It’s always a little scary to be the new kid somewhere—especially at one of the biggest universities in Oregon. New professors, new people and a new living space can really take a toll on someone, but luckily, music is there to quell these worries. Portland State offers an abundance of musical activities such as the Green Note a cappella group, Lincoln Hall, the Live at Lunch series, and a variety of all-inclusive ensembles.
The Green Note a capella group is the only a capella group on campus! There are always auditions, so keep checking PSU’s event page to see when they occur. If you have a competitive nature, and love singing, this is the perfect group for you. And much like PSU, the group is diverse, ranging in many different voices and backgrounds. And as a plus, the group even recorded their own album.
If you’re interested in learning more or joining, find the group’s contact information, which is on their Facebook page. They rehearse three times a week, perform concerts on campus and accept many outside gigs to help promote their talent.
Another outstanding musical and creative aspect of PSU is the Lincoln Recital Hall. There are plays and performances conducted here constantly. Previous highlights include the opera program’s Die Fledermaus and PSU Stage’s Arms and the Man. Lincoln Hall is home to the School of Music. As a freshman, you may be taking a music or acting class, and if this is the case, you will more than likely visit Lincoln Hall. It’s the beautiful white building that looks more like a landmark than a functional school building. If you are ever interested in seeing a show at Lincoln Hall, their box office is located inside and you can reserve tickets online or call.
To wrap this up, there are also a variety of ensembles around campus of many diverse musical aspects:
1) The PSU University Choir which requires no audition and is open to all students of any major (so there’s no pressure!).
2) The PSU orchestra is open to any major with an audition. If you do get in, not only can you play many different symphonies, but you can also associate with opera and ballet, as the orchestra sometimes performs alongside these programs. If you are fairly confident in your instrument playing, this would be a great opportunity as the orchestra has won three awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
3) The Live at Lunch concert series by Portland State Professional Sound hosts live performances every Tuesday and Thursday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. from fall through spring term. Bands usually play in the Park Blocks, or in the Parkway North room of the Smith Memorial Student Union during poor weather.
4) As we discussed before, opera is a huge part of PSU, and a very difficult major. But if this tickles your fancy, there is an opera workshop that you can audition for to study the art of opera.
The PSU School of Music hosts many events during the school year. As a new student, attending these events can help you meet friends and become better acquainted with the large PSU campus. If you’re ever interested, these events promote themselves with fliers throughout campus, or they are listed on the School of Music’s website. The School of Music’s goal is to provide the education and commitment required in many different musical fields such as jazz, opera and music composition.