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Department of Music

Minor Ensembles

Clendenin Brass Quintet

California State University, Fresno's music ensembles have been received enthusiastically by audiences both at home and abroad. Various groups have traveled to such faraway places as Belgium, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Israel, Korea, Japan, the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Russia, Poland, Italy and Egypt. These groups have also been featured at prestigious domestic venues such as New York's Carnegie Hall. They also regularly perform for numerous professional music conferences as well as for an extensive campus concert series.

The minor (and major) ensembles are the pride of the Fresno State Department of Music.

Minor Ensembles

Clendenin Brass Quintet, Erik Nickell, Isley Parada, Carson Kimber, Key Poulan IV and Maynor Quiroa hold their instruments while standing on a green lawn in from of a building with bushes in front.

Dr. Thomas Hiebert, Director

The Clendenin Brass Quintet is a scholarship ensemble funded by the generosity of the Clendenin Family of Boulder, Colorado. Dr. W. Ritchie Clendenin served as the trumpet professor and previous director of the group. He retired in 2002 after a distinguished teaching and performing career at Fresno State spanning 28 years. Following Dr. Clendenin’s retirement in 2002, Dr. Michael Caldwell served as director of the Clendenin Brass Quintet from 2002-2010; the directorship was then passed on to Dr. Nathan Soberalski during the academic year 2010-2011. Currently the group is directed by Dr. Thomas Hiebert.

Selected by audition, the ensemble has earned the reputation for excellence in brass chamber music. The group performs numerous concerts during the year, along with serving in a ceremonial and entertainment capacity on campus and throughout the community.

The members of the quintet are:

  • Erik Nickell (Trumpet, Junior, Instrumental Performance Major)
  • Isley Parada (Trumpet, Sophomore, Instrumental Performance Major)
  • Carson Kimber (Horn, Junior, Instrumental Music Education Major)
  • Key Poulan IV (Trombone, Senior, Instrumental Music Education Major)
  • Maynor Quiroa (Bass trombone/Tuba, Senior, Instrumental Performance Major)

Dr. Thomas Hiebert, Director

Horn Flyer

The horn studio has a long tradition of excellence at Fresno State.  Dr. Tom Hiebert, Professor of Horn at Fresno State, maintains a very active horn studio.  Before beginning his college teaching career, Dr. Hiebert studied horn at the Cologne Conservatory in Germany, the Eastman School of Music, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and freelanced in Boston, performing with the Boston Lyric Opera among other Boston-based orchestras.  In addition to an active career teaching, performing, adjudicating, and writing articles for brass journals, he continues an avid interest in his research on the history of the horn.  His writings can be found in The Cambridge Companion to Brass Instruments , the newly revised New Grove Encyclopedia of Music and Musicians, The Horn Call, and the Historic Brass Society Journal, among other publications.

Dr. Hiebert's students have gone on to prestigious graduate programs as well as to teaching and performing careers.  Horn students now in attendance at Fresno State can look forward to investigation with Dr. Hiebert of all facets of horn study, including: a thorough grounding in technique and interpretation, solo performance and ensemble skills, a comprehensive study of standard literature, as well as introduction to playing on the natural horn and the inclusion of jazz in the players' repertory.

Fresno State horn students have opportunities to play in a variety of ensembles and performing groups. They are:

  1. The outstanding Symphony Orchestra and Fresno State Wind Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Thomas Loewenheim and Dr. Gary P. Gilroy respectively.
  2. The Symphonic Band
  3. The President's Quintet – a scholarship ensemble
  4. The Clendenin Brass Quintet – a scholarship ensemble
  5. The Fresno State Horn Ensemble

While pursuing their studies, horn students have often been hired locally to play for the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tulare County Symphony, the Gold Country Chamber Orchestra, and the Merced Symphony, among other organizations.

Horn Ensemble

Fresno State Horn Ensemble


Scholarship positions for horn students at California State University, Fresno are:  

  • The President's (Woodwind) Quintet
  • The University Brass Quintet
  • Bulldog Beat
  • Marching Band
  • Horn Studio Scholarships

In addition, Work-Study positions are available for students who meet the requirements. Contact Dr. Hiebert for further information on scholarships.

Fresno State Piano Majors

The ensemble performs each semester in a concert of Piano Majors.  Check the Concerts & Tickets page for more information on upcoming performances.

More information coming soon.



 Dr. Kenneth Froelich, Faculty Advisor

Fresno State New Music Ensemble

The Fresno State New Music Ensemble is a student-run chamber group dedicated to the performance and promotion of music by living composers. The New Music Ensemble, which is made up of some of the top performers in the Fresno State Music Department, presents at least one concert each semester at CSU Fresno, in addition to other performances around the state. Works are chosen from a wide range of contemporary composers from around the world in various stages of their careers, from student composers to internationally-recognized professionals. In the 2015-16 season, the New Music Ensemble will present two concerts at CSU Fresno, one of which will feature music by living Armenian composers, in addition to a concert at the Brand Library & Art Center in Glendale, California.

The New Music Ensemble features:

Cassandra Barnes, flute
Katie Winter, clarinet
Joshua Locher, saxophone
Andrew Watkins, trombone
Joshua Witrado, percussion
Nathaniel Musso and Nathan Nau, piano
Lianna Stuart, violin
Amy Dockum and Patricia Fronda, cello
Shawn Toner, double bass
Dr. Kenneth Froelich, faculty advisor

Percussion Ensemble Photo

Dr. Matthew Darling, Director

The Fresno State Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Matthew Darling, exposes students, mostly percussion majors and minors, to music written expressly for percussion. Many musical styles and techniques are covered including European, African, Asian, Latin, and American. The ensemble performs many concerts throughout the year and goes on a short tour in the spring semester. The group also participates in the "Kid's Koncert" Series. All percussionists are welcome to audition for the percussion ensemble. Auditions are held at the beginning of each semester.

President's Quintet

Standing: Sam Kennedy, French Horn,   Nathaniel Camp, Basson
Front: Katie Winter, Clarinet,   Brooke Ferdinandsen, Oboe,   Katrina Bissett, Flute

Dr. Teresa Beaman, Director

The President's Quintet of California State University, Fresno is a scholarship woodwind ensemble whose members are selected by audition. Scholarship monies are funded through the Office of the President. The Quintet is a premiere honors ensemble for highly talented music students. Members of the ensemble become familiar with a vast array of examples from the woodwind quintet repertoire, from standard staples to more diverse styles. Through participation in the ensemble, students gain an increased awareness of professionalism, increased performance experience, honed entrepreneurial skills, and a sense of community.

In previous years, the outstanding ensemble has toured Europe, Asia, New York City, and California. Highlights of accomplishments include a summer study and tour of Italy in 1989 and an invitation to perform for Secretary of State James Baker and California Governor George Deukmejian at the centennial ceremonies of Yosemite National Park in 1991. Funding for tours and commissions is provided in large part by the California State University, Fresno Associated Students, Inc., as well as by income generated from concert receipts and the generous donations of patrons.

The Quintet was founded in 1979 and directed by John R. Heard. The ensemble was passed on to Dr. James H. Winter in 1982 and to Dr. Jose A. Diaz in 1987. Since 1991, coaching responsibilities have been rotated amongst all of the woodwind faculty. Dr. Teresa Beaman currently directs the ensemble.

Fresno State String Quartet

Dr. Thomas Loewenheim, Director

The Fresno State String Quartet is the premiere string ensemble at the Department of Music of the California State University, Fresno, and is coached by Dr. Thomas Loewenheim. The members of this quartet are chosen by audition each year and receive a scholarship. In addition to the scholarship, the members are entitled to select and use instruments from the fine string instruments collection, which belongs to the Department of Music.

The quartet presents concerts to the public both on and off campus, and features standard as well as less common works from the repertoire for string quartet.  In addition, the Fresno State String Quartet also frequently collaborates with faculty and students from the department of music, presenting master pieces for larger chamber music ensembles.


The Department of Music has many scholarship opportunities. Several ensembles are developed for students that have outstanding skills in music. The members of these select ensembles all receive scholarships. Members are determined by special auditions that are held during the Summer before the school year. For more information about these groups contact the Fresno State Music Department at (559) 278-2654.