Making music in small ensembles offers fun and fulfillment, and is also one of the very best ways to grow as an instrumentalist, as a musician, and as a person. UCLA Woodwind Chamber Ensembles, a woodwind focused chamber ensemble class, offers practical rehearsal and performance experience in a chamber setting. The class meets weekly for coaching and rehearsals, and each group schedules an additional weekly rehearsal.
Students form small ensembles or are placed in small ensembles to work on assigned music in order to perform in concert at the end of the quarter. Ensembles must include at least one woodwind instrument; other instruments are welcome. (Strings need permission of string faculty.) Non-music majors may audition to participate. Students without previous chamber music experience can participate successfully.
Woodwind Chamber Ensembles play a wide range of styles and sizes—from Renaissance music through recent pieces from the 21st Century, and from trios to octets and larger. Aided by weekly coaching, ensembles work with the challenges of coordinating their playing without a conductor, using rehearsal time well, and developing a convincing and expressive performance. Collaboration is at the heart of the work. Fundamental issues are always in play: leading and following, playing and listening, accuracy and expression, analysis and imagination.