Chamber Music

chamber music musicians playing

Photo by Tam Lan Truong.

Coordinator: douglas.mcnabney [at] mcgill.ca (Douglas McNabney)

The Chamber Music program (small ensembles) is one of the core strengths of the comprehensive training for professional musicians offered at the Schulich School of Music. The program is often cited by alumni as forming one of the highlights of their studies at McGill. Learning to perform chamber music to the highest of standards is an essential skill that complements the professional training provided by lessons and orchestral or other large ensemble experiences at the Schulich School. The opportunity for performance in a professional setting is one of the hallmarks of the Chamber Music Program.

If you play an orchestral instrument, chamber music is an integral part of the Performance curriculum along with lessons and playing in a large ensemble. You must maintain registration in both a large and assigned small ensemble during every term of enrolment, whether full-time or part-time, regardless of the number of credits you have earned (extra credits may be applied towards 4 credits of performance electives). Please refer to your specific program for complete regulations.

A small ensemble usually includes any formation from 3 to 10 players.

Orchestral instrument majors: Small ensembles include all chamber music formations (string ensembles, piano chamber music ensembles, mixed ensembles, brass and woodwind ensembles etc.), instrumental choirs (brass, flute, clarinet, etc.), and also include orchestral rep classes.

All students in Orchestral Instruments programs must participate in the auditions held in the first week of September. Chamber Music Ensembles are assigned following the auditions, by the coordinators in consultation with the Area Chairs. The list of ensembles will be posted on the Ensemble Bulletin Board (opposite C209) and outside C515 the week following auditions.

Students are responsible for registering themselves in the correct course and section on Minerva for all small ensembles and must contact their designated coach to arrange coaching times.