Music students at Texas A&M-Commerce enjoy an active performing schedule. These performance opportunities promote self-confidence, musical excellence, and professionalism, aspects of your music education that will help ensure a successful career in your chosen field.
Proper concert dress is expected of all performers. Students should have three basic “uniforms” on hand in their first semester: concert black, pit black, and coat & tie.
Ladies – Black dress or separates (long-sleeves, covers shoulders, falls below the knee when seated), black pants/blouse, black pantsuit, black dress shoes
Gentlemen – Standard single-breasted black tuxedo (jacket and pants, NO tails, black vest/waistcoat optional), black bowtie, black cummerbund, white shirt (Oxford or tux shirt), black dress belt, black full-length socks, black dress shoes. If your tux shirt requires studs/cuff links you’ll need to purchase a set if they are not provided.
“Pit Black” refers to clothing often used in theater and opera orchestra pits but is often used on stage nowadays as a less-formal option to concert black (for jazz concerts, chamber music, etc). The purpose of pit black is to look professional and help the musician disappear; pit black is all-black dress clothes that cover as much skin as practical – long pants or skirt, long sleeves, high neckline, etc. Gentlemen can simply wear a black, long-sleeved dress shirt with their tux pants. Ladies can wear a simple black, full-length dress with long sleeves and a high neckline or black pants/blouse. In most cases ladies can use pit black as concert black!
Coat & Tie
This refers to a dress outfit that would include, for gentlemen, a coat and tie. Church gigs often require such apparel, though this would also be appropriate for any special occasion that requires “dressing up,” such as department/university functions, job interviews, professional auditions, etc. Musicians should choose conservatively here – darker neutral colors are best for gigs and evening events. Despite the term “coat and tie” I strongly suggest a dark grey, charcoal, or black suit with a few neckties from which to choose. Ladies should select outfits that are equivalent to this. Please note: using a tuxedo jacket and/or tuxedo pants is NOT appropriate substitute for “coat and tie.”
Avoid 100% cotton garments for stage. Black cotton appears blue or green under stage lights, and tends to change hue after several launderings. Selecting polyester, rayon, or wool blends will ensure that all of your blacks match.
When purchasing a tuxedo be sure to get more than one pair of pants. Pants will wear out quicker than the jacket. Better yet, you can substitute dress pants for tux pants, just be sure the fabric is similar to your tux jacket’s so you have the same “black” under the stage lights.
Be sure that your stage garments are machine washable. With the exception of a tux jacket you should be able to find appropriate stage apparel that’s not “dry clean only.”
When purchasing a jacket or dress, be sure to get an accurate fitting and allow a little extra room in the shoulders – trumpeters spend most of their time with their arms up and hands together. Gentlemen: if you’re not sure of your sizes go to a men’s store for a fitting or follow the link below.
Wear an all-white undershirt under your tuxedo shirt. An undershirt increases the longevity of your tux shirt, as we tend to work up quite a sweat while performing. A "mostly-white" T-shirt is not acceptable... a logo peeping through your tux shirt is completely unprofessional!
Learn to tie a necktie!
If it has belt loops put a belt on.
Black socks, black socks, black socks!