Section 5: Ensemble Performance (MUS 150-194)

Music Student Handbook

Section Contents


Many individuals find that group performance experience is one of the greatest attractions of music making. Performance opportunities at Gustavus exist for individuals with varying amounts of time to devote to their musical interests. It is possible to complete the general education Arts (ARTS) requirement through ensemble courses. Ensembles are open to all students by audition; the audition will result in individual placements based on the student's interests and abilities as well as the needs of the ensemble. Ensemble audition results are announced after upper class students complete auditions prior to the start of fall classes. Most ensemble rosters are posted by the first day of class, and all audition results are finalized by the end of the first week of classes. Students enrolled in an ensemble are encouraged to take lessons in order to insure their maximum musical growth.

Registration and Audition Procedure

All first year students should sign up for an ensemble placement audition (Voice, String, Wind/Percussion, Keyboard, Handbell, Recorder) when registering for fall semester. Care should be taken to leave room for ensemble credit in their total registration plans.

Returning/continuing students who have already participated in a given ensemble may register for that or a similar ensemble in advance, but that registration is still subject to audition in the fall (or late spring in the case of some choral ensembles).

Most ensembles continue through the academic year, some include January Term

Ensemble placements are announced in the first week of fall semester after auditions are complete. Actual registration for ensemble(s) must be completed by the student through the Office of the Registrar (Web Advisor). All ensembles carry academic credit (see below).

Academic Credit

All ensembles carry academic credit, either .25 or .13 credits. Registration for ensembles is the responsibility of the student. It is possible to register for an ensemble for no credit if regular registration would result in a course overload fee, but registration for no credit does not count towards the requirements for either a music major, music minor, or for general education. Participants who register for no credit wil have their participation noted on their transcript (if they successfully complete the work for the semester). Attendance, participation, attitude, and performance expectations are the same for all students in the ensemble regardless of whether they register for credit or no credit. In any case, all ensemble participants must be registered.

Vocal Ensembles

0.25-credit choral ensembles at Gustavus include the Choir of Christ Chapel (MUS 155) and the Gustavus Choir (MUS 156). Other 0.13-credit ensembles rehearse fewer days and include Lucia Singers (MUS 151), St. Ansgar’s Chorus (MUS 152), Chamber Singers (MUS 154), and Vocal Chamber Music ensembles (MUS 157). Christmas in Christ Chapel, student recitals, music theatre productions, opera scenes, choir tours and concerts, daily and Sunday chapel services, and various special events on and off campus are just some of the diverse vocal performance experiences available. A typical registration for the student entering Gustavus as a non-music major but interested in continued growth as a vocal musician consists of the following: voice lessons (MUS 248) or Voice Class (MUS 129) and one choral ensemble commensurate with ability and desired time commitment (subject to audition placement).

MUS 151: Lucia Singers (0.13 Credit)

Brandon Dean, Conductor

The Lucia Singers is a women’s ensemble that performs a variety of secular and sacred literature. The ensemble sings for services in Christ Chapel, at Christmas in Christ Chapel, for the Festival of St. Lucia in December, at other campus events, and presents a spring concert traditionally held on Mother’s Day.

Rehearsals:Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 3:30 PM – 4:20 PM

MUS 152: St. Ansgar’s Chorus (0.13 Credit)

Brandon Dean, Conductor

The St. Ansgar’s Chorus is a male choral ensemble open to all interested men of the Gustavus community. The ensemble rehearses and performs significant sacred and secular works from the great male chorus repertoire.

Rehearsals: Tuesday, 6:30 PM – 8:20 PM

MUS 155: Choir of Christ Chapel (0.25 Credit)

Brandon Dean, Conductor

The Choir of Christ Chapel draws its repertoire from a wide variety of significant sacred choral literature. In addition to worship services both on and off campus, the choir performs a concert tour in the spring semester, at Christmas in Christ Chapel, and for other special college events. Recent tours have included San Antonio (2002), Chicago (2003), Seattle (2004), northern Minnesota (2005), and Colorado (2006). Once every four years, the ensemble tours during January Term.

Rehearsals: Monday-Thursday, 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

MUS 156: Gustavus Choir: (0.25 Credit)

Gregory Aune, Conductor

The Gustavus Choir draws its repertoire from the finest choral compositions of past and contemporary literature. The choir performs an annual tour, at Christmas in Christ Chapel, a spring choral/orchestral concert, for services in Christ Chapel, and services for other special college events. The Choir toured Scandinavia and East and West Germany in 1983, The U.S.S.R. and Sweden in 1987, China and Japan in 1991, Poland, Germany, Sweden, and Finland in 1995, South Africa in 1999, and Italy in 2003.

Rehearsals: Monday, Wednesday, 4:30-5:20 PM; Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 4:30 PM – 5:40 PM

MUS 157: Duets/Trios/Quartets (0.13 Credit)

Patricia Snapp, Instructor

Vocal chamber ensembles (duets, trios, quartets) is offered so that advanced singers can experience performance in a small ensemble. Exact configurations are dependent on student interest in a given semester. Performances are scheduled both on and off campus.

Rehearsals: Arranged

Instrumental Ensembles

Gustavus offers a wide variety of ensembles for instrumentalists including concert wind orchestras, symphony and philharmonic orchestras, and brass, jazz, percussion, string, guitar, woodwind, handbell, and early music ensembles. Both large groups and small chamber music groupings are options for the student interested in performing. While a student-directed pep band is often organized for athletic events, a marching band program is not part of the curricular offerings. Students performing on larger instruments in ensembles may be provided with a College-owned instrument for which a nominal maintenance fee will be assessed (See: Instrumental Rental Policy in Section 1). Typically, violins, flutes, clarinets, alto saxophones, trumpets, and trombones are owned by individual students, while larger instruments may be owned by the individual or the College. College-owned instruments will be assigned as ensemble placements are made. Anyone wishing to use a school instrument for audition purposes can arrange to obtain an instrument by coming to the Instrumental Audition area during Fall Orientation. Each student will also be issued a locker for score and/or instrument storage (See: Student Storage Space in Section 1). Single reeds are available for purchase from the Book Mark; double reeds are available for purchase from the Woodwind Area Coordinator in the Department of Music. A typical registration for a student entering Gustavus as a non-music major but interested in continued growth as an instrumental musician consists of the following: lessons on primary instrument, participation in one large ensemble, and optional participation in one small ensemble.

MUS 160: Adolphus Jazz Ensemble (0.13 Credit)

Dave Stamps, Conductor

The Adolphus Jazz Ensemble performs jazz and contemporary selections at events on campus throughout the academic year, including the annual Gustavus Jazz Workshop.

Rehearsals: Tuesday and Wednesday, 7:30 PM – 8:20 PM

MUS 161: Gustavus Jazz Lab Band (0.13 Credit)

Dave Stamps, Conductor

The Gustavus Jazz Lab Band provides a strong performance experience in big band jazz, jazz improvisation, and other related styles. In addition to fall and spring concerts as well as on-campus appearances, the group makes an annual spring tour. The jazz lab band also hosts and participates in the annual Gustavus Jazz Workshop.

Rehearsals: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 8:30 PM – 9:20 PM

MUS 165: Gustavus Wind Orchestra (0.25 Credit)

James Patrick Miller, Conductor

The Gustavus Wind Orchestra is an ensemble of 65-75 members that draws its concert and tour repertoire from a wide range of the finest wind and percussion literature. In addition to several concert venues on campus each year, the Gustavus Wind Orchestra has performed on concert tours throughout the United States. In addition, the ensemble has toured internationally to Scandinavia in 1978, 1985, and 2002, Sweden and Germany in 1990, and Poland, Hungary, Austria, Germany, and other sections of Eastern Europe in 1994, a tour that the ensemble repeated in January 2006.

Rehearsals: Monday 4:30 PM – 6:20 PM, Wednesday 4:30 PM – 6:20 PM, Thursday 4:30 – 5:20 PM. Sectional rehearsals arranged by section

MUS 166: Vasa Wind Orchestra (0.13 Credit)

Karrin Meffert-Nelson, Conductor

The Vasa Wind Orchestra is a concert ensemble of approximately 85 members with a moderate rehearsal and performance schedule. The repertoire studied encompasses a broad spectrum of many styles from traditional marches to fine contemporary literature.

Rehearsals: Tuesday and Thursday, 5:30 PM – 6:45 PM; Sectional rehearsals arranged by section

MUS 170: Gustavus Symphony Orchestra (0.25 Credit)

Ruth Lin , Conductor

The Gustavus Symphony Orchestra consists of approximately 75-80 members, both music and non-music majors, and performs literature typical of the “romantic” period. It specializes in the symphonic works of the nineteenth century and works for larger orchestra from later periods. The Orchestra has previously toured internationally to England and China and domestically throughout the United States.

Rehearsals: Tuesday and Thursday, 6:30 PM – 8:20 PM; String sectionals Wednesday at 7:00 PM, other sectionals as announced

MUS 171: Gustavus Philharmonic Orchestra (0.13 Credit)

Justin Knoepfel, Conductor

The Gustavus Philharmonic Orchestra consists of approximately 25-30 members, both music and non-music majors, specializing in orchestra and string orchestra repertoire of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It is a string orchestra with winds added as needed.

Rehearsals: Monday and Wednesday, 5:45 – 7:00 PM

MUS 173: String Chamber Ensembles (0.13 Credit)

Justin Knoepfel, Instructor

String Chamber Ensembles are offered so that advanced students can explore chamber literature. Various performances are scheduled throughout the year for on and off campus venues.

Rehearsals: Arranged

MUS 175: Guitar Ensemble (0.13 Credit)

James McGuire, Instructor

The Guitar Ensemble provides an opportunity for classical guitarists to perform a wide variety of literature.

Rehearsals: Arranged

MUS 177: Percussion Ensemble (0.13 Credit)

Paul Hill, Conductor

Two Percussion Ensembles allow serious students of percussion to study and perform the rapidly expanding repertoire of music in this area. Performances by these ensembles are scheduled for both fall and spring semesters.

Rehearsals: Thursday, 3:30 PM – 4:20 PM

MUS 178: Handbell Choirs (0.13 Credit)

Chad Winterfeldt, Conductor

Gustavus Adolphus College is fortunate to have two handbell choirs. In addition to the study and performance of handbell literature, handbell ensembles frequently provide liturgical assistance for Christ Chapel services, Christmas in Christ Chapel, and other off-campus events.

Rehearsals: Tuesday evenings, Arranged

MUS 181: Flute Choir (0.13 Credit)

James DeVoll, Conductor

The Flute Choir provides an opportunity for flutists to study and perform varied literature for multiple flutes. The ensemble performs for Christ Chapel services and presents a concert each semester.

Rehearsals: Monday, 7:00 PM – 8:15 PM

MUS 184: Woodwind Ensembles (0.13 Credit)

Karrin Meffert-Nelson, Instructor

Woodwind chamber ensembles (quartets, quintets, etc.) consist of advanced players interested in studying and performing the literature of woodwind chamber music. Exact configurations are dependent on student interest in a given semester. All groups rehearse weekly at arranged times and prepare several works each semester for both on and off campus performances.

Rehearsals: Arranged

MUS 190: Trombone Choir (0.13 Credit) Scott Moore, Conductor

The Trombone Choir provides an ensemble performance setting for advanced trombone students. The group rehearses once per week with performances at recitals, services in Christ Chapel, and other worship services off campus. Spring only.

Rehearsals: Monday, 6:30 PM – 7:20 PM

MUS 191: Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble (0.13 Credit)

Trygve Skaar (Prounced Trig-vee Score), Conductor

The Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble provides performance opportunities for all tuba and euphonium players in a variety of settings, from recitals and concerts to services in Christ Chapel. Spring only.

Rehearsals: arranged

MUS 192: Brass Choir (0.13 Credit)

Scott Moore, Conductor

Brass Choir provides an opportunity for brass musicians to study and perform the great literature written for this medium. Performance venues include on and off campus appearances, and other performances in Christ Chapel. Spring semesters only.

Rehearsals: Monday, 8:30 – 9:20 PM

MUS 193: Chapel Brass (0.13 Credit)

Scott Moore, Instructor

Chapel Brass consists of upper-class performers who have a commitment to advanced brass literature. The ensemble rehearses weekly and frequently provides music for services in Christ Chapel and for other off-campus events and worship services.

Rehearsals: Arranged

MUS 194: Chamber Brass Ensembles (0.13 Credit)

Scott Moore, Instructor

These chamber ensembles consist of advanced player interested in studying and performing brass chamber literature. Exact configurations are dependent on student interest in a given semester; each group formed rehearses weekly at arranged times and prepares several works each semester for various performances at both on and off campus venues.

Rehearsals: Arranged

Ensemble Rehearsal Schedule

The following information regarding course numbers, locations, meeting dates, and meeting times for these ensembles is taken from the Gustavus Adolphus College on-line course catalog maintained by the Office of the Registrar.

MUS Title Instructor Location Day(s) Time
151 Lucia Singers B. Dean FAM 214 MWR 3:30 PM - 4:20 PM
152 St. Ansgar's Chorus B. Dean FAM 214 T 6:30 PM- 8:20 PM
155 Choir of Christ Chapel B. Dean Christ Chapel MTWR 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
156 Gustavus Choir G. Aune BRH/FAM 214 MTWRF 4:30 PM - 5:20 PM
157 Duets, Trios, Quartets P. Snapp Arr. Arr. Arr.
Wind and Percussion
MUS Title Instructor Location Day(s) Time
165 Gustavus Wind Orchestra J.P. Miller FAM 106 MW 4:30 PM - 6:20 PM
  " " FAM 106 R 4:30 PM - 5:20 PM
166 Vasa Wind Orchestra K M-Nelson FAM 106 TR 5:30 PM - 6:45 PM
177 Percussion Ensemble P. Hill FAM 106 R 3:30 PM - 4:20 PM
181 Flute Choir J. DeVoll FAM 103 T 7:00 PM - 8:15 PM
184 Woodwind Chamber Ens. K M-Nelson Arr. Arr. Arr.
190 Trombone Choir (Spring) S. Moore FAM 106 M 6:30 PM - 7:20 PM
191 Tuba/Euph. Ens. (Spring) T. Skaar FAM 106 arr arr
192 Brass Choir (Spring) H. Miller FAM 106 M 8:30 PM - 9:20 PM
193 Chapel Brass S. Moore Arr. Arr. Arr.
194 Chamber Brass S. Moore Arr. Arr. Arr.
MUS Title Instructor Location Day(s) Time
170 Symphony Orchestra R. Lin BRH TR 6:30 PM - 8:20 PM
  String sectional "   W 7:00 PM - 7:50 PM
171 Philharmonic Orchestra J. Knoepfel BRH MW 5:45 PM - 7:00 PM
173 String Ensemble J. Knoepfel Arr. Arr. Arr.
175 Guitar Ensemble J. McGuire Arr. Arr. Arr.
MUS Title Instructor Location Day(s) Time
160 Adolphus Jazz Ensemble D. Stamps FAM 106 TW 7:30 PM - 8:20 PM
161 Gustavus Jazz Lab Band D. Stamps FAM 106 TWR 8:30 PM - 9:20 PM
MUS Title Instructor Location Day(s) Time
178 Handbells C. Winterfeldt Christ Chapel T Arr.-PM

Revised: February, 2015