About Ensembles at Eastern

All ensembles are open to all students by audition with the ensemble director during the first week of classes. Participation in ensembles is welcomed, whether receiving credit or no credit for the course.

All instrumental & choral ensembles participate in our Winter & Spring Music Festivals, as well as requested on and off campus events.

Participants in our Class Ensembles will be coached by a faculty member and encouraged to perform in our Winter & Spring Music Festivals.

Instrumental Ensembles

Eastern Winds: comprising brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments, exposes students to the standard wind band repertoire.  Students will apply the fundamentals of instrumental performance in an ensemble setting as well as develop sensitivities in intonation, articulation, tone quality and color, rhythmic accuracy, and performance styles.

Flute Ensemble: This ensemble is comprised primarily of flutists in the music major, though non-majors are welcome as well.  The ensemble performs music from Bach to the 21st century.  Techniques required in chamber music are emphasized and the group performs without a conductor.

Jazz Band: acquaints students with music in standard jazz and commercial styles.  Students apply fundamentals of instrumental performance in a jazz ensemble setting and learn to develop musical independence while maturing in teamwork, responsibility, and joy in shared achievement.

St. Davids Orchestra Society: The St. Davids Orchestra Society is comprised of both Eastern University staff and students, as well as musicians from the surrounding communities and churches.  One of the main purposes of the orchestra is to allow students the experience of playing in a large orchestral ensemble, and to participate first hand in some of the most glorious orchestral repertoire.  Students will develop the musical skills necessary for successfully playing orchestral repertoire.  The St. Davids Orchestra Society has also collaborated with other musical organizations on campus, and plans future collaborations with other artistic venues such as dance and film.

Percussion Ensemble: This ensemble course is designed to give students exposure to the Percussion ensemble literature.  Students will be able to use the fundamentals of percussion performance in a small ensemble setting and develop musical concepts such as rhythmic precision, pitch and note accuracy, timbre, dynamics, balance, and phrasing.  This is an opportunity to work with multiple percussion setups.

Choral Ensembles

Angels of Harmony: This ensemble is a Gospel choir committed to ministry and diversity.  The repertoire includes the richness of African-American heritage coupled with contemporary Black Gospel music.  This group performs throughout the tri-state area during the academic year as well as Eastern University's Spring Commencement (alternate years).

Touring Choir: Touring Choir is selected from University Choir members by the director during the fall semester. Students who participate in the fall and who fulfill their performance obligations in the spring, including University Choir performances at Spring Commencement (alternate years), may receive one hour credit in the spring semester.  Note: An activity credit.

Turning Point: Turning Point is a small touring ensemble giving approximately 15 concerts a semester in churches and schools.  This highly selective ensemble is chosen by audition and is usually comprised of upper-class students.  In addition to touring, this ensemble participates in other on-campus events as well as the Music Gala Benefit Concert.

University Choir: The University Choir is open to all Eastern students.  The choir provides intensive training in all aspects of choral singing, aiming at performances that display vibrancy and beauty.  The choir performs music from all historic periods, including music of the 21st century. The choir tours annually throughout the East Coast at the end of the spring semester, and has also toured in Europe.  All students who enroll in University Choir assume the obligation to participate in touring choir if selected.  This ensemble participates in the Music Gala Benefit concert in the spring, as well as performs regularly for local churches and on-campus events. Prerequisite: By audition.

Class Ensembles

Chamber Ensemble: An ensemble course designed for more advanced performers to explore the repertoire for various small groupings of instruments and voices.  Such groupings may include brass, woodwinds, strings, percussion and various keyboard instruments.

Jazz Combo: This course is designed to help the student develop the ability to perform jazz in a small group format.  Songs (“jazz standards”) will be performed in various styles in different keys and varying tempos.  The emphasis will be on developing student’s sight reading, eighth note swing feel, soloing and group interplay skills.  It is also structured to prepare students to function in and/or lead a group where sight reading, interacting with other musicians and playing in various styles are required such as: church groups, wedding bands, theater or any public performance.  Students taking Jazz Combo are also encouraged to participate in Jazz Improvisation.

Jazz Improvisation: This course is designed to help the student cultivate the ability to improvise a solo on their given instrument using major and minor scales including their intervals and basic seventh chords.  Songs from the Tin Pan Alley era including Rogers and Hart, Gershwin, and Porter will be analyzed.  Students taking Jazz Improvisation are also encouraged to participate in Jazz Combo.