Choral and instrumental ensembles at Westmont, including the College Choir, Chamber Singers, Women’s Chorale, Men’s Chorale, Orchestra, New Sounds and the Wind Ensemble, are open by audition to all students, regardless of major.
- College Choir
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Westmont’s principal choral ensemble, a large mixed chorus, is under the direction of Dr. Michael Shasberger. The choir performs the classic repertoire of the past five centuries, along with spirituals, folk song arrangements, and music of other cultures. The ensemble presents local concerts including, each year, a major work with orchestra. The College Choir also appears at Westmont events, performs in chapel, ministers in local church services, and participates in regional choral festivals. Highlights of the year include the Christmas concert and the spring tour. To learn more about the College Choir, please see this link.
Scenes from the Choir's May 2014 Tour to Lithuania and Russia:
- Chamber Singers
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This select ensemble, under the direction of Professor Grey Brothers, specializes in a cappella literature, including madrigals and motets of the Renaissance, contemporary sacred and secular music, folk song arrangements, and spirituals. Outreach is an important function of the ensemble; in addition to joining the College Choir on the spring tour, the group performs locally and across southern and central California. Membership in the Chamber Singers is contingent upon membership in the College Choir.
- New Sounds
This select ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Steve Hodson, offers to members of the Men's and Women's Chorales an opportunity to sing advanced mixed-chorus repertoire from all eras, both accompanied and a cappella, including music for Christian worship. Since an important aspect of the mission of New Sounds is to train twenty-first century church musicians, outreach in chapel and to area congregations is included every semester.
- Men’s Chorale
The Men’s Chorale under the direction of Dr. Grey Brothers encourages men to sing in a variety of styles and formats. The Men’s Chorale participates frequently in campus Chapel services, and performs in concert and community settings. Men frequently form smaller ensembles for a cappella, gospel and barbershop musical styles. All men are encouraged to participate!
Women’s Chorale, under the direction of Prof. Jo Anne Wasserman, specializes in a variety of accompanied and a cappella literature for women’s voices. The ensemble performs in concert with the College Choir, appears in chapel, performs locally in churches and at civic events, participates in regional choral festivals, and travels on tour.
The College Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Michael Shasberger, performs original literature, transcriptions, and arrangements. Included in this are works for full orchestra, string orchestra, and small ensembles. The study and practice includes various style periods and composers from the Renaissance through the Twenty First Century. The orchestra performs two major independent concerts each semester, as well as a combined Christmas concert with the choral ensembles and a major works program in the spring with the College Choir. Typically, the orchestra is made up of circa 40 student string players and a classical wind component with appropriate percussion and keyboard musicians. Faculty specialists coach each section of the orchestra, including Dr. Philip Ficsor (violin), Dr. John Sant'Ambrogio (cello), and Dr. Paul Mori (wind, brass and percussion).Scenes from the Orchestra's 2012 Christmas Festival:
Various Wind Ensembles, directed and coached by Dr. Paul Mori, are organized for brass, woodwind, and percussion players. The various chamber ensembles perform throughout the semester. Typical groups include a woodwind quintet, 5 brass sextet, brass choir, and flute ensemble. Other ensemble forms to meet student interest and abilities.
Westmont has three ensembles of varying levels. All groups study the jazz idiom, including the art of improvisation, and perform both on and off campus.
Consider a Westmont music ensemble for your next event. Available for music for church worship services and special occassions. Please contact the music office for more information at 805-565-6040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Brass Ensemble
- A wide range of music from contemporary jazz to hymn arrangements mixed with classical pieces.
- String Quartet
- Offering traditional string quartet literature and hymn arrangements performed by string music students.