The SFA Percussion Ensemble is a chamber group with 12 to 16 members that is devoted to the development and preservation of the percussion instrument family. This ensemble prides itself on performing a variety of works from the percussion ensemble repertoire by composers such as Varèse, Cage, Rouse, Udow, Levitan, and Rosauro. The ensemble is dedicated to maintaining the highest standard of percussion performance through various musical styles including contemporary percussion, classical transcriptions, popular and jazz arrangements, ragtime, African and Eastern ethnic music as well as novelty works. The percussion ensemble is also used as a vehicle for solo student performance and student conducting. The ensemble rehearses 2–3 hours a week and performs 1–3 concerts each semester, including the annual Percussion in the Pines holiday concert in December. Membership is open to both music and non-music majors with consent of the instructor.
The SFA Steel Band is one of the most popular and requested ensembles in the School of Music. With 10 to 15 members the group uses a full set of steel pans, including three leads, two double tenors, two cellos and bass pans as well as a large rhythm section with drumset, electric bass, and various Latin percussion. At times the ensemble also employs vocalists and a four piece horn section. The group performs a wide variety of music including traditional Caribbean music, pop, rock and Latin. The nature of the ensemble allows for student members to develop skills in improvisation and music arranging. The band rehearses two hours a week and performs five to seven concerts a semester including appearances at Chili’s restaurant, Scare on the Square, the Nine Flags Christmas Festival, and the Nacogdoches Chili Festival. Membership is open to both music and non-music majors with consent of the instructor.