Our performing music Ensembles are vital extensions of the Wellesley Music Department's academic program.
Most Ensembles hold auditions during Orientation Week and/or the first week of classes. Sign up sheets will be posted in the Music Department at the beginning of Orientation Week. Students should make a point to sign up at that time.
Students may elect to take an Ensemble for .5 credit per year if they wish. Only the students who were participating in the Fall can register for it in the Spring with the director's approval. MUS 260 is for the first two years of participation, and MUS 270 is for the second two years of participation (prerequisite: MUS 260). Ensembles can also be taken for no credit. Students seeking credit must participate in the Ensemble all year.
The Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra, directed by Neal Hampton, comprises students, faculty, staff, and associates of Wellesley College and Brandeis University. By sharing talents and resources, the orchestra provides unique creative opportunities for the communities at both institutions and specifically for students within the context of a liberal arts education.
Founded in 1958, The Chamber Music Society of Wellesley College provides an opportunity for interested instrumentalists and vocalists to prepare and perform works for small ensembles. Each chamber group receives weekly coachings from a member of the Wellesley College Music Department, and performs on one of several concerts held at the ends of each semester. Co-Directed by faculty members Jenny Tang and David Russell.
The Wellesley College Choir, directed by Lisa Graham, is devoted to the performance of choral music from the Renaissance through the present day. Consisting of approximately 50 singers, the Wellesley College Choir has a hundred-year history of dedication to the performance of great choral literature.
Chamber Singers, directed by Lisa Graham, is an auditioned ensemble of approximately twelve to sixteen singers. They actively perform on campus and also appear by invitation on Boston-area concert series and festivals. In 2008, they performed at the National Collegiate Choral Organization conference in Cincinnati as part of a lecture recital. They are also featured in the 2003 motion picture, Mona Lisa Smile.
The Collegium Musicum is an ensemble of singers and instrumentalists open to Wellesley College students, faculty, staff, and the local community. The Collegium specializes in the performance of Western music from the Middle Ages to the early 19th century. The Collegium is often joined by faculty and outside guest artists who enrich the ensemble for special projects. Directed by faculty member Laura Jeppesen.
The Wellesley BlueJazz Ensemble Program includes Wellesley BlueJazz Big Band, directed by Cercie Miller, and BlueJazz Combos, directed by Paula Zeitlin. Students are immersed in a rich jazz repertoire, from classic to contemporary. Faculty-directed rehearsals encourage the development of fluency in jazz improvisation. The ensembles perform throughout the year on campus and with other colleges in the Boston area.
Yanvalou Drum & Dance Ensemble, directed by faculty member Kera Washington, performs the folkloric music and dance of Africa as it exists today throughout the African Diaspora, particularly in Haiti. Students perform on authentic instruments, experience a variety of cultures through their music, and present several concerts during the academic year.
Since 1931 the members of this student organization, the Wellesley College Guild of Carillonneurs, have played the beautiful 32-bell carillon in Galen Stone Tower above Green Hall. They sit at a large keyboard near the top of the tower and play the music of the bells that has become an integral part of life here at Wellesley. The faculty advisor is Margaret Angelini.
The Organ Club is a group of organists, calcants (those who pump the historical wind system of the C.B. Fisk organ in Houghton Chapel), and organ enthusiasts. The club brings together students, faculty and staff with similar interests in this unique and beautiful instrument. The faculty advisor is the College Organist, Erica Johnson.