Instrumental Groups and Ensembles


University Chamber Players

(Music A42/A142/A242) Christopher Rountree, Conductor

Symphony Auditions

Chamber Music Ensembles

(Music A44/A144/A244) Robert Koenig, Coordinator
Please see Chamber Music Guidelines for enrollment procedures. The Chamber Music Program organizes a variety of ensembles, from duos to quintets and occasionally larger groups, which study and perform masterpieces of the chamber music literature. A concert is presented each quarter. Advanced groups are frequently selected for performances in the Santa Barbara community and for participation in chamber music competitions.

Ensemble for Contemporary Music (ECM)

(Music A40/A140/A240) Jeremy Haladyna, Director
Audition: TBA at first class meeting. Performers should be motivated to work toward superior rhythmic skill and to take on challenges leading to advanced command of their instrument/voice. The ECM performs works in a variety of styles, both conservative and progressive, including compositions by UCSB faculty and student composers. The ECM presents 3-4 quarterly concerts and an annual New Music Festival each spring.

Clarinet Choir

(Music A46/A146/A246) Paul Bambach, Director
Audition: First week of classes, by arrangement with the director.

University Wind Ensemble

(Music A34/A134/A234) Paul Bambach, Director
Audition: First week of classes, by arrangement with the director. Advanced players only. Majors, non-majors, staff and community members are welcome. Music for wind ensemble. Although the basic ensembles feature winds, both strings and percussion are utilized.

Click here for audition information

Mosher Wind Quintet

(Music A44/A144/A244) Jill Felber, Director
Audition: By arrangement with the director. This scholarship ensemble performs chamber works for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and horn.

Flute Choir

(Music A43/A143/A243) Jill Felber, Director
Audition: First week of classes, by arrangement with the director.


(Music 24/124) Margo Halsted, Director
Audition: Piano audition, by arrangement with the director. Learn to play the bells of the Storke Tower carillon. Enrollment is limited to 5 students per quarter and is based on piano audition.

Maurice Faulkner Brass Quintet

(Music A45/A145/A245) Steven Gross, Director
Meeting time TBA. Compromised of the leading brass players on campus, the quintet serves as laboratory to explore brass literature from the Renaissance to the 20th century, including jazz. The quintet tours annually, presents frequent concerts, and also records. Membership is by audition.

Suzanne Faulkner Horn Ensemble

(Music A45H/A145H/A245H) Steven Gross, Director
Meeting time TBA. Open to French horn players in all departments on campus, the ensemble tours annually and presents concerts of music written for three to eight horn parts. Repertoire comprises literature from the Renaissance through the 20th century. Membership is by audition.

Click here for audition information.

Piano Ensemble

(Music A41/A141/A241) Charles Asche, Director
Audition: First week of classes, by arrangement with the director. The study of literature for two pianos and for piano four hands.

Percussion Ensemble

(Music A49/A149/A249) Jon Nathan, Director
Audition: Basic snare drum sight-reading, first week of classes. See instructor's office door (Music 1220) for sign up and additional information. The ensemble will perform classic and contemporary pieces from the percussion repertoire.

Gamelan Ensemble

Ethnomusicology Ensemble (Music A70J/A170J/A270J) Chad Nielson, Director
A performance course for the study and practice of Javanese gamelan orchestra music. It is designed to give students the opportunity to experience this exotic and appealing classical tradition from the islands of Indonesia.

Indian Ensemble

Ethnomusicology Ensemble (Music A70I/A170I/A270I) Scott Marcus, Director
Music of the Indian Ensemble studies the North Indian Classical Music on the sitar. The ensemble also studies some singing, Indian music theory, and cultural aspects of Indian music. There are no auditions. Please come to the first class meeting.

Middle East Ensemble

Middle East Ensemble web site
Ethnomusicology Ensemble (Music A70M/A170M/A270M) Scott Marcus, Director
The UCSB Middle East Ensemble is an official "Ethnomusicology Performance Ensemble" in the Department of Music at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Begun in 1989 by ethnomusicology professor Scott Marcus, the Ensemble has performed widely throughout California, including concerts in San Diego, L.A., Pomona, San Bernadino, Pasadena, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Berkeley, and Sacramento. Quarterly concerts at UCSB's 486-seat Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall are regularly "sold out" events. We rehearse throughout the year on Tuesday evenings and invite any and all to come and join us at these rehearsals. Ahlan wa sahlan!

The ensemble's repertoire reflects the great variety of cultures found in the Middle East. The ensemble performs music and dance from Arab, Turkish, Persian, Armenian, Greek, Jewish, and even Assyrian cultures. Performance items range from classical pieces to religious songs, folk and popular songs, folk dances, and cabaret-style dances.

The ensemble performs on traditional instruments such as the pan-Middle Eastern short-necked lute (the `ud), the Turkish long-necked lute (the baglama saz) the end-blown reed flute (the nay), the Persian hammered dulcimer (the santur), the Arab/Turkish plucked dulcimer (qanun or kanun), the Egyptian spiked fiddle (the rabab), the Turkish and Egyptian oboes (the zurna and mizmar), and a variety of Middle Eastern drums (the darbukkah, riqq, bendir, mazhar, tabl baladi, and zarb). In addition, the Ensemble uses the accordion (retuned to accomodate Middle Eastern scales), the violin, cello, double bass, and on occasion, the guitar and saxophone.

The ensemble performs at various sizes. At its fullest, the instrumental section of the ensemble is a 40 to 45-member orchestra; the chorus has 10-12 members; and dancers number up to a dozen. For our "road performances," we often present a smaller group of 20-30 members.

Jazz Ensemble

(Music A47S/A147S/A247S) Jon Nathan, Director
Auditions: Sign up at Music room 1220 the first week of classes. Open to all full time undergraduate and graduate students. Includes big band and combo performances. Informational meeting and sight-reading at first class meeting. Detailed audition information and times available in the Music Department office (room 1315). This ensemble explores classic and contemporary jazz repertoire and techniques and performs extensively on campus and in the Santa Barbara community.

Young Artists String Quartet (YASQ)

Helen Callus, Chair of String Program
String faculty: Yuval Yaron, violin; Helen Callus, viola; Jacob Braun, cello
The Young Artists String Quartet was founded in 1981 at UCSB as a graduate scholarship quartet. Since that time, the ensemble - in its different incarnations - has performed at the Banff Festival, University of Taipei, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts International Festival of Chamber Music, Soundfest Institute of Quartets in Cape Cod, Snowbird Institute in Utah, Festival-Institute at Round Top, Texas, and the Evian International Competition in France, among others. They have also participated in workshops across the country and coached with such notable ensembles as the Juilliard, Muir, Colorado and Mendelssohn String Quartets, Martin Lovett of the Amadeus Quartet and Bernard Zaslow of the Stanford Quartet. They most recently participated in the master class with Yo-Yo Ma, presented on campus by UCSB Arts & Lectures in conjunction with the Department of Music.

Scholarships: All in-state tuition/fees plus $5000 stipend

Degrees: MM, DMA

For further information, please contact Prof. Yuval Yaron, Area Head of the Strings Program, UCSB Deprartment of Music, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-6070, (805) 893-4603.

Afro-Brazilian Ensemble

(Music A70S/A170S/A270S) Matt Wright, Director
Can be taken for credit or not, open to everyone, majors and non-majors, faculty, staff, and community members.

A variety of Brazilian musical forms sharing a strong African influence with complex layers of interlocking syncopation, melodies emerging from the alternation of various drums, and distinctively heavy swing.   Emphasis on dance rhythms used in Afro-Brazilian carnaval celebrations in Brazil's major music cities Rio de Janiero, Salvador da Bahia, and Recife/Olinda:  samba batucada, samba reggae, samba afro, afoxê, and maracatu.  Participants will play percussion (based on instruction in specific techniques) as well as sing as we learn basic rhythms, variations, breaks, and songs.  Instruments provided, including surdo, alfaia, timbal, repique, caixa, tamborim, agogo, gongue, and ganza (but bring your own if you have them).  Most instruction will be oral, based on imitation and memorization rather than reading.

Prerequisite: No prior Afro-Brazilian percussion experience is necessary; participants must be able to keep a beat and pay attention.

Click here for more information.