String Ensemble and Wind Ensemble

String and Wind Ensemble is are courses in musicianship for players of string, wind, and percussion instruments. (Percussionists should register for Wind Ensemble.) Through the preparation and performance of instrumental music, students learn elements of style, expression, ensemble technique, music theory, history of music, and music literature. The role of the performer and his or her responsibility to the composer, the audience, and fellow performers are ongoing themes in this class. A varied repertoire, ranging from Renaissance music to modern compositions, is performed not only by the full orchestra, but also by various smaller chamber ensembles. Each mod culminates in a performance, and in some mods there may be evening and/or weekend rehearsals and performances.

Students may take this course multiple times. Those taking the course for the first time must take the three mods in sequence, though the mods may be split between years. Once they have completed the sequence once, students may take any or all mods in subsequent years. In whatever mods they take, advanced students focus on expanding and deepening their skills as performers and are taught to reflect on the creative possibilities inherent in the interaction among their own musical intuition, the composer’s indications in a score, and their own detailed analysis of a piece. They develop the habit of considering what each of these elements offers as they make interpretive decisions about performance and develop their own performance style.

To participate in either String or Wind Ensemble a student must demonstrate familiarity with their instrument; read music fluently; and have a working understanding of key signatures, basic rhythm patterns, and meter.

Min-Max Credit Hours: 1.0-3.0