Music Ensembles

Ensembles You Can Join

Open to all UNSW students by audition: UNSW Orchestra (T3 Online Only), Burgundian Consort, Jazz Orchestra, Latin Jazz Conjunto (T3 only) and Tango Ensemble (T3 only). 

Open to all UNSW students no audition: Choir: The Handel Workshop (T2 Only), Collegium Musicum Choir (T3 Online Only) and UNSW Wind Symphony (T3 Online Only).

Open to any UNSW students through the courses BA Performance Labs A/MUSC1708 (12UOC) or Music Ensemble/MUSC4706 (6UOC), as well as all UNSW BMus students: 

Audition or Submission required: Advanced Jazz Ensemble, Balkan Ensemble, Chamber Music Ensemble, Colla Voce, Contemporary Composition Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Intermediate Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra and Sound Lab Live.

No Audition required: Balinese Gamelan, Fundamentals of Improvisation, Handbells Ensemble, Jazz Composition Ensemble, Jazz Keyboard Ensemble, Latin Conjunto, Sound Lab Studio and West African Drum. 

Performance Lab Students 

Students enrolled in a performance lab course must participate in an ensemble as a course requirement. These students must be aware that they need to attend 80% of ensemble classes as they would any other SAM class in order to meet the course requirements. These students will do part checking in Weeks 10 or 11, depending on the ensemble, and will receive an ensemble grade and feedback. 

Students must also register/audition for an ensemble during O-Week as all ensembles start in Week 1. If students find themselves not signed up to an ensemble by Week 1, they must contact their convenor immediately. 

Below are details of how to sign up, or audition for each ensemble for Trimester 2020. 

Burgundian Consort, directed by Sonia Maddock

Day & Time: Every Monday during term from 4pm-6pm online

This class is open to continuing members only. New members will not be accepted in Term 3

Non-Academic Enquiries: Please email Music Performance Unit at cmc@unsw.edu.au

ONLINE in T3 2020

Ensemble Director: Dr Kim Burwell 

Classical chamber music is for pre-formed small ensembles. To arrange an audition, you should email me (k.burwell@unsw.edu.au) with a list of ensemble members and instruments, ready to perform repertoire that you have previously rehearsed, even if it is still a work in progress. You should also be prepared to discuss your intentions for repertoire during the term. The repertoire should be challenging and should offer participants shared responsibilities across a range of ensemble skills. There may be some scope to negotiate schedules: the earlier you get in touch, the more scope we will have. Feel free to contact me at any time, for more information, feedback on ideas, or appointments for auditions.

Updated on 12 Sep 2020. 

Term 3 only - COLLA VOCE  (Vocal Workshop) Face-to-Face

Ensemble Director: Dallas Watts  

Schedule: Weeks 1-5 & 7-10, Tuesday 4pm-6pm, Robert Webster G17.

AUDITIONS!! 

If you would like to audition, please send me an online link to your latest youtube performance...this needs to be sent to  dallaswatts@icloud.com by 6pm on September 10. If you do not have your own youtube presence yet, maybe just send me a video of one song by the date mentioned above, and to the same email address as listed.  

Performance Concept: 

METAMORPHOSIS: the exploration of songs in rehearsal..... 

TASK: Each singer selects a song of their own choice and rehearses it towards a physicalised and vocalised solo at the final presentation. (N.B. This means that you can use a song that you are currently working on for your final vocal exam. Colla Voce rehearsal will therefore assist in this preparation!). 

THE CHALLENGE: Can we work as a TEAM, using one song per person, to create a subliminal storyline from apparently disparate and random songs of various styles? (by musical and physical segues#). 

Rehearsals: Whether we are allowed to be actually present by September in one physically spaced Rm., or online, our rehearsals will involve a lot of listening to each other sing songs. We will apply the improvisational drama skills developed by Theatresports - especially one called "SPACEJUMP" to explore how to segue from one song to the next.  

Assessment: 

"Part checking":  

         1.sing your own song from start to finish as written. 

         2.Sing the same song again but change the ending or coda to give the song a completely different meaning. (ie. this could be done by the variation of rhythm, lyrics and actual notes-but the most important thing is that the song's mood and theme completely transforms from the "normal" ending to a "surprise" ending....(This sort of theatricality is explored more fully in absurdist theatre genres, with playwrights such as Ionesco and Beckett). 

   [The Monty Python film genre is another exam of this methodology]. 

       3.Rehearsal journal (keep a record of rehearsal happenings either online or in an exercise book).....This is simple, easy and also essential, so that we build a momentum with our "performance collage" from week to week.....and so that we don't forget exciting weekly developments in rehearsal. I will keep a diary as well-and we will revise our diarised thoughts from the previous week  at the beginning of each rehearsal....) 
 

AUDITIONS!! 

If you would like to audition, please send me an online link to your latest youtube performance...this needs to be sent to  dallaswatts@icloud.com by 6pm on September 10. If you do not have your own youtube presence yet, maybe just send me a video of one song by the date mentioned above, and to the same email address as listed.  

What happens if Covid strikes again? 

     If the govt/UNSW decide that we need to go online for our tutorials, we will just go online and attempt to investigate the rehearsal process as outlined above. Let's proceed one day at a time, but please send those youtube videos to me as soon as possible, so that I can give you feedback, and begin to interact with your talent-and maybe suggest some ideas for exploration for our first rehearsal on Thursday September 17, 4pm-6pm.

Best regards, 

Mr. Dallas Watts, 

TERM 3 2020 - Online 

Time: Wednesday 16 September - Wednesday 18 November at 5pm

BRITTEN A Ceremony of Carols arr. Harrison for SATB choir and harp/piano

UPDATE 7 September 2020:

The Music Performance Unit has been notified that ensembles will not be able to run face-to-face during Term 3. Consequently, our Term 3 program will be delivered online, with additional resources including rehearsal tracks and accompaniments, and we are developing a program involving partner presenters to work with our singers.

All those who had paid for T3 registration have been refunded and notified.

This will take place each Wednesday at 5pm. Specific details will be distributed directly to those who register. All are welcome to participate in this online experience.

REGISTRATION:

  1. Register for Collegium Musicum Choir: Register Here
      • If you are a new member, please email cmc@unsw.edu.au with three suggested times in which you would be available to undertake a short online voice placement via Zoom, and you will be sent an invitation. After this you will be able to register.
      • If you paid your Full Year registration at the beginning of 2020, please select “Full Year” ticket. Your contribution will be refunded.

    If the above registration button doesn't work, please copy and paste this URL into your browser: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/collegium-musicum-choir-registrations-t3-2020-registration-119016456425

Enquiries: Please email Music Performance Unit at cmc@unsw.edu.au

 

Ensemble Director: John Peterson   

Schedule: Weeks 1-10, Monday 4-6pm, Robert Webster G18 

John Peterson will be directing the Contemporary Composition Ensemble in Term 1, 2020. There are places open in the ensemble, so if you are interested please contact John via email as soon as possible to register. You must contact John before the first meeting in Week 1 of the term, as late enrolments will only be considered if places are available within the ensemble. 

The Contemporary Composition Ensemble offers an "experimental space" where students create, rehearse, and participate in the performance of new works no matter their level of experience. While a series of short seminars will supplement the course, the focus here is on practical music making, on not only the ways composers capture and shape their ideas, but also how they can best bring their “paper music” to life. 

By the end of the semester, students will have learned ways of developing their aural acuity, particularly their “inner ear”; refined their compositional technique through in-class tasks and feedback; improved their notation skills; and gained experience in leading a rehearsal. Most importantly, though, they will have heard a work of their own performed by an ensemble of their peers in a wholly supportive environment.

Ensemble Director: Sandy Evans

Schedule: Weeks 1-5 & 7-10, Wednesday 4pm-6pm. Online

Sign up: Email ensemble director Sandy Evans to sign up. 

Jazz Students MUST Read - Jazz Ensembles T3  

This is a 2 hour performance class that explores the 'how to' of improvisation in a practical setting. 

No prior knowledge of improvisation is necessary, however participants in this ensemble are expected to be able to play their instruments with some proficiency, and to be able to read music. 

The ensemble will perform together in an extended rhythm section and melody instruments workshop setting, with the repertoire being chosen primarily from the jazz tradition though not limited to that. 

The harmonic and melodic structure of the pieces will be analysed and scalic/ modal possibilities suggested. Each student will be given an opportunity to explore these ideas in the performance of the piece(s). Pointers will also be given on group performance, 'groove', dynamics etc. 

Ensemble Director: Janet Agostino  

Schedule: Weeks 1-5 & 7-10, Wednesday 4pm-6pm, Webster 331 

Audition Date: TBA, Webster Room 331 

Students who played in the Guitar Ensemble in 2019 do not need to re-audition. All other students will be required to audition prior to Week 1.  

Please contact the ensemble director Janet Agostino to discuss your intent to audition.  

The UNSW Guitar Ensemble provides a forum for classical guitar students to explore a wide range of repertoire as well as to refine ensemble skills, including sight reading, rhythmic and stylistic accuracy, balance and creating an effective tonal palette. There will be performances scheduled throughout the year and participation in these will form part of the assessment for the course. 

Ensemble Director: Jonathan Ong 

Schedule: Weeks 1-10 Thursday 4-6pm, Robert Webster 331 

Email ensemble director ASAP to secure your place. 

The Handbells ensemble features the university's own set of Malmark Bells, a professional instrument that offers students a fun and unique way to make music together. 

The ensemble plays a diverse range of repertoire, ranging from folk tunes and classical music to contemporary, film scores, original compositions; we are only limited by the input in the ensemble. Students have the opportunity to write or arrange their own works for the ensemble, and accepted compositions will give students the opportunity to conduct their own work. The Handbells ensemble plays (at least one) concert at the end of the semester; this may require participation outside of the normal rehearsal hours of the ensemble. 

Up to 14 students will be accepted into the ensemble. No prior experience is required, however, apply promptly as places are limited and fill up fast. 

No auditions required. 

Updated on 12 Sep 2020. 

Ensemble Director in T3:  Alister Spence

Schedule: Weeks 1-5 & 7-10, Thursday 4pm-6pm, Webster Building Room 332.

Entry by Audition

Jazz Students MUST Read - Jazz Ensembles T3 

This ensemble explores established and new and exciting trends in jazz music and its many stylistic offshoots. It is intended for students who are experienced in jazz improvisation and have some practical performance experience.

Vocalists and instrumentalists on any instrument are welcome in this ensemble.

Ensemble members will gain insight and experience both as a soloist and as a member of a contemporary jazz ensemble.

Pieces will be chosen performed in the ensemble from standard and contemporary jazz and jazz-related repertoire. Original works are welcomed!

The Advanced Jazz Ensemble works in a supportive and mutually encouraging environment.

Previous members of Advanced Jazz Ensemble are not required to audition. However, they must contact Alister Spence by email on or before Wednesday 9th September.

Please provide your student Id, Performance Lab course code and specify whether or not this will be your primary ensemble.

New applicants should submit their audition to Alister via email as an MP3.

Audition requirements:

12 bar jazz blues with a swing feel in the following format:

  • 1 chorus of melody
  • 2 choruses of improvised solo over the form of the blues clearly outlining the chord sequence
  • 1 chorus of melody

Drummers should play a blues with a swing feel in the following format:

  • Play the rhythm of the chosen blues melody (e.g. Billie’s Bounce, Tenor Madness) on the kit (1 chorus)
  • 2 choruses of solo over the 12 bar blues form
  • 1 chorus of melody

Ensemble members are expected to:

1. Practise written parts

2. Prepare for any improvised solos

3. Listen to recordings of the works being studied

4. Attend all classes punctually

Updated on 12 Sep 2020.

Ensemble Director: Adrian Lim Klumpes

Schedule: Weeks 1-5 & 7-10, Wednesday 4pm-6pm, Room 334

Jazz Students MUST Read - Jazz Ensembles T3 

Entry for new members is by email audition on or before Wednesday 9th September

This ensemble is for students who already have practical experience in jazz improvisation and a good knowledge of chordal harmony and associated scales/modes. The ensemble is intended to deepen an understanding of jazz improvisational practice through the performance of pieces carefully chosen in a range of jazz related styles. Areas of focus include developing an improvisational language, chord/scale theory, guide tones, jazz voicings, group interaction, effective rhythmic expression and knowledge of repertoire. Vocalists and instrumentalists on any instrument are welcome in this ensemble as long as they have the experience and knowledge to complete the audition requirements set out below.

Auditions for new members will be conducted by email: Please email Adrian at adrianklumpes@gmail.com on or before Wednesday 9th September.

Please state:

  1. Your instrument(s)
  2. Your background (if any) in improvisation
  3. Your Performance Lab Course Code, and whether this will be your Primary Ensemble, or your Ensemble Elective code.
  4. Any other relevant information e.g. any specific improvisatory skills you want to develop, any particular reasons you are interested in this ensemble.

In the same email, please include:

A short (1 to 2 minute) recording of you performing a 12 bar jazz blues with a swing feel in the following format:

  • 1 chorus of melody
  • 2 choruses of improvised solo over the form of the blues clearly outlining the chord sequence
  • 1 chorus of melody

Please send as an MP3.

Drummers play a blues with a swing feel in the following format:

  • Play the rhythm of the chosen blues melody (e.g. Billie’s Bounce, Tenor Madness) on the kit (1 chorus)
  • 2 choruses of solo over the 12 bar blues form
  • 1 chorus of melody

Please send as an MP3.

Previous members of the ensemble do not need to audition. However, they must contact Adrian by email on or before on or before Wednesday 9th September to confirm their interest in joining the ensemble in Term 2 2019. Please provide your student Id, Performance Lab course code or Ensemble Elective. Please note that numbers are limited due to social distancing requirements, so be sure to contact Adrian ASAP.

Ensemble Director in T3: Sandy Evans

Schedule: Weeks 1-5 & 7-10, Tuesdays. 4pm-6pm Online

Jazz Students MUST Read - Jazz Ensembles T3 

Enrolment: On approval from Sandy Evans

Proposals for Jazz Chamber Ensembles are invited for T3. This is an exciting opportunity to pursue musical interests that broadly fall within jazz and improvised music. Entry is by a discussion with Sandy Evans. Write a short proposal detailing the creative rationale for your project, the instrumentation and the repertoire. Email your proposal to Sandy ASAP, and before Wednesday 9th September. Please include the Student Id for each musician in the group, and either your Performance Lab Course Code or your Ensemble Elective course code. Proposals will only be accepted for projects where most of the musicians elect this ensemble as their Primary Ensemble enrolment.

A musical sample may also be requested by Sandy in some cases, but isn’t required in the initial proposal.

Ensemble Director in T3: Sandy Evans

Schedule: Weeks 1-5 & 7-10,Tuesday 4pm-6pm, online in T3 2020

Jazz Students MUST Read - Jazz Ensembles T3 

Enrolment: Email Sandy Evans to sign up. No audition required.

This ensemble is for students who are interested in gaining understanding and experience in jazz composition.

There is no audition or specific entry requirement, but students must email an expression of interest to Sandy ASAP, and before Wednesday 9th September. sandra.evans@unsw.edu.au  Please state your instrument and a brief description of any experience you have performing and/or composing jazz. Include your student Id and either your Performance Lab Course Code, or your Ensemble Elective course code.

Students should have a reasonably sound knowledge of music theory, but jazz composition experience is not necessarily a pre-requisite. The ensemble will be both theoretical and practical.

In T3, the ensemble will be entirely online, but students need to be available at the ensemble time of Tuesday 4pm-6pm to meet online.

ATTENTION: As of 04 September 2020, Jazz Keyboard if FULL and will not accept any more students. 

Runs in Terms 1 and 3

Ensemble Convenor: Alister Spence 

Ensemble runs Weeks 1-10, Wednesday 4pm-6pm, Webster Room 141 (level 1)


Ensemble Director: 
T1 Casey Golden <casey@caseygolden.com.au>
T3 Alister Spence <
alister.spence@unsw.edu.au>

Jazz Students MUST Read - Jazz Ensembles T3 

This ensemble is for students who have little or no jazz performance experience, but are keen to learn how to voice chords, accompany effectively and improvise on the piano in a variety of jazz-related styles. Some piano performance ability is required.

By listening to audio examples and studying well-known jazz repertoire the ensemble will gain experience in applying stylistically appropriate chord voicings, bass lines, accompaniment rhythms, modes and scales for improvisation and improvisational approaches, as well as effective ways to interact as an ensemble. Each member will take it in turns performing within the ensemble as bass line players, chordal accompanists, melody players and soloists. Time will be given for individual investigation and skill development as well as ensemble performance.

Students interested in the Jazz Keyboard Ensemble are not required to audition. However, they must contact Alister Spence by email on or before Wednesday 9th September to register.

Please provide your student Id, Performance Lab course code and specify whether or not this will be your primary ensemble.

N.B. in T3 2020 the ensemble will be capped at 8 people due to COVID-Safe Distancing protocols.

Please email Alister if you have any queries.

ATTENTION: As of 04 September 2020, Jazz Orchestra if FULL and will not accept any more students. 

Runs in Terms 1, 2 and 3

Ensemble Director in T3: Alister Spence

Ensemble runs Weeks 1-10, Wednesdays 6pm-8pm

Entry by Audition

Jazz Students MUST Read - Jazz Ensembles T3 

UNSW Jazz Orchestra is a dynamic ensemble that plays jazz big band repertoire in a range of styles. Some Australian compositions are included in the repertoire. An exciting aspect of the group’s activities is premiering UNSW student compositions. The orchestra performs a concert at the end of each term.

Previous experience playing jazz and/or improvising is helpful but is not a prerequisite. Sight-reading ability is required on all instruments.

Brass players from any background are particularly encouraged to apply.

Jazz Orchestra membership is open to a broad of instrumentalists.

Previous members of Jazz Orchestra are not required to audition. However, they must contact Alister Spence by email on or before Wednesday 9th September. Please provide your student Id, Performance Lab course code and specify whether or not this will be your primary ensemble.

New applicants should submit their audition to Alister via email as an MP3.

Audition requirements:

12 bar jazz blues with a swing feel in the following format:

  • 1 chorus of melody
  • 2 choruses of improvised solo over the form of the blues clearly outlining the chord sequence
  • 1 chorus of melody

Drummers should play a blues with a swing feel in the following format:

  • Play the rhythm of the chosen blues melody (e.g. Billie’s Bounce, Tenor Madness) on the kit (1 chorus)
  • 2 choruses of solo over the 12 bar blues form
  • 1 chorus of melody

Students are expected to:

1. Practise written parts

2. Prepare for any improvised solos in their book

3. Listen to recordings of the works being studied

4. Attend all classes punctually

ONLINE only in T3

Ensemble Convenor: Manolete Mora

Schedule: Weeks 1-10, Thursday 4-5pm , Robert Webster G18.

The Latin Conjunto is dedicated to the performance of Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian genres, such as:  son, pachanga, mambo, salsa, samba and choro. Both instrumentalists and vocalist are invited to join the ensemble through audition. All students will learn the fundamental rhythms for these various genres, and some may elect to learn the percussion instruments. Auditions will be held in O-week but also please apply to Mano via email: m.mora@unsw.edu.au

NOTE: Due to limited lab spaces and social distancing, numbers are limited for T3. Please see below for application process.

Ensemble Director: Dr Adam Hulbert 

T3 2020 - Heterotopias: The New Outside

Sound Lab (Live) ensemble is offered to musicians who would like to produce and perform new electroacoustic works. You are encouraged to use your existing techniques with DAW environments and traditional instrumentation and/or expand these to incorporate UNSW’s collection of fixed-architecture and modular synthesisers. Primary tools for the performance will be Ableton Live with Push and hardware synths. You'll will be given support for learning these where needed. The ensemble will perform live in a multimedia environment, and video artists/VJs are welcome to apply. In T3 performances of the works will be filmed in Studio One.

In T3 this ensemble is offered as face-to-face, with social distancing and hygiene measures in place. Of course, nothing is certain, and if a lockdown is declared you’ll need to be willing (and able) to adapt to working remotely.

About the theme

Heterotopia is a concept elaborated by philosopher Michel Foucault to describe certain cultural, institutional and discursive spaces that are somehow ‘other’: disturbing, intense, incompatible, contradictory or transforming. Heterotopias are worlds within worlds, mirroring and yet upsetting what is outside. (Wikipedia)

In the second Sound Lab Live for 2020, you are invited to respond to the concept of ‘heterotopias’ by creating a soundscape that reimagines an existing place. T3 sees a return to campus, which means we can start to use the hardware machines. You are are encouraged to use field recording, as well as hardware instruments such as Buchla Music Easel, Modular synth, Dave Smith Prophet, Arturia minibrute, Theremin, or Fairlight CMI, or your own instrument in a new context. You’ll also be asked to film some material for projection-mapped visuals that will accompany the filmed performance.

Application process

With a return to campus, lab spaces are limited, so an expression of interest will accepted on or before Friday 4th September. Late submissions will be considered only if all spaces have not been filled.

Expression of interests should answer the following:

  1. Name/zID/Email/Ensemble course code.
  2. Your initial idea: what space are you thinking of?
  3. Do you wish to work collaboratively or individually?
  4. Your reason for applying.
  5. Your experience with electronic music and instruments you’d like to use.*
  6. Two song/musical piece/installations that currently inspire your approach.

*Experience is not essential, just a willingness to experiment and learn.

All inquiries and applications go to Adam Hulbert: a.hulbert@unsw.edu.au

Updated on 12 Sep 2020.

Ensemble Director: Dr John Napier 

Please express your interest during O-Week to Dr John Napier. 

Schedule: Weeks 1-5 & 7-10, Thursdays 4pm-6pm Webster, level 3, Room 334.

The Tango Ensemble will play classic Argentine tangos and milongas, using scores originally mostly written and arranged between 1930 and 1950. For pianists, players of orchestral strings, flute, clarinet, saxophone. Places in this group are limited and if auditions are required, they will be held in O-week, but please email John by sending your application to Dr John Napier.

UPDATE 8 September 2020: TERM 3 2020

Time: Tuesday 15 September - 17 November from 4.30pm

In Term 3, for safety reasons, we are only permitted to offer face-to-face rehearsals to our orchestra members for a string ensemble. 

This will be a blended delivery, with in-person weekly rehearsals for those that can attend campus, and an online live stream of the rehearsal each week for those unable to attend campus.  

This will take place each Tuesday for 10 weeks during term. There will be up to three classes offered, based on demand. 

Rehearsal times: 5.30pm

A maximum of 15 people will be accepted per session. 

Specific details regarding face-to-face and online will be distributed shortly. These face-to-face activities will be live-streamed (but not recorded) for those who are unable to participate in-person to access online. 

Please note that community members who are not current UNSW Students or current UNSW staff are not permitted to visit campus at this time, so will only be able to participate online. Participants will be notified should this situation change during the term. 

REGISTRATION:

  1. Complete the relevant Training & Compliance: https://www.covid-19.unsw.edu.au/training-compliance-security
  2. Register for UNSW Orchestra: Register Here
  • We are not accepting new members for UNSW Orchestra in Term 3.

 If the above registration button does not work, please copy and paste this URL into your browser: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/unsw-orchestral-strings-registrations-t3-2020-registration-119967741745

Non-Academic Enquiries: Please email Music Performance Unit at cmc@unsw.edu.au

UPDATED 8 September 2020: TERM 3 2020

The Music Performance Unit has taken advice from UNSW Risk and NSW Health regarding the operations of its ensembles’ program. Consequently, it has been decided for the health and safety of our members to pause rehearsals of Wind Symphony in Term 3. We hope to resume activities in 2021, pending further advice at that time.

The Music Performance Unit will be offering a small number of masterclasses throughout the remainder of the year, to which all will be welcome. Please check back regularly on our website for the latest offerings, which will be updated throughout the term.

Non-Academic Enquiries: Please email Music Performance Unit at cmc@unsw.edu.au

 

Ensemble Convenor: Manolete Mora

Schedule: Weeks 1-10, Thursday 4-6pm, Robert Webster G18 

This ensemble features the djembe drums (also ‘jembe’) a ‘goblet’ shaped drum whose origins are associated with the Mandinka peoples of the former Mali Empire. These drums are now part of various musical cultures from West Africa including but not limited to the nations of Senegal, Guinea, and Mali. The djembe is played with the hand while the three accompanying dunun drums (also dundun, djun djun) and bells are played with sticks. Traditional djembe ensemble music is learned aurally and presents rhythmic challenges to the musician. The ensemble instruction will also include some singing and dancing. 

No auditions required. 

Organisational units