Student ensembles

Student Ensembles S1 2022

Ensemble Studies ATS 1347 and ATS2800

The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance has an exciting and wide range of music ensembles open to all students across the university. Participation is via 1) enrolment in the Music Ensemble (ATS1347/2800), 2) completion of the ensemble selection google form before the first day of semester, and 3) for selected ensembles, there is a brief online audition component.

Important: Please read the ensemble specific audition requirements in the sections below before completing the ensemble selection google form. Students are only able to select one ensemble at a time on this form. If you would like to be considered for more than one ensemble (for example, if your first choice is full, or further audition is required), please complete one form per ensemble. All students are required to complete a registration form, even if your selected ensemble does not require an audition.

For any questions regarding entry requirements into these units, please contact the Ensemble Studies Coordinator, Roman Ponomariov via roman.ponomariov@monash.edu.

ONLINE AUDITIONS are open for video submissions

Audition information

  • All auditions require upload of a short, 90-second video.
  • Students may choose to audition on more than one instrument (e.g. wind instrument doubling).
  • Please ensure you read the ensemble specific audition requirements in the sections below and/or contact the ensemble director directly.

    Audition timeline
  • Video auditions due via the google form by 5pm Monday 28th of February (first day of semester)
  • Students notified of audition of results by Friday 4th of March
  • Ensembles start in week 2

Start your audition/registration for S1 2022 here

Current Ensemble Offerings

Monash University Big Band

Director: TBC

Overview: The Monash University Big Band is an eighteen-piece ensemble that explores the stylistic history of jazz and the stage band/big band repertoire.  The ensemble facilitates the development of students’ skills in improvisation, sight-reading, understanding of jazz styles and ensemble performance practices.  The Monash University Big Band has performed with international artists John Abercrombie, George Garzone, Maria Schneider, Tim Ries, Ed Partyka, Eddie Palmieri and his septet at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and with Argentinian New York based composer Guillermo Klein.

Entry: Please submit a 90 second video that provides an overall impression of your playing ability.

Rehearsal Times: Thursdays, 2 - 3.50 pm

Mode of Delivery: On Campus

Contemporary Voice Ensemble

Director: TBC

Overview: The Contemporary Voice Ensemble is an opportunity to explore an exciting palette of modern compositions for vocalists spanning jazz, gospel, pop, soul and world influences. Students will delve into a lush world of harmonies, challenging rhythmic concepts, vocal technique and the basics of contemporary improvisation.  Our eclectic repertoire draws on the very best of Australian contemporary vocal composition, American vocal jazz traditions, modern gospel material, as well as South Indian vocal percussion, encouraging a fresh approach to a cappella performance in all its forms.

Entry: No audition required

Rehearsal Times: Wednesdays, 1 - 2.50 pm

Mode of Delivery: On Campus

Theatre Orchestra

Music Director: Roman Ponomariov

Overview: This ensemble will explore repertoire featured in theatre settings, be it music theatre or opera. We’ll focus on the elasticity and interpretation associated with various styles of music, explore some of the modern music theatre repertoire, as well as work on the finer chamber skills required to accompany the stage or soloists. Woodwind students are encouraged to consider joining this ensemble and explore the world of doubling. This ensemble can accommodate acoustic instruments, as well as a rhythm section.

Entry: Please submit a 90 second video that provides an overall impression of your playing ability.

Rehearsal Times: Thursdays, 11 – 12.50 pm

Mode of Delivery: On Campus

Funk Ensemble

Director: TBC

Overview: Monash Funk Ensemble incorporates elements of soul, jazz, R ’n B and pop — the classic ingredients of groove-based music. From James Brown to Vulfpeck, this ensemble will focus on the interplay between the rhythm, horn and vocal sections within the ensemble.

Entry: Please submit a 90 second video that provides an overall impression of your playing ability.

Rehearsal times: Thursdays, 11 - 12.50 pm

Mode of Delivery: On Campus

Latin Jazz Ensemble

Music Director: TBC

Overview: This ensemble explores some of the diverse rhythmic styles of Latin music in the context of jazz and improvisation. This will include Afro-Cuban rhythms such as Son, Cha Cha, Songo, Rumba, Afro 68, as well as Brazilian styles commonly used in Latin Jazz. Students will gain an understanding of the concept of Cuban clave and its function as the foundation for rhythmic phrasing within the ensemble. Students will apply concepts learned to jazz standards, arrangements and compositions. There is a performance goal of 20min of recorded material, ideally with video as a final group project. Between classes, students will rehearse and record parts for in-class feedback.

Entry: Please submit a 90 second video that provides an overall impression of your playing ability.

Rehearsal Times: Thursdays, 4.30 - 5.20 pm

Mode of Delivery: On Campus

Music Theatre Chorus

Music Director: Gerald Marko

Overview: The Monash Musical Theatre Chorus performs repertoire from a diverse range of modern and historical musicals (e.g. Songs for a New World, Rent, Les Miserables, Matilda, Hair, Dear Evan Hansen and Hamilton). This ensemble encourages autonomy and builds on techniques and skills developed in the first year, with a focus on performance, interpretation, movement and teamwork.

Entry: Please submit a 90 second video that provides an overall impression of your playing ability.

Rehearsal Times: Tuesdays, 1 - 2.50 pm

Mode of Delivery: On Campus

Pop, Soul and R&B

Music director: TBC

Overview: The Pop, Soul and R&B Ensemble comprises an instrumental rhythm section only in 2021 (no vocals or horns due to COVID restrictions). The repertoire is selected from a range of popular music styles, both contemporary and historical, performing original and traditional pop, soul and R&B compositions. The group focus for all students is on performance, arrangement, movement, and teamwork. Each member of the group is required to research material and be involved in arrangements.

Entry: Please submit a 90 second video that provides an overall impression of your playing ability.

Rehearsal Times: Thursdays, 2 - 3.50 pm

Mode of Delivery: On Campus

Monash Chamber Orchestra

Music Director: Dr Anna McMichael

Overview: This ensemble will focus on some smaller-scale orchestral repertoire, performing Classical, Romantic and modern works. This ensemble would be an appropriate option for strings, woodwinds, and horns.

Entry: Please submit a 90 second video that provides an overall impression of your playing ability.

Rehearsal Times: Thursdays, 4 - 5.50 pm

Mode of Delivery: On Campus

Improvisation Ensemble

Director: Aaron Wyatt

Overview: As well as introducing you to strategies for improvisation and collaborative music making, the Improv Ensemble will show you how to make music with others online, using cutting-edge, telematic performance software. You’ll learn how to install and set up the programs we’ll be using, how to deal with audio latency in practical and creative ways, and how to explore the sorts of musical concepts that work in this kind of environment. As well as looking at existing works, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in the development of an original work for the ensemble.

Entry: No Audition required.

Rehearsal Times: Thursdays, 2 - 3.50 pm

Mode of Delivery: Online

Monash University Singers

Director: Aaron Wyatt

Overview: The choir is the perfect place to hone your musicianship and aural skills, and offers a supportive environment for everyone to develop their singing, regardless of previous experience. We’ll be working our way through a wide variety of repertoire, from well known choral masterworks to newly composed pieces in a diverse range of languages, including a premiere of Jet Kye Chong’s Shuole in Mandarin, and works by Deborah Cheetham in Gunditjmara.

Entry: No Audition required.

Rehearsal Times: Wednesdays, 9 - 10.50 am

Mode of Delivery: On Campus