Music Ensembles

Performance is at the heart of your practice as a musician. In our music program, there are various student ensembles that you can join to perform with your peers while honing your craft. Membership in music ensembles is made up from the varied and talented GW community and is not limited to those only taking music classes and/or registered as a music major. All are encouraged to audition. Commitment requirements vary by ensemble.


First things first: Click here to sign up for the Music Program listserv!


CHAMBER ENSEMBLES

Our chamber ensembles consist of two or more performers playing chamber music from across all musical eras. All instrumentalists and vocalists may have opportunities in our chamber ensembles. Chamber ensembes include weekly coaching with faculty and end-of-semester performances.

Contact

Email Prof. Ning Yu for more information.

 

PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE

Within our chamber ensembles program, we have a standalone percussion ensemble. The percussion ensemble explores a variety of percussion techniques and percussion music and is the perfect place for percussionist to grow their craft.

 

Contact

Email Prof. Joe Connell for more information.


JAZZ ENSEMBLES

The Jazz Ensembles concentrate on small group jazz from the 1940s to today, focusing on such artists as Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis and Art Blakey. We currently have three instrumental jazz ensembles and one vocal jazz ensemble.

UBER COMBO

UberCombo focuses on modern jazz repertoire and student compositions. The goal of this ensemble is to become a self-sufficient, collaborative, working group. Students in this ensemble take ownership of performance and artistic choices through selection, arrangement and composition of the group repertoire. Advanced jazz performance skills are required for UberCombo. Prior experience in Midnight Blue and/or Latin Band ensembles is required.

LATIN BAND

The Latin band is a vibrant group of young musicians who have embraced the cultural diversity that exists in the nation's capital. Cultural exploration is at the heart of the music the band performs. Here the students explore the nuances of playing samba, Bossa Nova and Partido Alto music styles from the former capital of Brazil, the city of Rio de Janeiro. From the Caribbean Islands the students learn how to make an Afro-Cuban danzón connect with the famous cha-cha-chá. Mambo, comparsa, songo and timba become familiar Cuban vocabulary the students speak through their instruments. Under the leadership of Professor Alejandro Lucini, born in Rio de Janeiro, and co-directed by saxophonist Peter Fraize, students in the ensemble add a rich and unique cultural experience to their education.

MIDNIGHT BLUE

Midnight Blue is a small jazz combo led by Prof. John Albertson.

JiVE (Jazz Vocal Ensemble)

GW JiVE jazz vocal ensemble sings music that comes from the African diaspora that is primarily centered around Jazz, America’s classical music. Students sing in close harmonies, using rhythms from the blues and swing, to bossa nova and samba, to R&B and gospel. Choristers will learn the history of the music, vocal technique and style that is based in modern vocal production, and improvisation. We learn through singing solo and together. We move and we groove. We come from all different cultures and backgrounds to sing this most American of musics: Jazz. Come join us!

CONTACT

Contact Professor Alison Crockett ([email protected]) for more information on GW JiVE Jazz Vocal Ensemble.

AUDITIONS

All ensembles are by audition only. These auditions are held during the first week of classes.

CONTACT

Please email Peter Fraize


UNIVERSITY BAND

The University Band class consists of two ensembles: Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band. Both ensembles rehearse on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band are auditioned concert band ensembles in the George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts & Design. The ensembles perform classic, contemporary and newly composed wind music with on-campus performances in the Fall and Spring. Membership in both groups is open to students from all schools and departments at GW and requires instructor approval via audition.


To learn more about the University Band, which is organized by our students with a faculty advisor, visit the University Bands website.

Auditions

Each fall, all students interested in playing with the bands are required to audition. Mid-year auditions are held in January for students who did not participate in the fall.

Contact

Email Prof. Michael Schmitz for more information.

Email Band or contact the University Band Office at 202-994-9041.


UNIVERSITY ORCHESTRA

The University Orchestra rehearses on Monday evenings from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. The Orchestra performs repertoire that spans the centuries and features strong student leadership. The Orchestra performs two or three concerts each year on campus (including in Lisner Auditorium) and in the community.

Auditions

Acceptance into the orchestra and section placement will be based on the quality of playing, prior participation in the GW Orchestra, anticipated attendance conflicts, and, in some cases, a willingness/aptitude for section leadership. Even highly-qualified players may not be accepted if sections are full, but we honor all musicians and hope to find a musical outlet for all within the orchestra or in other university ensembles.

Each fall, all orchestra musicians are required to audition. Mid-year auditions are held in January for students who did not participate in the fall.

Before setting up an audition, please review the Orchestra syllabus, taking special care to note any conflicts with the schedule.

Contact

Email Prof. A. Scott Wood for more information.

Email the Orchestra with general questions about the ensemble.


UNIVERSITY SINGERS AND WOMEN'S ENSEMBLE

UNIVERSITY SINGERS

The University Singers is a mixed choir of undergraduate and graduate students. The group has two formal concerts each academic year. They have toured extensively, with overseas tours every two years. Past tours have included South America, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and South Africa.

Off-campus performance venues include Washington National Cathedral, Strathmore Concert Hall, Schlesinger Performing Arts Center, Princeton Chapel and The Kennedy Center Concert Hall.

WOMEN'S ENSEMBLE

The Women's Ensemble performs music for treble voice from the Renaissance to today and explores the power of women's voices. The ensemble has two concerts each academic year.

Rehearsals

The Women's Ensemble rehearses on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:50 p.m. in Phillips Hall B-120

The University Singers rehearse on Wednesdays from 7:15 to 9:45 p.m. in Phillips Hall B-120.

Contact

Email Prof. Blake Clark for more information.


HIP HOP INCUBATOR

HIP HOP ENSEMBLE

The “Hip Hop Incubator” is a performance ensemble dedicated to the exploration, understanding and performance of hip hop music.  The objective of the ensemble is to foster creativity, innovation and collaboration.

Members will meet weekly to rehearse, compose, and collaborate on songs. Students may also participate in additional workshops or working groups related to their interests and areas of expertise, such as songwriting, deejaying, and beatmaking. The ensemble is open to all types of musicians: instrumentalists, vocalists, emcees, producers, DJs, and anyone interested in the development and creation of hip hop.

About the Instructor:

Ensemble leader Dumi Right is a recording and performance artist, MC, and songwriter, who has been recognized as a standard bearer in global and progressive hip hop circles for many years. His influence has been documented in the domestic and international media, as well as in academic works of hip hop history, including Say It Loud! The Story of Rap Music by K. Maurice Jones and The Hip Hop Wars by Tricia Rose. Over the course of his storied career he has performed at a broad range of venues that include the The Knitting Factory, 930 Club, Kennedy Center, Blues Alley, The Whitney Museum, and The Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Contact

Email Dir. Dumi Right for more information.