Music on Campus

The Alive! Arts Series and the Global Music Cafe bring renown performers to campus to perform free concerts and workshops open to the campus community. The Music Series presents recitals each semester by our outstanding faculty and the Music Program's student ensembles. The student-run Musicians' Guild and A Cappella groups organize regular open mics and concerts throughout the year. Click on the list of music presenters in the left-hand column to see more details on the variety of music on campus at Roger Williams University.

A Cappella Groups

There are currently two student-run a cappella groups on campus, Drastic Measures and Hawkward. Drastic Measures (formerly "Special Delivery"), RWU's oldest a cappella group, is organized as a club and open to all. Hawkward is a newer by-audition group.


Hawkward was started by Ali Isham, Perry Cyr and Katie Marino (alumni - class of 2013) and has been a growing sensation on campus. They have performed at many RWU events, including "Up Til Dawn," to benefit St. Jude's Children's Hospital, and have also made their way into the community performing at Blithewold Mansion, British Beer Company and other University Invitationals in New England. The group recorded their first CD in Spring 2013 containing 14 songs with everything from The Star Spangled Banner to a Mumford and Sons Medley. Visit their Facebook page for more information.

Drastic Measures

Drastic Measures, formerly known as Special Delivery, is Roger Williams' oldest acapella group and open to all students in the Roger Williams community. While Drastic Measures always has one winter concert in early December, and one spring concert in early April, the group often performs at events and places such as Autumn Fest, Midnight Madness, Homecoming sports games, Blithewold, and more. The winter concert consists of Drastic Measures, its smaller auditioned group Vocal Express, and various acoustic performers. The spring concert invites acappella groups from around New England to come and sing. Drastic Measures accepts new singers each semester-- it's never too late to join!

Vocal Express

Vocal Express is the smaller coed auditioned group comprised of members from Drastic Measures, consisting of eight to ten people. Auditions to be in the group are held in September during every fall semester. Vocal Express always performs alongside Drastic Measures. 

Alive! Arts Series

The Alive! Arts Series showcases the Performing Arts on campus. The Music concerts in the Series bring classical, jazz, and world-music artists to campus each semester to perform for the University community in the Performing Arts Center and the Global Heritage Hall. The musicians also give workshops, sometimes for the entire audience before or after the concert, and sometimes for one of the music classes the following day. Music events for Alive! Arts are designed to expand the cultural and global scope of University course offerings.

Recent performers have included a Brazilian pianist/composer, a Balinese gamelon orchestra, a string quartet, an Elizabethan consort, a Middle-Eastern duo, a traditional Korean solo artist, an American Music festival, complete with a bluegrass band, Cajun fiddlers, and classical guitar, and the first Mandolin World Summit with performers from Czechoslovakia, Brazil and the USA.

The Alive! Arts Series concerts are open to the University and the local community free of charge. To find out more about the upcoming schedule, call the Performing Arts Center at (401) 254-3626 and request a flyer of the semester’s events.

Global Music Cafe

The Global Music Cafe is an informal setting for international music performances held on Wednesday afternoons in the Global Heritage Hall Atrium. Sipping a cup of coffee or jumping up to dance to the riveting beat of Pakistani rhythms, students and faculty have the opportunity to enjoy a mid-week study break and perhaps discover a new style of music. Recent events have included Latin American, Asian, and Middle Eastern groups.

Sponsored by the Spiegel Center for Global and International Programs, the Global Music Cafe supports the Center's mission to infuse "international content into curricular and co-curricular programming for the purpose of challenging students to recognize the complexity and volatility of today’s world and to reflect upon their role in it."

Musical Theatre

The RWU Theatre program presents a musical every year in the Performing Arts Center as one of its Main Season offerings. Recent performances have included: Avenue Q, Little Shop of Horrors, Lucky Stiff, The Fantasticks, and Return to the Forbidden Planet.

Auditions are open to the entire campus community, and leading roles are not limited to theatre majors. Besides acting, singing, and dancing roles, there is always room for music students to play in the pit band, directed by musical theatre faculty.

Musical theatre students take workshop classes in repertoire and theatrical singing techniques. Many theatre majors also take voice lessons for credit through Music's Applied Music program. Our voice instructors all have experience performing and teaching musical theatre styles as well as concert and pop music.

Musicians' Guild

The RWU Musicians Guild is a group for all student musicians on the RWU campus, regardless of the instrument or style of music they play. The Guild meets weekly, and their stated mission is to support and encourage the musical endeavors of RWU students.

Performances at their weekly Thursday Open-Mic sessions are spontaneous or rehearsed, and always diverse in nature. A session may include singer-songwriters, a solo cello performance of Bach, and a full rock band.

The Guild also organizes a series of concerts and invitational events on campus where in-house acts can perform with groups from other universities. A university-sponsored club that is open to all RWU students, you can check out the Guild's Facebook page for more information and pictures of their recent events.

The Music Series

The Music Series presents recitals by the RWU Music Faculty & Friends, and concerts at the end of every semester by the RWU Chorus and the RWU Instrumental Ensemble.

The full-time and adjunct Music Faculty at Roger Williams University all perform as well as teach, and the Music Series gives them the opportunity to bring the other side of their music careers to campus to give their students a different insight into the life of a professional musician. Recent concerts have featured a variety of ensembles and musical styles, including a trio of harpsichord, viola da gamba, and a Baroque flute performing trio sonatas; a concert of music from the Renaissance to the 20th century featuring solo recorder; a mandolin ensemble performing Baroque, Brazilian and Contemporary music; and a piano-flute-viola trio celebrating the 150th birthday of Claude Debussy.

Concerts in the Music Series are open to the public admission free. To find out more about the upcoming schedule, call the Performing Arts Center at (401) 254-3626 and request a flyer of the semester’s events.