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Ensembles

The chapel choir practicing

The University of Waterloo Department of Music at Conrad Grebel University College invites all students, faculty, staff, and community members to join most of the eight ensembles that it sponsors and organizes.

Each ensemble listed below can be taken for credit (0.25 units each; see note on ensemble course numbers at the bottom of this page) or as an extracurricular activity.

Regular attendance at rehearsals is required, and attendance at dress rehearsals and performances is mandatory. Most groups present a concert during the term.

Audition/Interview sign up is online only.

Chamber Choir (Fall, Winter)

The Chamber Choir meets every Tuesday and Thursday in the CGUC Chapel from 4:00 to 5:30 pm beginning the first week of classes (fall and winter terms only), and is led by Mark Vuorinen. This small ensemble of about 25 voices performs several times per term. Acceptance is by audition and at the discretion of the director.

Chamber Choir audition details

Chapel Choir (Fall, Winter)

The Chapel Choir, under the direction of Catherine Robertson, meets every Monday and Wednesday from 3:30 to 5:15 pm in the Conrad Grebel Chapel beginning the first week of classes (fall and winter terms only). This choir is a group of about 20 singers who participate in college chapel services (Wednesday, 4:30 to 5:30 pm) and occasionally visits local congregations. The Choir has established an ongoing series of CDs with recordings every few years. Acceptance into Chapel Choir is by audition and at the discretion of the director. The Agnes Giesbrecht Choral Music Scholarship is normally awarded in the spring for the upcoming year. Visit the chapel choir page for more details.

Chapel Choir audition details

University Choir (Fall, Winter, Spring)

The University Choir meets every Tuesday in the Conrad Grebel University College (CGUC) Chapel from 7:00 to 10:00 pm beginning the first week of classes each term. This large choir of approximately 90 singers performs a variety of works from the past and present. A brief vocal interview is required. Acceptance into the University Choir is by interview and at the discretion of the director, Gerard Yun.  

UW Choir audition details

Vocal Techniques (Fall)

Vocal Techniques meets on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 pm in room 1302. It is structured in a lab format and is led by Stephanie Kramer. It covers the foundations of singing, basic pedagogy, diction/phonetics, practice routines, and performance tips designed to prepare students for more in-depth individual voice instruction. There will be opportunity to sing a variety of repertoire during class time using the skills covered. This course is also useful for pianists interested in vocal accompanying. All interested University of Waterloo students are welcome to sign up for a brief information session.  Ensemble size is limited to 20 with priority given to students enrolled in a music studio course.  Acceptance into Vocal Techniques is by interview and at the discretion of the instructor.  This ensemble may only be taken once.
No prior knowledge required.

Vocal Techniques information session details 

Instrumental Chamber Ensemble (Fall, Winter, Spring)

The Instrumental Chamber Ensembles meet at different times during the week, depending on the schedule of the members of each ensemble. These musicians perform a wide variety of classical music from all time periods. Instrumentalists will be placed in small groups of approximately 3 - 8 players based on compatible abilities. Acceptance into the Instrumental Chamber Ensembles is by audition and at the discretion of the director, Ben Bolt-Martin.            

Instrumental Chamber Ensemble audition details

Jazz Ensemble (Fall, Winter)

The Jazz Ensemble meets on Monday nights from 7:00 to 10:00 pm in Room 1111, and is available in fall and winter terms. The director tries to accommodate both traditional and non-traditional jazz instruments in the ensemble. Acceptance into the Jazz Ensemble is by audition and at the discretion of the director, Michael Wood.

Jazz Ensemble audition details

orchestra@uwaterloo  (Fall, Winter, Spring)

Orchestra@uwaterloo is a university-wide orchestra open to students, staff, faculty, and alumni of the University of Waterloo. The orchestra's Music Director is Daniel Warren.  

Orchestra@uwaterloo is re-formed each term based on auditions. Undergraduate students form the majority of the orchestra's 60–70 musicians, though faculty, staff, graduate students, and alumni also participate. Members represent an academic cross-section of the university, with the Math and Engineering Faculties particularly well-represented. Every two years the orchestra holds a Concerto and Aria Competition open to UW students.

The orchestra rehearses at REV on Thursday nights, from 7 to 9:30 pm.  

orchestra@uwaterloo audition details

World Music Ensemble: Balinese Gamelan (Winter,Fall, Spring 17 intensive)

Since Fall 2013 the Department of Music has expanded its Music Ensemble offerings to include a World Music Ensemble: Balinese Gamelan (semara dana) from the island of Bali, Indonesia. In 2016–17, with Artist-in-Residence, I Dewa Made Suparta, we are excited to offer a second World Music Ensemble—the UW Balinese Chamber Gamelan (gender wayang). Both being an aural/oral tradition, repertoire—from ritual pieces to modern compositions, instrumental or dance—is learned and played without the use of sheet music. Students experience a communal process of creating a unified sound on the Balinese gamelan ensemble of their choice. No previous experience with gamelan or notation is necessary

  1. Balinese Gamelan (semara dana)
    Fall and Winter terms, meets every Tuesday and Thursday in the CGUC Rm 1209 from 4:00-5:30 p.m.
    Description: A large ensemble of 13 to 25 players consisting of gongs, metallophones, and drums. End-of-term concerts include an opportunity to perform with guest musicians and dancer.

    Information/audition session details
  1. Balinese Chamber Gamelan: Gender Wayang meets at different times throughout the 12-week term depending on the schedule of members. Directed by Artist-in-Residence I Dewa Made Suparta.

Description: The ensemble comprises a pair or quartet of ten-key metallophones. Two mallets are used to execute independent left and right hand parts. Gender (pronounced gen’de(ə)r) wayang is considered the most complex, technically difficult, and highly regarded music in Bali. End-of-term performances will be held with the large gamelan ensemble.

  Balinese Chamber Gamelan Information Sheet (PDF) (Gender Wayang)

  • Note: Sectional, semi-private, and private instruction taught by I Dewa Made Suparta may also be requested for course credit or as extra-curricular activity. For more information, email Professor Maisie Sum.

See also a brief interview with I Dewa Made Suparta explaining the Gamelan.


Previous UW Balinese Gamelan Ensemble performances:


Note: the sequence for enrolling in all music ensemble courses for credit, regardless of the particular ensemble, is as follows for all students:

  1. MUSIC 116 (first time)
  2. MUSIC 117 (second time)
  3. MUSIC 216 (third time)
  4. MUSIC 217 (fourth time)
  5. MUSIC 316 (fifth time)
  6. MUSIC 317 (sixth time)

Sign up for all ensemble auditions will be available online only. Each ensemble also has an information sheet that is term specific.

Links on this page:




World Music: Balinese Gamelan

Ensemble Participant Form (pdf)

Ensemble Course Numbers


 

Other UWaterloo links:

A cappella Club

- The Water Boys is the all-male auditioned a cappella group

- The Unaccompanied Minors is the mixed auditioned a cappella group

- The AcaBellas is the all-female auditioned a cappella group

- UW A Cappella Ensemble (UW ACE) is the mixed non-auditioned a cappella group

Concert Band Club

Engineering Jazz Band

Piano Club

Waterloo Music Club

Music Society