Participation in a chamber music ensemble is among the most challenging and rewarding musical experiences a student can have. Playing in a small conductor-less group (duet, trio, quartet, quintet, or ensemble) with one player per part develops listening, communication, and teamwork skills.
The size of the chamber groups and the number of students enrolled in chamber music vary from semester to semester. Some groups wish to stay and work together for two or more terms, while other students form new groups. Every semester, we have different combinations of instruments (strings, winds, piano) and different choices of repertoire. As their final project, students perform in a chamber music concert at the end of each semester.
The Percussion Ensemble offers a variety of musical opportunities and experiences. The ensemble is designed to help percussionists develop valuable ensemble skills within the percussion family, skills that are a necessity in any ensemble. Also, the ensemble allows each and every percussionist to become a more involved component in the overall production of the music. Not only is each student given the responsibility to execute the music to the best of their ability, but also the individual parts carry a more primary role within the music.
Due to the large spectrum of percussion ensemble literature, this ensemble also gets a chance to explore many different composers and styles of music from all around the world. It also encourages student compositions, arrangements, and soloists to be involved within the performances.
The ensemble is not only composed of applied major and minors, but also the students enrolled in the Percussion Technique course. Enrollment varies depending on the choice of repertoire. Rehearsals are scheduled for once a week for two hours. The ensemble performs at least two full programs per year, plus a possibility of involvement with the New Music Cafe and noon "Brown Bag" Concerts.
The flute choir is designed to be a fine arts opportunity open to all flutists at IWU, majors as well as minors and non-majors. Because it is comprised of several levels of music ability, it opens doors to exploring many different composers and styles of music. It encourages small group work within the larger ensemble to improve valuable skills necessary in any ensemble regardless of size. Rehearsals are scheduled for once a week for one to two hours depending on the demands of the performing schedule. The flute choir performs several times a semester, encompassing chapel services, community functions, outreach and social activities, recitals and/or competitions.
IWU Saxophone Quartet
This ensemble may be taken for credit and is composed of music majors and minors but is also open to non-music majors at the discretion of the sponsor/ coach. Its purpose is to develop ensemble experience for saxophonists as they explore original and transcribed saxophone quartet literature, primarily of the French saxophone quartet makeup, i.e., soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones. On occasion they also add an additional alto or soprano, depending on the requirements of the piece(s) and do a few quintets for program variety. The ensemble plays at least once each semester in public on chamber music or departmental recitals and may do a full or half recital of its own in the spring semester.