Music Ensembles

The following music ensembles will be offered by the Arts Department of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) in academic year 2016-17:

Rensselaer Orchestra - One-credit course (ARTS 2300), graded, offered in Fall and Spring semesters. Rehearsals (class meetings) are on Monday and Thursday from 4:00-5:50 pm in 326 West Hall. 

The Rensselaer Orchestra is an ensemble of undergraduate and graduate students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. Started by the Department of Arts at Rensselaer in 2013, the Orchestra is currently under the direction of Nicholas DeMaison. The ensemble performs classics of the orchestral literature and regularly premieres new and experimental works. The group makes its performing home in the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), Troy, NY.

Listen to recordings of the Rensselaer Orchestra at https://soundcloud.com/rensselaer-orchestra.

Rensselaer Concert ChoirOne-credit course (ARTS 2310), graded, offered in Fall and Spring semesters. Rehearsals (class meetings) are on Monday and Thursday from 7:00-8:30 pm at the Chapel + Cultural Center and in West Hall. 

The oldest continuously performing music ensemble at RPI, the Rensselaer Concert Choir is made up of undergraduate and graduate students, and performs music from the dawn of written musical traditions to the present, often premiering new work for choir.  The Concert Choir is directed and conducted by Professor Nicholas DeMaison.

Listen to recordings of the Rensselaer Concert Choir at https://soundcloud.com/rensselaerconcertchoir

Rensselaer Chamber Music EnsembleTwo-credit course (ARTS 2350), graded, offered in Fall and Spring semesters. Rehearsals (class meetings) are on Tuesday from 6:00 pm – 9:50 pm in West Hall 326. Chamber music ensembles are coached by Professor Nicholas DeMaison.

Roots of Africa Music Ensemble - One-credit course (ARTS 2360), graded, offered in Fall and Spring semesters.  Rehearsals (class meetings) are on Wednesdays 7:00-8:50 pm in West Hall 326. 

The Roots of Africa Music Ensemble focuses on the study and performance of African, Afro-Cuban, and New World percussion. Under the direction of Professor Ade Knowles, students will learn the significance of performance within a folkloric music ensemble and how to play percussion instruments from Africa, Cuba, and the New World. The ensemble performs one main concert each semester. Students may also have the opportunity to participate in other events. Concert attire inludes tuxedo and all black formats; students provide their own concert attire.



Concerts

The Orchestra and Concert Choir each perform one main concert each semester, plus the holiday concert in December. Students may also have the opportunity to participate in other events. Concert attire is semi-formal black; students provide their own concert attire.



The Chamber Ensemble performs once or twice per semester, at the discretion of the director, and may participate in such events as the holiday concert in December. Concert attire is semi-formal black; students provide their own concert attire. 

Roots of Africa Music Ensemble performs one to two public performances each semester.

Auditions/Prerequisites

For Rensselaer Orchestra / Concert Choir Auditions / Chamber Music:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Gpw1kAEhFlaupUnK5q610P9q-aJ95WuSpbmzsriB9K0/edit?usp=sharing

 

For Roots of Africa Music Ensemble: Arts 2340 (Intro to Afro-Cuban Percussion) or permission of the director/conductor; demonstrated fundamental hand technique in playing Conga (open and closed slaps, base tones, and back tones), Shekere, Cowbell, and/or Clave; demonstrated knowledge of Afro-Cuban or Latin rhythms on Conga, Cowbell, and/or Clave (approx. 20 min.)

Instruments

Orchestra students must provide their own instruments, with the exception of percussion, contrabass, and certain specialized woodwinds and brass. Instrument storage will be available.

Latin percussion instruments will be provided for Roots of Africa Music Ensemble and auditions; instruments are the property of RPI and are stored on campus.

For further information on the Arts Department Music Ensembles, please contact:

ACADEMIC: Anne Borrero, Administrative Assistant, Academic Affairs – 518-276-6413; borrea2@rpi.edu

ARTS DEPT: Beth Dennis, Administrative Coordinator, Arts Dept. – 518-276-4778; dennib@rpi.edu