Ensembles and Coaches
The Hofstra Collegium Musicum is an organization of students, alumni, and community members dedicated to the performance of repertoire from the heritage of early music. Consisting of a chorus and several ensembles of historical instruments, Collegium presents a concert off campus in the fall semester and appears twice in Hofstra's annual Shakespeare Festival every spring.
Students wishing to audition for Collegium as singers or instrumentalists should see Dr. Morrongiello in the first week of each semester. Collegium is part of the Music Department's Ensemble Program (Small Ensembles), and singing in the Collegium Chorus satisfies the choral participation requirement for instrumental Music Education majors. Rehearsals are on Wednesdays in Room 216 Monroe Lecture Center from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. for instrumentalists and 8 to 10 p.m. for singers.
Contrappunto bestiale alla mente by Anonymous
Der Gutzgauch auf dem Zaune sab by Anonymous
Hofstra Jazz Ensembles
Alejandro Aviles, Director
The Hofstra Jazz Ensemble is a traditional Jazz big band that specializes in the music of Jazz masters such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Thad Jones, and Charlie Parker. Past performances have included guest artists such as Byron Stripling, Ken Peplowski, Marion McPartland, and Randy Brecker. The band performs regularly on campus while maintaining an active off-campus performing schedule. Rehearsals are scheduled for Wednesdays, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Room 020 Joseph G. Shapiro Family Hall.
All auditions for the Jazz Ensemble take place during the first week of the fall semester. A sign-up sheet can be found on the door of Room 104 Joseph G. Shapiro Family Hall. Any auditions after the scheduled dates can be arranged with Prof. Aviles. All students will be required to perform two prepared Jazz pieces in different rhythmic styles (swing, straight-eighth, slow, fast), sight-reading, basic improvisation and scales/modes.
Other Jazz ensembles (no audition required) include the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, directed by Professor Natalie M. Fabian, Guitar Jazz Ensemble, directed by Professor Tom Guarna, and student-run groups such as the Little Big Band (nonet) and several chamber Jazz combos. These ensembles specialize in a diverse Jazz repertoire and perform at many functions on campus, including concerts at the end of each semester.
If any student would like to perform in a Jazz ensemble but is inexperienced in the style, they can register for Music 20 (Small Ensembles) and join the Jazz 20 Ensemble (no audition required) that focuses on the basics of Jazz ensemble playing and improvisation. This ensemble meets 2:55 to 4:20 p.m. in Room 020 Joseph G. Shapiro Family Hall, every Friday that there is no required Music 20 meeting.
Sound of Love by arr. Dave Lalama
Black Noon by Chris Scarnato
Nobody's Perfect by Sammy Nestico
Hofstra Chamber Choir
The Hofstra Chamber Choir specializes in the study of traditional, contemporary, and multicultural choral repertoire, with a distinct emphasis on the art of unaccompanied, or a cappella, ensemble singing. This smallest and most select of the Hofstra choirs comprises the finest student voices at the University.
The Chamber Choir serves two main functions for the University. First, it acts as a laboratory for Hofstra's future music educators, providing an outlet for the exploration of the art of ensemble preparation through the study of the highest-quality choral literature. Second, it provides all qualified students with a professional-level ensemble dedicated to the highest standards of public performance through two annual campus concerts, as well as various other on and off-campus engagements and tours.
Rehearsals are held every Monday from 7:30 to 10 p.m. in Room 216 Monroe Lecture Hall. Auditions for Chamber Choir occur the first week of school in the fall semester. Students interested in singing in Chamber Choir should prepare a solo art song for the audition, and sign up on Dr. Fryling's office door (109 Shapiro Family Hall) the first few days of classes.
Hofstra New Music Ensemble
The Hofstra New Music Ensemble focuses on music of our own time, preparing an annual spring concert of (mostly) living composers. Past programs have included works by Frederic Rzewski, R. Murray Schafer, Terry Riley, Ezra Laderman, Henry Cowell, Eric Ewazen, and Thea Musgrave, among others, as well as earlier 20th century classics by Arnold Schoenberg and Stefan Wolpe. The ensemble meets on Thursdays from 3 to 4:30 p.m., and is directed by Patricia Spencer.
The New Music Ensemble offers a singular opportunity to perform works by faculty and student composers. For each of the past six years, a Hofstra faculty composer (Chandler Carter, Herbert Deutsch, Jason Hanley, Geoffrey Kidde, Charles Griffin, Ken Lampl) has written a piece specifically for the members and instrumentation of the group. The process of rehearsing with the composer enhances the learning process. The performance of the world premiere of a new work, especially one written expressly for the group, carries a unique responsibility and sense of history.
Auditions for the New Music Ensemble take place during the first week of the fall semester. Audition sign-up sheets can be found in the Joseph G. Shapiro Family Hall, ground floor Music Suite. Audition repertoire need not include 20th or 21st century repertoire. Additional auditions, after the first week of the semester, may be arranged by appointment with Patricia Spencer.
Hofstra Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble
Michael Salzman, Director
The Hofstra Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble is open to student tuba and euphonium players by audition. The Ensemble performs two concerts per year. The fall performance is always at the Hofstra Octubafest Recital. The Ensemble performs original music for tubas and euphoniums as well as transcriptions of music from all periods. The group's repertoire is very diverse, covering music from the Baroque though Jazz and contemporary styles. In the spring of 2002, Hofstra commissioned composer Reber Clark to write an original piece for the group. Crenelations was premiered in May 2002, with Patrick Sheridan and Michael Salzman as soloists.
Weekly rehearsals also serve as a studio class for the students of Professor Salzman. Common pedagogical concerns are often discussed and practiced, and students often take the opportunity to perform solo works for their peers during rehearsals.
In May 2011, the ensemble was invited to perform at the Northeast Regional Tuba Euphonium Conference in Montclair, New Jersey, where they premiered a new version of Stephen Melillo's work Erich which was re-arranged by the composer for this performance. Additionally, composer/arranger Ken Pollitt has contributed many original works to the ensemble's repertoire.
Michael Salzman, Director
The Brass Ensemble performs literature from all time periods arranged for and written specifically for instruments of the brass family. With an emphasis on arrangements from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, including antiphonal music of Gabrielli and others, the ensemble also performs music from later periods, including contemporary and Jazz literature. Weekly rehearsals include the study of fundamentals of brass playing with an emphasis on techniques associated with various styles of music, and culminate with a performance at the end of each semester.
Hofstra Percussion Ensemble
Sean Ritenauer, Director
The Hofstra University Percussion Ensemble is dedicated to the performance of classic percussion repertoire, world music, and contemporary compositions. In addition to the preparation of a variety of repertoire and styles, students work in the areas of ensemble rehearsal techniques, quality sound production, and technical and musical problem-solving. The ensemble has worked with The New York Percussion Quartet, The Hofstra Flute Ensemble, and has a regular collaboration with the percussion department at Queens College.
The Hofstra University Percussion Ensemble meets on Fridays at 3 p.m. in the percussion studio in the lower level of the Shapiro Family Hall, and other times scheduled during the semester, based on the repertoire. This ensemble is not a beginner-level group. Interested students must have a reasoShapiro Family Hallle level of proficiency on snare drum and mallet instruments, and a good musical reading level.
For more information, visit Percussion at Hofstra.
Hofstra Saxophone Quartet
The Hofstra Saxophone Quartet performs a diverse repertoire of classical and Jazz music. Works include traditional French quartets by composers such as Bozza, Desenclos, Dubois and Francaix; transcriptions of pieces by Bach, Piazzolla and Scarlatti; and modern Jazz quartets by composers such as Mintzer, Niehaus, Weiskopf, and Woods. Students will have the opportunity to work on intonation, the use of dynamics, proper articulation, and the art of ensemble playing in an intimate quartet setting. Rehearsals are at a day and time when all the ensemble members are available. If you would like to try out for the Hofstra Sax Quartet please contact Professor Kenyon to schedule an audition.
Hofstra String/Piano Ensembles
The Hofstra String Ensembles offer in-depth study and performance of string quartets, string trios, and string duos. In addition to examining chamber works, students will also acquire skills needed for successful performance of string chamber music. Groups will be formed according to individual levels and experience, and availability for coaching. Groups are expected to rehearse outside of classroom time, in addition to weekly coaching with the directors. The group will perform at the end of the semester at one of the Music 20 performance opportunities.
Hofstra Woodwind Ensembles
Laurie Friedman-Adler, Director
The Hofstra Woodwind Ensembles are open to all woodwind players – flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, French horn, and saxophones. The ensembles include a clarinet ensemble, woodwind quintets, quartets, and trio, depending upon registration. Music will be selected to suit the ability of the ensemble and will include works from the classical, romantic, and contemporary periods. Rehearsals are on Fridays from 3 to 4:15 p.m.; a short audition for group placement will take place at the first session. Groups will perform in a concert at the Monroe Lecture Center Theater at the end of each semester.
Indian Music Ensemble
This ensemble is designed to introduce students to a basic knowledge of North Indian classical music. There are no prerequisites to join the ensemble except the joy to step outside the box, and have a first-hand experience with one of the most ancient world’s musics. Classes are taught according to the native pedagogical system, with focus on modal scales, microtones, rhythmic cycles, and improvisation. Indian instruments are provided by the teacher, but students can also join with the Western instrument of their preference. One of the objectives of this ensemble is to expand students’ musical skills, exercising aural memory and the embodiment of sound through the practice of rāga and tāla.
The Indian Ensemble is only offered in the Fall. At the end of the semester, students present a short public performance.
Judith Dansker-DePaolo, Director
Recorder Ensemble is for everybody: Early Music enthusiasts with some experience, and beginners with a major in strings, piano, voice, percussion and woodwinds who want to know more about playing a historical instrument. Students will play soprano, alto, tenor and bass recorders. The ensemble is also appropriate for music education majors who would like to know more about teaching the recorder to young children. The repertoire includes works from the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods and arrangements of popular music.