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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences School of Music

Coronavirus Resources

A safe return to music making

This page is a resource for WSU School of Music students, parents, faculty, staff and community supporters as we plan a return of academic and artistic excellence to the halls of Kimbrough Music Building during the Fall 2020 semester.

We know you have been wondering about your ensemble experiences this fall. Here it is, your guide to WSU School of Music ensemble offerings. We look forward to your performances!  Sign up soon to receive direct emails from your professors. 

Wind Ensemble (MUS 437/537)  

Enrollment will be limited to auditioned woodwind, brass, and percussion participants only. Repertoire to include parts for standard and chamber wind band works. Repertoire to be performed through virtual means. Semester to include video/sound editing, and guest appearances by guest conductors and artists. See audition information below. 

Orchestra (MUS 434/534)  

Enrollment will be limited to strings only. Repertoire to include parts that score for Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, and Bass. Repertoire to be performed through virtual means. Semester to include video/sound editing, and guest appearances by guest conductors and artists. See audition information below. 

Wind Ensemble and Orchestra Auditions: 

All auditions will be done remotely. That is, you will record yourself and either post a private link of you (via youtube, Vimeo, etc.) or send Dr. Danh Pham (danh.pham@wsu.edu) directly the mp3 recording for evaluation and placement. 

  1. Unless told otherwise by your specific studio professor, you will be responsible for performing a solo or etude (of your choice) that displays a passage of lyrical AND technical playing. This should be, in total, around 4-5 minutes of playing. PLEASE NOTE: THERE WILL BE SOME STUDIOS WHERE PROFESSORS WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH SPECIFIC ETUDES, SO BE ON THE LOOKOUT! SO FAR, FLUTE, OBOE, TROMBONE, EUPHONIUM, AND TUBA HAVE SPECIFIED AUDITION ETUDES. EVERYONE ELSE, FOLLOW THE SOLO INSTRUCTIONS LISTED IN THIS HEADING. 

  2. All auditions are due by the first day of classes. 

Symphonic Band (MUS 436)  

Enrollment is open to anyone with Woodwind, Brass, or Percussion experience. Depending on the final instrumentation, we might perform music written for “flex” instrumentation, or music written for specific “choirs.” (ie. WW choir, Brass/Percussion choir). With possible personnel support from Wind Ensemble or even marching band, we are aiming to do 2 piece this semester, 3 at most. 

In addition to the rehearsing and recording necessary to produce the virtual performances, we will also use our class time to explore wind band literature and history, and utilize the writing components of this course as stated in its UCORE mission. 

Concert Choir (MUS 431/531) 

This auditioned choral ensemble will produce at least one large ensemble virtual choir experience for our audiences in addition to small ensemble (around 12 singers) virtual performances. These ensembles will plan, record, and produce their own work. Concert Choir will engage in an exchange with the University of Montana and their choral program. This will provide interesting peer partnerships and performance opportunities. Students will study issues such as analysis of poetry, sight singing, the visual aspect of choral performances, vocal technique, and many other topics.  Guests from around the world will join to discuss interesting repertoire, community interaction, and how choral music can create cultural change.  

This ensemble will be offered completely online for fall 2020. All students wishing to be in Concert Choir must audition. 

Audition Information: 

Opera Workshop (MUS 428/528) 

Repertoire for this ensemble will depend on those students who audition and are deemed ready for the ensemble.  The course will include exploration of the following: 

  • Performance – preparation and coaching of arias, duets, etc.; more in-depth character development and discussions among singers; virtual performance for streaming in November 

  • Music History – composer’s importance in the development of opera 

  • Music Theory – characterization within the music 

  • Technical Theatre – students will design their own set, costumes and prop list, as well as stage their scenes; possibly for future performances when we are able to sing together again 

  • Professional Development – audition preparation and feedback 

Audition Information: 

University Singers (MUS 432) 

This ensemble will be offered completely online for fall 2020. Repertoire will be chosen based on those students who enroll. This is a non-auditioned ensemble. 

Jazz Big Bands and Combos for Fall 2020 

Because of the pandemic, WSU Jazz Big Bands for fall 2020 will be virtual, recording ensembles, making recordings like Flatten That Curve recorded last spring. You may watch the video by following this link: https://music.wsu.edu/recordings/jazz-recordings/ 

This will be an exciting semester as band members will be learning uptodate skills in remote recording, the same kind of recording which is being done for current studio work, television and movie production. Band members will have the opportunity to learn more about audio and video production, and about how to direct a virtual ensemble online.  

The Jazz Big Band (MUS 438/538 section 1) will be directed by guitarist, composer and WSU Jazz Studies Faculty Member, Gabe Condon, and Big Band II (MUS 438/528 section 2) will be directed by trumpeter and Graduate Teaching Assistant, Max Harrington. 

Jazz Combos (MUS 440/540): Students will work on jazz charts, dealing with style and improvisation, and produce up to five virtual ensemble performances. Students will also listen to recordings, work with YouTube, Aebersold, Music Minus One, or homemade backing tracks, and learn how to make virtual recordings 

Auditions for jazz ensembles: big bands and combos, will be online. Details and sign up procedures will be worked out by August 7 and posted on the WSU Jazz Big Bands page, on the right-hand side. You can see what is posted there now by visiting: 

Chamber Music (MUS 435/535) 

Interested parties should contact Dr. Ruth Boden (rboden@wsu.edu) directly for string/piano chamber music (MUS 435 section 13)You will receive emails directly regarding assignments and course procedures. All other students interested in non-string/piano chamber music should sign up for the MUS 435 section for which their instructor is listed. 

Cougar Marching Band and Drumline (MUS 444)  

The Cougar Marching Band (section 1) and Drumline (section 2) will be a virtual ensemble experience only. There will be no in-person rehearsals or performances. These groups will rehearse via Zoom (schedule will be provided but will typically be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday from 5-6) and will produce performance videos for football, other sporting events, and WSU functions. There will be NO BAND CAMP. Further information will be shared to members via e-mail. To sign up and be on the mailing list, please visit marchingband.wsu.edu/intent 

Percussion Ensemble (MUS 435) 

The WSU Percussion ensemble will provide several performances throughout the semester and will meet T/Th from 1:10 – 3 pm.