at Ottawa University. The band consists of music majors and non-music majors who perform standard and new literature for band/wind ensemble. Repertory from both traditional and contemporary genres provides for great learning and performance experiences. Participation in Wind Ensemble is by audition and invitation. The band presents public performances in both the fall and spring semesters of the academic year. Members from this band also perform in the Braves Pep Band which provides exciting entertainment at home football and basketball games. 

Vox Fortis is Ottawa University's newest ensemble comprised of treble voices. Members are strong, independent singers admitted by audition only who represent OU through a diverse assortment of majors, activities and athletic teams. Vox Fortis performs music from all choral traditions at area churches, on-campus concerts, and travels to perform for local high schools.   

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