The Department Of Music is proud to offer a wide variety of chamber music experiences for the aspiring professional musician. Coached and conducted by the foremost leaders in the field, the ensembles exhibit a very high level of performance excellence. Each ensemble is in popular demand and performs concerts both on and off campus. The philosophy of the chamber music program is to provide students with a wide exposure to and performance of the standard and contemporary chamber literature. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the chamber ensemble program by experiencing a variety of performance ensembles.
The Percussion Ensemble program consists of a great variety of small and large chamber groups. The ensembles perform in a variety of styles such as: classical transcriptions, contemporary styles, standard percussion ensemble literature, and new music.
Sight-reading and performance techniques for percussion instruments are emphasized in rehearsals. The ensemble is open to Percussion majors and minors by audition. These groups perform on an average of five times per year.
The University Percussion Quartet features the top four percussionists in the major.
Steel Drum Orchestra
The Steel Drum Orchestra is one of the largest and finest ensembles of its kind in the United States. The orchestra (40-50 members), founded by Michael Carney in 1986, consists of percussion majors as well as non-music majors and performs an average of six times each year.
The group performs music from Trinidad, Jamaica, Cuba, and Brazil on top- quality instruments made by Patrick Arnold, Chris Wabich, and David Beery.
The group is directed by Dr. Dave Gerhart.
World Percussion Ensemble
The World Percussion Ensemble is dedicated to the performance of traditional percussion music primarily from non-Western cultures.
The group consists of the West African Drum and Dance Ensemble, Brazilian Samba Band and Afro-Brazilian Traditional Ensemble, Afro-Cuban Ensemble, Djembe Ensemble and the Frame Drum Ensemble.
This 30-40 member group, founded in 1996, is directed by Dr. Dave Gerhart.
The World Percussion Ensemble also employs internationally reknowned guest artists with a variety of expertise. Past guest artists include Chalo Eduardo, Ronnie Engel, C.K. Ladzekpo, Duo Ello (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Luis Conte, and Brad Dutz.
Currently, the West African Drum and Dance Ensemble is taught by Kevin O’Sullivan and African dancer Yeko Ladzekpo. Mark Lamson, one of the leading experts in Brazilian music, teaches the Brazilian Ensembles.