The opportunity to perform is key to the Petrie student’s education. Whether rehearsing for a wind ensemble concert, performing in a master class, auditioning for an opera role, or performing solo with orchestra, Petrie students are encouraged and challenged to reach their full potential.
The student recital series spotlights students throughout their years at Converse. Weekly student recitals are held throughout the year and are open to all students. Students majoring in performance give a junior recital as part of the series; seniors give a full public performance. Additional solo opportunities with ensembles are open by audition.
The Young Artist Competition, held each May, affords outstanding student soloists the opportunity to perform with the Converse Symphony Orchestra.
Converse Symphony Orchestra
Serving as the Petrie School’s orchestra, the Converse Symphony Orchestra presents approximately six performances each year. In addition to the standard orchestral repertoire, the Converse Symphony Orchestra presents oratorios, ballets, and accompanies Converse Opera Theatre productions.
Converse Wind Ensemble
The Converse Wind Ensemble performs quality wind band literature representing diverse musical styles. The Wind Ensemble challenges its members to reach their highest musical potential within an ensemble setting and performs at least two concerts each semester. Membership is comprised of Converse College students and community members by audition.
The Converse Chorale is an all-female chorus that performs several concerts annually, including the Festival of Lessons and Carols service. Most of its members are freshman and sophomore music majors, but the choir is open, by audition, to all students. Converse Chorale sings a wide variety of women’s chorus repertory from all of the major style periods, both sacred and secular. Occasionally they collaborate with other ensembles such as the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra (Holst’s The Planets) and the Spartanburg Festival Chorus (Britten’s Saint Nicolas).
Spartanburg Festival Chorus (SFC)
The Spartanburg Festival Chorus is a 65-voice SATB choir of Converse students and Spartanburg area community singers. The group specializes in the performance of choral and choral-orchestral masterworks of the last 400 years. Highlights of the last 10 years include performances of Handel’s Messiah, Brahms’s A German Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C Minor, Bach’s Magnificat and St. John Passion, Vaughan Williams’s Hodie and Serenade to Music, and Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna.
The group is conducted by Dr. Keith Jones, Professor of Voice and Choirs, and accompanied in rehearsal by Ms. Julie Smith. Rehearsals are Tuesday nights from 7:00-9:00 PM in Mayfarth Rehearsal Hall in Blackman Music Building. Interested singers should call Dr. Jones at 864.596.9004 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra
A partnership between the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) and Converse College allows exceptional Petrie School of Music students to win a professional orchestral contract while pursuing their Converse degree. Under the agreement, apprentices perform with the SPO in five concerts a season and participate in corresponding rehearsals.
Chamber ensembles form every semester to respond to curricular needs and student interest. These have included early music ensembles, percussion ensembles, flute choirs, wind quintets, woodwind trios, string quartets, keyboard and vocal ensembles.