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Student Organizations

Musical life at Cornell is rich and varied, both within and outside the department. The Big Red Marching Band is student-run, as are the many a cappella groups. The chimesmasters who play concerts on the chimes in McGraw Tower also operate independently of the Music Department. Other student groups, such as the Hangovers and After Eight, are spin-offs from departmental ensembles. In addition, students who share musical interests often come together to form organizations recognized by the Student Assembly. These groups vary from year to year; two current ones are the Cornell Piano Society and Contrapunkt, an association of undergraduate composers.

The groups on this page are mentioned by way of example; this list cannot be considered exhaustive.

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Electronic Music Collective

EMC seeks to collectivize an existing yet disorganized group of electronic music enthusiasts through the sharing of common experience and interest. To create an inclusive and open environment for people of any background or level of experience to explore and enjoy electronic music. To educate this community through directed discussion of the history and development of electronic music as well as the various subcultures that surround it. To explore through shared experience, the performance and production of electronic music with EMC-organized events.

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Cornell Hangovers (Glee Club)

Founded in 1968, The Hangovers are the subset of the Cornell University Glee Club, STILL the oldest student organization at Cornell. Formed with the purpose of exploring alternative forms of musical expression in addition to the traditional Glee Club repertoire, the Hangovers concentrate their efforts on contemporary a cappella.

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Cornell University Klezmer Ensemble

CUKE was formed in January 2004 by Joel Rubin while he was a visiting scholar at Cornell and has so far focused on several genres, based on Dr. Rubin’s research: American klezmer from New York and Philadelphia of the 1910s and 1920s; the repertoire of New York clarinetist Dave Tarras from the late 1930s to mid-1940s; Russian (Ukraine/Belarus) klezmer from pre-revolutionary times; and, most recently, nigunim (melodies of spiritual elevation) of the Lubavitcher Hasidim.

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Contrapunkt!

Contrapunkt! is Cornell’s undergraduate composition club.  Contrapunkt! meets every other week (date, time, and location of meetings TBA), and is always looking for new composers, performers, or even people who simply enjoy talking about new music.  Members can enroll in Contrapunkt! for 1 credit.  In addition to meetings, Contrapunkt! has several concerts throughout the semester.  Contrapunkt! has performed in numerous venues, including the Johnson Museum, Willard Straight Hall, Hans Bethe Dormitory, and even Ho Plaza, just to name a few.  Every semester, there is a final concert in Barnes Hall.  Concerts feature a huge variety of music from chamber orchestra, electric guitar, string quartet, trombone octet, to Indian classical singing.

JAM (Just About Music dormitory)

Just About Music, also know as JAM, is a musically-themed program house. JAM is located on North Campus and is designated as Low Rise 9. Their Performance Space also doubles as a recording studio for those who wish to record their music. JAM has its own performance space which is used throughout the school term for concerts, programs, and practice space. There is also an excellent sound system, piano, and drum room within the “P-Space” as it is often called.

Chosen Generation Gospel Choir

Our purpose is to culturally and spiritually enlighten the Cornell and Ithaca communities. This aim will be achieved through the medium of traditional and contemporary Black gospel music. The choir will demonstrate this medium by performing at varied campus-wide events and bi-annual concerts.

Yamatai Taiko Drum Ensemble

Yamatai is the first and only group at Cornell that is devoted to playing and spreading the art of taiko, a form of traditional Japanese drumming. Under the direction of Eva Kestner, Yamatai performs for several events on campus. Formerly called Cornell Taiko, Yamatai was founded by a Cornell undergraduate, Haruki Yukawa, in September 2006. Starting with just one drum, our group has come a long way, obtaining a total of seven drums by the beginning of our second semester and making a heart-pumping debut at the fourth annual JUSA Culture Show.