Ensembles

The Music Major Ensembles are for students enrolled in the School of Music degree programs. These ensembles include the orchestral program, wind ensemble program, all choral ensembles, and the opera program. To learn more about Ensembles that are open to the entire University Community, please visit the University Ensembles/Boston University Bands website at www.bu.edu/bands.

Ensemble Seating Auditions

Auditions for MP600/MP602 (Large Ensembles) and MP608 (Chamber Music) are required of each student, every September of his or her residency in the School of Music. Each audition will be seven minutes long. These auditions play a significant role in the determination of placement in and within chamber music, the orchestras, and the wind ensemble. Therefore, every student is urged to prepare these auditions carefully and thoroughly. The faculty will weigh the preparation and performance of the orchestral excerpts as heavily as that of the solo material.

Symphony and Chamber Orchestras

The Boston University School of Music Orchestral Program, which includes the Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra, plays a central role in the education of the School’s instrumentalists who aspire to professions as chamber musicians, orchestral musicians, teachers, or a combination of all three.

Stefan Asbury, Ching Chun Lai, and Ken-David Masur guest conduct the Symphony Orchestra in the fall. Neal Hampton leads the Chamber Orchestra in the fall semester, while Professor William Lumpkin, Director of the BU Opera Institute, works with the ensemble in two main stage opera productions during the spring. They, with faculty coaches and guest conductors, lead the orchestras in more than sixteen concerts each season including the Symphony Orchestra’s two performances in Boston’s Symphony Hall, during which the Symphonic Chorus also appears. The orchestra also presents a Concerto Concert featuring student soloists and a student composition. Readings and recordings of student compositions take place twice each year.

The Symphony Orchestra regularly rehearses MWF, 11:30-1:45.
The Chamber Orchestra regularly rehearses MWF, 11:30-1:45.

For grading, registration information, and course guidelines please download the MP600 Handbook 15-16 as well as our Absence Request Addendum

If it is within 3 hours from the start of a rehearsal and a student unable to attend due to illness or emergency, they should email ensemblesabsence-l@bu.edu to report their absence. Note that this does not automatically excuse the absence. Students should follow the procedure described in the handbook to excuse the absence.

Seating assignments for each concert cycle are posted here. Scroll down through all of the pages of the document to find all assignments. Please check all seating assignments across all ensembles (orchestras, wind ensemble), since you may be placed in multiple ensembles during a cycle.

Seating assignments do occasionally change, so please check back periodically, particularly within the first days of each cycle.

Seating assignments for the second cycle will be posted the week of 27 February on the Music Bridge website.

 

Wind Ensemble

The Wind Ensemble is the premiere music major band in the School of Music. Under the baton of Professor David Martins, the Wind Ensemble is designed to prepare wind, brass, and percussion players for the professional careers in ensemble performance. It also provides future music educators with institute standard teaching concepts and methods related to the study of band repertoire and performance. Prof. Martins demonstrates standard rehearsal techniques and requires an outstanding level of performance.
Wind Ensemble challenges students through both standard repertoire as well as new music written for symphonic bands. The Wind Ensemble seasons includes six performances, including a collaborative performance with the University Wide Band and Jazz Ensembles.
Membership in the Wind Ensemble is determined by auditions held in conjunction with the School of Music in September. Extremely talented non-music majors who have already spent at least one year at Boston University may audition for this group. If interested, please contact the office.

The Wind Ensemble regularly rehearses TR, 3:40-6:10.

For grading, registration information, and course guidelines please download the MP600 Handbook 15-16

If it is within 3 hours from the start of a rehearsal and a student unable to attend due to illness or emergency, they should email ensemblesabsence-l@bu.edu to report their absence. Note that this does not automatically excuse the absence. Students should follow the procedure described in the handbook to excuse the absence.

Seating assignments for each concert cycle are posted here. Scroll down through all of the pages of the document to find all assignments. Please check all seating assignments across all ensembles (orchestras, wind ensemble), since you may be placed in multiple ensembles during a cycle.

Seating assignments do occasionally change, so please check back periodically, particularly within the first days of each cycle.

Seating assignments for the second cycle are now posted on the Music Bridge website.

Choral Ensembles

Boston University choruses offer opportunities to all members of the University community. Placement auditions are required for all choirs including the Symphonic Chorus, the Boston University Singers, and the Graduate Vocal Ensemble. Though all satisfy the requirements for the professional training of the music major in the School of Music, membership is not limited to music majors. All are available for academic credit. Each ensemble has a number of performances each year in a variety of venues on campus and off campus. The repertoire varies for each ensemble, but is classical choral music.

Though it is listed under the Music Major Ensembles, the Boston University Symphonic Chorus is our premier choir for the Boston University community. The Symphonic Chorus is an auditioned ensemble open to all university students, faculty, staff, and friends. Most concerts take place in Symphony Hall, the home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. BU Symphony Hall concerts are also broadcast live online.

Rehearsals are held in the CFA Concert Hall at 855 Commonwealth Avenue, typically on Wednesday evenings. Auditions to determine vocal range are generally held at the first and second rehearsals of each semester as indicated on the online calendar. Repertoire for the 2015-2016 season will include Fauré’s Requiem, Stravinsky’s Perséphone, Schoenberg’s Friede auf Erden, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 Choral. For grading, course guidelines, and detailed contact information please see the Fall 2015 Symphonic Syllabus

The Boston University Singers are primarily undergraduate vocal majors from the School of Music. The BU Singers perform at the beautiful Marsh Chapel throughout the academic year. The repertoire that they study and perform is designed to broaden the historical and musical knowledge of it’s members in conjunction with the large ensemble course requirements of vocal majors. For grading, course guidelines, and detailed contact information please see the Syllabus BU Singers Spring 2016

The Graduate Vocal Ensemble is an elite chorus primarily comprised of graduate choral conducting students. The ensemble aims to perform challenging repertoire at the highest level in conjunction with the ensembles requirements of advanced conducting degrees.

Opera Institute Resources

OPERA THEATRE (MU 655)

Designed for graduate singers who demonstrate operatic potential and have mastered an intermediate integration of acting, vocal, and movement skills. Coursework includes acting, music and dramatic coaching of scenes and arias, movement classes, diction, scenes participation audition preparation, and master classes.  All students enrolled in Opera Theatre will be considered for casting in principal roles when appropriate and in consultation with the student’s applied teacher. All students in Opera Theatre will also participate in the mainstage production ensembles. Other performance opportunities may include scenes programs or one act operas. Admission by audition.

OPERA WORKSHOP (MU 651)
Undergraduate (juniors and seniors) singers are selected who demonstrate operatic potential, have mastered a beginning level of acting and vocal skill, and who need experience, integration, and refinement. Coursework includes acting, music and dramatic coaching, movement, stage and audition techniques and master classes. The class culminates in performance of opera scenes or one act operas.  Students may be eligible for secondary roles when appropriate and in consultation with the student’s applied teacher.  Students in Opera Workshop will participate in mainstage production ensembles. Admission by audition.

OPERA PROJECT (MU 395)
Designed to provide a basic understanding for undergraduate singers (freshmen and sophomores) of how to prepare and perform appropriate selections from the operatic repertoire, with a dual focus on stagecraft and musical preparation. Class performance projects include recitative, staged operatic arias and opera scenes. Students in the class will be considered for ensemble participation in the mainstage productions. Admission by audition.