Students at Dickinson may contribute to the musical life of the college through one of our many departmental ensembles. The college boasts five large ensembles and several smaller chamber groups that allow students to continue their passion for musical performance in both large and intimate venues. These include:
- The Dickinson College Choir, a group of 60-80 singers who perform a wide diversity of works ranging from the classical masters (Bach, Mozart, Faure, Brahms, Mendelssohn) to more modern selections (Gershwin, African-American Spirituals).
- The Dickinson College Collegium, approximately 24 voices, focuses primarily on the a cappella performance of music literature from the late-Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods.
- The Dickinson College Jazz Ensemble, a group of approximately 15-20 players that explores the full range of jazz repertoire. Concerts regularly feature a major guest artist or ensemble.
- The Dickinson Orchestra, which comprises from 40-60 students, community members, and faculty, and performs standard orchestral repertory from the Baroque to contemporary works.
- DICE (Dickinson Improvisation and Collaboration Ensemble), a flexible, open-instrumentation ensemble (woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings and voice). Repertoire is diverse but focuses mostly on masterworks and lesser-known pieces of the 20th and 21st centuries.
- Chamber Ensembles, which are generally composed of from 2-8 members and include standard ensembles such as brass and woodwind quintets, string quartets, piano trios, clarinet choir, and jazz combos, as well as unique ensembles of various instrumental/vocal combinations. Ensembles receive weekly coaching with faculty members. The course culminates each semester in a chamber music concert. Transcript credit. No letter grades.
Each semester, our ensembles engage with a diverse musical repertory and then share that music in a series of concerts designed to showcase the talents of one or more ensembles. This provides students with a number of dynamic performance contexts, including collaborative projects between the ensembles as well as international and domestic tours.
In addition to our Departmental Ensembles, students may also participate in more intimate performance experiences such as master classes. These opportunities are available to select students who privately study with a staff member and offer an intense and rewarding experience for all participants.
Students need not be majors to participate in the Departmental Ensembles, but must audition for them at the beginning of the fall term. Interested students may inquire about the ensembles and sign up for audition times at the Student Activities Night in the Kline Center (generally held during the first week of classes) and should audition during Music Audition Night in the Weiss Center for the Arts. For more information, please contact the department directly.
Please note that membership of our Departmental Ensembles constitutes a commitment to attendance at all scheduled rehearsals.