Other Conservatory Ensembles

Continuo Playing

Corey Jamason, instructor
Open to all keyboard, guitar and harp players as well as singers and other instrumentalists interested in a broader understanding of performing with a continuo team, this performance course provides a solid background in performing from a figured bass in the various national styles and genres of the baroque era. By developing improvisational skills through the use of exercises and methods found in original seventeenth- and eighteenth-century continuo treatises, we will explore the art of continuo playing in a manner similar to the study of jazz, namely, the development of listening and reacting within a musical context. Some reading of primary source material will be required. Keyboard players will have access to harpsichords for class preparation. (No audition required)

Brass Choir

Paul Welcomer, director

Brass Choir is a weekly class required for all brass majors. Its principal purpose is to develop ensemble skills through regular reading rehearsals, orchestral repertoire readings and rehearsals for public recitals, which are presented twice annually. In addition, the class is used as a forum for master classes by faculty and guest artists. The class also serves as a workshop on chamber music, auditions and solo performances. (No audition required)

Guitar Ensemble
David Tanenbaum, director

The Guitar Ensemble performs works for large groups of conducted guitars and also breaks into smaller guitar ensembles and mixed ensembles with other instruments. The smaller ensembles are coached regularly and perform each semester. The ensemble's programs regularly blend new compositions with transcriptions.In fall 2000, the Guitar Ensemble went on a five-concert tour of Northern California with composer Steve Reich, and in fall 2001 it performed the United States premiere of Terry Riley's Y Bolanzero.The ensemble performed in both the final concert at Ortega Street and the inaugural concert at the Oak Street Concert Hall, for which it commissioned Steve Mackey's Measures of Turbulence. It recently recorded Measures of Turbulence on the 2010 Naxos release Awakenings (Naxos 8.559650).

For audition information please click here.

Returning Students who have previously participated in the ensemble do not need to re-audition. Please contact David Tanenbaum to let him know that you are interested in participating again. Returning students who have not participated before must sign up for an audition.

New Students will sign up for an audition at the beginning of the school year.

Basso Continuo for Guitarists

Richard Savino, instructor

This course addresses the art of accompaniment of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century music. The repertoire is selected from a wide variety of chamber and larger works, both vocal and instrumental. Included in the study are recitative, embellishment and improvisation.

National styles of basso continuo practice from a variety of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century theorbo, lute and baroque guitar treatises will be examined in detail. Limited to juniors, seniors and graduate students except with permission from the instructor. (No audition required)

Collaborative Piano

Timothy Bach, director

Intro to Accompanying for Pianists: (required for freshman pianists) Presentation of fundamental techniques of instrumental and vocal accompanying. First semester: instrumental recital pieces, sonatas, concerti, chamber ensembles and sight-reading. Second semester: songs, opera arias, sight-reading, transpositions and choral playing. (No audition required)

Advanced Instrumental Accompanying: A performance class open to advanced instrumentalists and pianists designed to cover the major sonata and recital literature. (No audition required)

Advanced Vocal Accompanying: Performance class open to advanced singers and pianists who jointly prepare works from the major vocal literature. (No audition required)

Percussion Ensemble

Jack Van Geem, director

Percussion Ensemble members study performance techniques and works for percussion and present two performances each year, sometimes including performers from other music disciplines. In addition, students prepare for twice-yearly Peer Performance Presentations.