The Music Department offers many performance opportunities for students through its instrumental and choral programs. JSU has five bands and one orchestra as well as two jazz bands. The "Marching Southerners" is one of the best-known marching bands in the south. The Jazz Program at JSU has some of the most prestigious jazz groups, and the choral program offers five choral groups.
Every music student is encouraged to participate in as many ensembles as possible, each for one hour credit, since practical experience of this kind will prove invaluable to the student in future teaching careers. Each student is required to participate in a large ensemble representing his or her certification area (instrumental or vocal/choral). This selection includes Marching Southerners, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, A Cappella Choir, and Chorus. Any deviation in the selection of requirement ensembles must have the written approval of the head of the Music Department.