Student 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. Our ensembles are also open to student musicians not enrolled in our program. Audition and commitment requirements vary by ensemble. 


Multiple opportunities exist to perform in small, mixed-instrumental and vocal chamber ensembles. Learn repertoire and rehearsal and communication strategies. Weekly coaching with faculty and end-of-semester public performances included.


Email Prof. Ning Yu


Directed by Peter Fraize and staff, 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.

The instrumentation consists of a rhythm section and a small number of horns players, performing in a showcase at the end of each semester.


The band emphasizes polished, entertainment-oriented performances, ranging from late 1940's jump-blues to contemporary R&B. All band members are required to sing at least back-up. Instrumentation is horn section, rhythm section-drums, bass, keyboard, guitars and vocalists.


The GW Latin band Los Gringos 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


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


Please email Peter Fraize before the first week of class.


The University Band class consists of two ensembles: The University Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble. The University Band and Wind Ensemble rehearse on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.


Auditions for both ensembles are traditionally held on the second Tuesday of the fall semester. Audition requirements include two pieces of a contrasting nature, chromatic and major scales and sight reading.


Please contact the University Band Office at 202-994-9041, or email Robert Birch for more information.

Visit the GW Band's website for more information.


The University Orchestra rehearses on Monday evenings from 6:30–9:00 pm. The orchestra rehearses and performs a wide array of music including current as well as traditional orchestral repertoire, often featuring soloists from within the ensemble, the faculty and the professional community. Orchestra performances consist of two to three concerts per year in Lisner Auditorium. Membership in the orchestra 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.


Auditions are held at the beginning of each semester, typically during the first  week of classes, by appointment only.

Requirements include at least one minute of music that shows off your technical and expressive capabilities. Sign-ups for new players ONLY. Please contact [email protected] to schedule an audition time.

If you are a returning member of the Orchestra, auditions for actual placement will be only as necessary. This procedure will be discussed at the first rehearsal. For the moment, all returning members should take their relative places as they were last spring.


For further information, please email Scott Wood.


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.


Auditions consist of vocalising, ear training and sight-reading. No prepared solo is necessary.


Rehearsals are Wednesdays from 7:15–9:45 pm in Phillips Hall B-120.


Email Blake Clark for more information.