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PERFORMING ENSEMBLES

Albright College's Department of Music offers young singers and instrumentalists the opportunity to develop both their talents and appreciation for the art of music making through hand-on experiences in the classroom, the concert hall, and the recording studio. Our extraordinary array of student performing groups and ensembles is a perfect example of why Newsweek magazine ranked Albright College as one of the "Top 25 Most Artistic Schools" in 2011.  Both our credited and extracurricular ensembles (for which ALL Albright students are welcome and encouraged to audition) offer numerous performances each year for the college and neighboring communities.

Credited performing ensembles include:

  • Concert Choir
  • Women's Chorale
  • Symphonic Band
  • String Chamber Orchestra
  • "Big Cat" Jazz Ensemble 

Extracurricular performing ensembles include:

  • Albright Angels (women's a cappella group)
  • Mane Men (men's a cappella group)
  • Mane-gels (mixed voice a cappella group)
  • Instrumental Chamber Ensembles
  • Pep Band

Choral Ensembles

The art of choral singing has always enjoyed a very proud and robust tradition at Albright College. The Department of Music presently offers five choral ensembles for student participation.  Participation in all choral groups is determined by audition; however, any Albright student is welcome to audition. While academic credit is offered for participation in the Concert Choir and Women's Chorale, the other ensembles listed below are extra-curricular. Students in either Concert Choir or Women's Chorale will receive one course unit of credit upon completion of four semesters with a grade of C or better. For non-majors, this fulfills the General Education: Foundations (Fine Arts) requirement. An additional four semesters may be taken for elective credit.

Concert Choir

The Concert Choir is a group of approximately 40 singers (male and female) designed to provide the opportunity and education for young artists to be life long contributors to the art of choral performance.  This ensemble rehearses on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:00 to 5:20 PM in preparation for various on and off-campus programs.  This choral ensemble experience includes learning and performing choral literature from chant through the present, giving all members opportunity for personal vocal development through a variety of choral traditions.  Membership is determined by a vocal and musical-skills assessment held at the beginning of each semester. 

Women's Chorale

The Women's Chorale provides students with the opportunity and education necessary to be contributors to the art of choral performance.  This ensemble rehearses Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00 to 5:20 PM in preparation for various on-campus, and occasional off-campus, programs.  This choral ensemble experience includes learning and performing choral literature from chant through the present, giving all members opportunity for personal vocal development through a variety of choral traditions.  Membership is determined by a vocal and musical-skills assessment held at the beginning of each semester. 

Albright Angels

Founded in 1998, the Albright Angels is a vocal ensemble of approximately 12 members that performs primarily a cappella selections from a variety of musical styles and genres that are written and/or arranged for treble voices. Auditions for this ensemble are held at the beginning of each semester. During the audition process, each singer is expected to prepare assigned repertoire and perform in quartets without accompaniment.  The prerequisite for participation in Albright Angels is participation in a credited choral performing ensemble (Concert Choir or Women’s Chorale). This ensemble meets Tuesdays from 7:30 – 9:00 PM & Thursdays from 6:00 – 7:30 PM for rehearsal. The Albright Angels perform at the four choral concerts held each academic year as well as at various on and off-campus events and performances -- including a Spring Tour (held during Spring Break) with their brother organization, the Mane Men. This group makes 20+ appearances each year.

Mane Men

Founded in 2001, the Mane Men is a vocal ensemble of approximately 12 members that performs primarily a cappella selections from a variety of musical style and genres that are written and/or arranged for male voices.  Auditions for this ensemble are held at the beginning of each semester.  During the audition process, each singer is expected to prepare assigned repertoire and perform in quartets without accompaniment. The prerequisite for participation in Mane Men is participation in a credited choral performing ensemble (Concert Choir).  This ensemble meets Tuesdays from 6:00 – 7:30 PM & Thursdays from 7:30 – 9:00 PM for rehearsal. The Mane Men perform at the four choral concerts held each academic year as well as at various on and off-campus events and performances -- including a Spring Tour (held during Spring Break) with their brother organization, the Albright Angels. This group makes 20+ appearances each year.

Mane-gels

The Mane-gels is the name that the Albright Angels and the Mane Men have given to themselves when they perform together.  This ensemble performs primarily a cappella music.  The prerequisite for participation in Mane-gels is participation in a credited choral performing ensemble (Concert Choir or Women’s Chorale) and successfully auditioning into Albright Angels or Mane Men.  This ensemble meets Mondays & Wednesdays from 5:20 -- 6:00 PM for rehearsal.  The Mane-gels performs at the four choral concerts held each academic year as well as at various on and off-campus events and performances -- including a Spring Tour (held during Spring Break).

Instrumental Ensembles

The art of instrumental music has always enjoyed a very proud and robust tradition at Albright College. The Department of Music presently offers four instrumental ensembles for student participation.  Participation in all instrumental groups is determined by audition; however, any Albright student is welcome to audition. Students will receive one course unit of credit upon completion of four semesters with a grade of C or better. For non-majors, this fulfills the General Education: Foundations (Fine Arts) requirement. An additional four semesters may be taken for elective credit.

Symphonic Band

The Symphonic Band rehearses at least twice weekly and performs at least one concert per semester. The band experience includes classic and contemporary band literature and often features guest artists. Numerous ensembles are formed from among band members, providing additional instruction and performance opportunities. Students wishing to participate in Symphonic Band without receiving course credit must fulfill credited class requirements and have permission of the director.

Chamber Winds

The Chamber Winds, for the advanced instrumentalist, rehearses twice weekly and performs two concerts per semester. Participation is by audition. Music performed is advanced traditional and classic wind ensemble literature, often featuring guest artists. Membership is determined by audition. Students wishing to participate in Chamber Winds without receiving course credit must fulfill credited class requirements and have permission of the director.

"Big Cat" Jazz Ensemble

The "Big Cat" Jazz Ensemble rehearses twice weekly and performs at least one concert per semester. This group focuses on jazz style, performing music representative of many eras of jazz history, with emphasis on swing and improvisation. The band performs contemporary arrangements as well as classic tunes from the jazz repertoire, giving attention to proper performance techniques. Participation is by audition. Music performed is advanced traditional and classic wind ensemble literature, often featuring guest artists. Membership is determined by audition. Students wishing to participate in the "Big Cat" Jazz Ensemble without receiving course credit must fulfill credited class requirements and have permission of the director.

String Chamber Orchestra

The String Chamber Orchestra consists of string players from our college and surrounding community. The group rehearses weekly and performs one concert per semester exploring musical ranges from the Baroque era to Popular/Contemporary Music. Smaller string ensembles are formed from the larger group, providing experience in chamber music performance. For the 2016-17 season, The String Chamber Orchestra will be collaborating with the Sunday Sinfonia Orchestra (SSO), a local community organization open to all. The combined group will be called "Sunday Sinfonia at Albright College" for the duration of the collaboration. The orchestra is under the artistic leadership of Maestro Simon Maurer, Musical Director of SSO, and Dana Weiderhold of Albright College. Rehearsals are held in Roop Hall (CFA) on Sunday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. each week of the semester. For more information, check the Sunday Sinfonia at Albright College website -- http://sundaysinfonia.org/membership/#schedule  Note: Students wishing to participate in the String Chamber Orchestra without receiving course credit must fulfill credited class requirements and have permission of the director.

Instrumental Chamber Ensembles

The college supports a variety of instrumental ensembles that meet one a week and perform at various concerts throughout the year.  These ensembles include: Brass, String, Percussion, and Woodwinds.

Pep Band

The Pep Band is a student run organization that performs for home football and basketball games.  The group meets once a week during the football and basketball season.


Albright College Instrument Rental Policy

Instruments (non-keyboard) within the Albright College’s inventory are available for students active in the Music Industry Studies/Music Business degree program(s) with priority given to students enrolled in performance ensembles and/or lessons. The instruments are housed in the CFA building and are administered by the ensemble directors/private instructors of the Music Department. Students are responsible for maintaining their instruments for the term of their rental, and are held responsible for any damages or loss that might occur. Students must transport their own instruments to/from rehearsals and performances.

Rental Procedures

  • Instrument rental forms are available through the Music Department website.
  • Students must consult their ensemble director/private instructor then complete the form submission to acquire the appropriate instrument.
  • Once the form has been submitted and accepted, the student’s ensemble director/private instructor will issue the instrument.
  • This process must be repeated each semester an instrument is issued.

Dates and Deadlines

  • All Music Department instruments must be checked out EVERY semester.
  • All instruments must be returned to the Music Department in the same condition in which it was received.
  • Students are responsible for any damages or loss that may occur during the term of the agreement.
  • Instruments are due back to the Music Department BEFORE the last day of the regular semester.