Student ensembles

Student ensembles Semester 2 2022

Ensemble Studies ATS1348 and ATS2801

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 (ATS1348/2801), 2) completion of the ensemble selection google form before the first day of semester, and 3) for selected ensembles, there is a brief recorded audition component. The link to the audition/registration form will be posted on ATS1348 / ATS2801 Moodle Site.

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

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: Thursday, 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: Wednesday, 1 - 2.50 pm

Mode of Delivery: On Campus

Theatre Orchestra

Music Director: Roman Ponomariov

Overview: This ensemble will explore repertoire featured in music theatre settings. We’ll focus on developing skills such as elasticity, blend, rhythm, phrasing, intonation, expression, as well as explore specific interpretation associated with various styles. We’ll 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: Thursday 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: Thursday, 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: Thursday, 4.30 - 5.20 pm

Mode of Delivery: On Campus

Acting for Singers

Music director: TBC

Overview: This newly restructured vocal ensemble will give singers from all genres a chance to explore what we all have in common: lyrics, narrative, and evoking emotion in the listener. Ensemble director Gerald Marko will take you on a quest to find different ways of engaging with song narratives across all styles. The ensemble follows two main objectives: First, each student will be workshopped solo, on stage, in front of their peers, with preselect material and/or songs of their choice (classical, jazz or popular). Second, the ensemble will collaborate in an ensemble performance, showcasing their work with text across multiple styles. The main goal is to improve your connection to the narrative of the chosen piece(s) and observe the impact on your audience. Peer feedback will be guided and encouraged.

On a weekly basis, this means you will be creating video recordings of your work in preparation for the rehearsal, while the ensemble sessions comprise feedback on the recordings and short, rostered, solo masterclasses, where peers are encouraged to engage in problem solving and constructive feedback. Bring your voice and find your courage.

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

Rehearsal Times: Tuesday 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: Thursday 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: Thursday 4.30 - 6.20 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: Wednesday 9 - 10.50 am

Mode of Delivery: On campus