Ensembles

Brass Ensemble

Brass Ensemble

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Brass Ensemble

The Brooklyn College Brass Ensemble, directed by Joe Burgstaller,  provides experience for both small and large chamber groups in the study and performance of traditional and contemporary music for brass instruments. Emphasis is on developing basic performance musicianship through systematic work on intonation, phrasing, balance and interpretation; and the study of brass instrument history, technique, repertoire and pedagogy. The Brass Ensemble has toured England, Germany, and Switzerland. Special residencies and joint performances with students and faculty of the Royal Academy of Music (London) and Karlsruhe Musikhochschule (Germany) provided unique opportunities for cultural and musical exchange. The Ensemble was the only student group invited to perform at the International Brass Symposium in Basel, Switzerland, and was featured at the New York Brass Conference as well as the International Trumpet Guild Conference. This active group has also performed at the Metropolitan Opera House, the Albany Center for the Performing Arts, Summer Concert Series at Bryant Park and Battery Park, Columbia University, C.W. Post College, Kingsborough Community College and many high schools throughout the New York City metropolitan area. The ensemble was featured on the Telly Award–winning TV documentary, Fanfare. Guests of the ensemble have included Benny Sluchin, Crispian Steele-Perkins, Walmir Vieira, Ole Edvard Andersen, and many others of international repute.


New Music Ensemble

conTempo Ensemble

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conTEMPO New Music Ensemble

Under the direction of Distinguished Professor Ursula Oppens, conTEMPO is the Conservatory's contemporary music ensemble. Through performing a diverse repertory of solo, chamber and orchestral works, students become familiar with the language and performance practices of a wide range of contemporary music. In addition to coaching in standard 20th-century repertory, Professor Oppens focuses on new music, introducing the ensemble to the richly diverse idioms of living composers. conTEMPO has premiered many works, including compositions by conservatory students.

Percussion Ensemble

Percussion Ensemble

Listen to a piece performed by the Percussion Ensemble.

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Percussion Ensemble

Under the direction of Frank Cassara, the Brooklyn College Percussion Ensemble has gained an international reputation through its many performances around the world. The ensemble has performed in Korea, Romania, Spain, and Turkey, and participates in an annual percussion festival in Ireland. The ensemble plays the most challenging and ambitious works available for percussion and has premiered many works, including several commissions by such composers as Marta Ptasynzka, David Friedman, Jose Halac, and Bernard Hoffer. Guest soloists have included the American Saxophone Quartet, David Freidman, Ray Marchica, Glen Velez, and Salim Washington.

Conservatory Orchestra

Conservatory Orchestra

 Listen to a piece performed by the Conservatory Orchestra.

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Conservatory Orchestra

Under the direction of conductor George Rothman, the Conservatory Orchestra presents several concerts each semester of repertory from the baroque to new music, including concertos featuring winners of its regular concerto competitions. The ensemble also collaborates with the choruses in performance of large-scale choral and in fully staged productions of the Brooklyn College Opera Theater. The orchestra participates in the conservatory's Composer-in Residence program through which selected student composers create new works presented in public readings and workshop performances.

Opera Theater

Opera Theater

Listen to a piece performed by the Opera Theater.

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Opera Theater

Each year the Brooklyn College Opera Theater, under the direction of Richard Barrett, presents at least one fully staged opera. Past productions includes Mozart's Don Giovanni, Marriage of Figaro, Magic Flute and Abduction From the Seraglio; Puccini's La Boheme and Madama Butterfly; Verdi's La Traviata; Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress; Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos; Carlisle Floyd's Susanna; the American fully staged premiere of Milhaud's Christophe Colomb; and a Telly Award–winning taped-for-TV production of Copland's The Tender Land. These presentations are augmented throughout the year by performances of chamber operas, providing students with extensive experience of repertory of diverse periods and styles.

Choral Union and Conservatory Singers

Chorale and Chamber Choir

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Choral Union and Conservatory Singers

The Brooklyn College Choral Union is a 65-voice mixed choral ensemble that includes students and staff from throughout the Brooklyn College community. Conducted by Miriam Chaudoir, the choir performs a variety of literature representing every musical period and genre in its two major campus concerts per year. Past performances have included Carl Orff's Carmina Burana and Wolfgang A. Mozart's Requiem in collaborations with the Conservatory Orchestra and other Brooklyn area schools.

The Conservatory Singers, under the direction of Miriam Chaudoir, is a chamber choir composed of anywhere from 12 to 24 singers. Repertoire includes sacred and secular works from all centuries appropriate for smaller vocal ensembles with an emphasis on works of contemporary composers. Enrollment is by audition with the conductor.

Big Band and Jazz Ensemble

Listen to a piece performed by the Jazz Ensemble.

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Big Band and Jazz Ensemble

The Brooklyn College Big Band and Conservatory Jazz Ensemble are under the direction of pianist, composer, and Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra bandleader Arturo O'Farrill. Students in both ensembles study the standard jazz repertory of such seminal figures as Mingus, Coltrane, Ellington, and Monk as well as works by Latin greats and original compositions. The Jazz Ensemble emphasizes the skills necessary to the contemporary jazz musician, including technique, theory, oral instruction, philosophy of improvisation, and memorization.

Wind Ensemble

The Brooklyn College Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Jeff W. Ball, performs works from a wide assortment of styles and genres. Repertoire consists of compositions written for contemporary concert band as well as orchestral transcriptions, Broadway compilations, and other popular music adapted for concert band. The ensemble normally performs four concerts a year and is open to all CUNY students. This ensemble provides training for band instrumentalists and music educators.

Guitar Ensemble

The Brooklyn College Guitar Ensemble, directed by Lars Frandsen, performs a diverse repertory of contemporary works and transcriptions and/or arrangements from works spanning all periods of music. In addition to performing on standard range instruments, the ensemble's repertory is expanded through the ownership of a quartet of specially commissioned guitars with extended note compass, enabling the ensemble to perform repertoire that would otherwise be all but impossible. Several concerts have included the participation of select students from nearby James Madison High School, as well as other students, enabling the ensemble to perform repertory that calls for a significantly expanded ensemble. Each semester, the ensemble works with a composer-in-residence selected from the college's composition students. The Guitar Ensemble has premiered more than 15 new works since forming in 1997. The ensemble performs at many outside venues, including, most recently, at Yale University and the American Institute of Guitar.