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Ensembles

The Grand Rapids Community College Music Department offers a variety of instrumental and vocal ensembles. 

Join our ensembles

GRCC Music and Non-Music Majors are welcome to join our ensembles. GRCC Music ensembles run the Fall and Winter semesters only. 

Interested in our ensembles and want more information? Contact Us! 

Vocal Ensembles

Grand Rapids Community College Music Department offers a variety of vocal ensembles.

College Choir - MUS 189

MUS 189, College Choir is designed as an open-enrollment, non-audition choir open to any student at GRCC. Students who sang in their high school choirs or are currently singing in another type of choir and are interested in continuing their choral experience are welcome. Skills taught will be basic vocal pedagogy, music reading and ear training skills along with basic choral ensemble skills.

This course is one credit.

Performances

The College Choir will perform 2-3 times yearly. The College Choir will meet two hours weekly. Grading is based on attendance and punctuality to rehearsals and concerts, and demonstrated competency of the music being studied in the class.

Questions?

Enroll today or for more information, call (616) 234-2294 or email Dr. Caleb Wenzel, Director of Choral Activities.

Concert Choir - MUS 195

MUS 195 - Concert Choir

Dr. Caleb Wenzel, Director of Choral Activities

1 credit

The Concert Choir is an auditioned choir open to any student, but primarily serves vocal music majors. The Concert Choir consists of 28-32 auditioned singers. This highly select ensemble is the face of choral music and the vocal program at GRCC.

Skills taught include vocal pedagogy, music theory and aural comprehension skills. The musical literature studied is comparable to that of the most advanced ensembles at four-year institutions to which GRCC music graduates will transfer. MUS 195 fulfills the major ensemble requirements of vocal, piano and organ majors at GRCC.

Concert Choir Requires an Audition

Contact Dr. Wenzel to schedule an audition for Concert Choir.

Performances

The GRCC Concert Choir will perform 4-6 times per year. Grading is based on attendance, punctuality to rehearsals and concerts, and demonstrated mastery of the music being studied in the class.

Madrigal Singers - MUS 191

The Madrigal Singers is a classical vocal ensemble that specializes in music of Renaissance and Baroque period composers, but also performs music of contemporary composers. The ensemble is selected from vocalists who audition at the end of each academic year. The fall semester repertoire emphasizes the ensemble's dedication to mastering the art of chamber ensemble singing. Students study correct stylistic practice for the specific repertoire and begin to understand how to perform without a conductor.

Auditions

Auditions for the Madrigal Singers are held near the end of Winter semester each year. Contact Dr. Caleb Wenzel, director for more information: (616) 234-2294.

Shades of Blue - MUS 192

Shades of Blue is a vocal jazz ensemble consisting of 8-14 singers accompanied by a rhythm section of piano, bass, drums and other instruments as needed. The primary concern of this course is artistic and creative vocal jazz for ensemble performance. Advanced solo experience, microphone techniques and vocal improvisation are part of the course offering. Students who audition will prepare a vocal solo from the Broadway, pop vocal, or vocal jazz idiom. The group performs at least twice a semester and is expected to perform at off-campus venues as scheduled.

Shades of Blue has a rich history of performance with many well-known artists and dignitaries and has performed for several professional workshops and conferences throughout the United States.

For more information about auditioning for Shades of Blue, contact Jed Scott

Questions about vocal ensembles

Want more information?

Vocal ensembles

Shades of Blue

Instrumental Ensembles

Grand Rapids Community College Music Department offers a variety of instrumental ensembles.

Campus Band - MUS 194

Campus Band- MUS 194 is designed for community members who would like to continue playing their instrument and GRCC non-music majors who would like to continue playing a band instrument in college or music majors who are performing on their non-major instrument. This ensemble will perform works from original and transcribed sources. Campus Band is open to the community and all GRCC students who have previous experience performing on band instruments — no audition is required to enroll. 

Contact Dr. Shannon Shaker, Director of Bands for more information. 

College Orchestra - MUS 196

The College Orchestra studies and performs works from all periods of music, appropriate to the instrumentation of the ensemble. MUS 196 is required of music majors whose primary instrument is violin, viola, cello or double bass. Wind players may enroll with permission of the instructor. Non-music majors who play a string instrument are encouraged to enroll in the orchestra.

Contact Dr. Libor Ondras, Conductor, with questions about participation.

Wind Ensemble - MUS 197

The Wind Ensemble is offered during both the fall and winter semesters of the collegiate year. It performs works from original and transcribed sources with special emphasis placed upon literature written by contemporary composers. MUS 197 is required of instrumental music education and performance majors who play a band instrument. Non-music majors are also encouraged to enroll in this ensemble.

For additional information contact Dr. Shannon Shaker, Director of Bands. 

String Quartet - MUS 181/182

The String Quartet will study string quartet literature from all periods of music. Positions in the quartet are open by audition in combinations of two violins, viola and cello.

Students interested in performing in a string quartet should contact Dr. Libor Ondras for more information. 

Percussion Ensemble - MUS 181/182

The Percussion Ensemble is open to all GRCC students and does not require an audition. Non-music majors with an interest in percussion ensemble music should contact the music office for more information: (616) 234-3940) The ensemble meets for one hour each week and performs twice each semester at the Instrumental Music  Ensemble Concerts as well as Musical Moods.

Repertoire performed at past concerts have been selected from the following composers: Alan Abel, Vic Firth, M. Colgrass, Thomas Davis, Rupert Kettle, W. Kraft, Dave Mancini, Warren Smith and Alice Gomez.

Mariachi Ensemble - MUS 181/182

The Mariachi Ensemble rehearses and performs traditional and modern Mariachi music. Instrumentation for this ensemble includes violin, guitarron or string bass, vihuela, trumpet, and concertina or accordion. The Mariachi ensemble has been featured at many local festivals and performs approximately 15 outreach concerts per year. Students are not required to be a music major to play in the Mariachi Ensemble. This ensemble may not be offered every year. 

Contact Dr. Libor Ondras for more information about this ensemble. 

Kent Philharmonic Orchestra

Founded in 1975, the Kent Philharmonic Orchestra is a community ensemble consisting of both Grand Rapids Community College students and musicians from the broader Kent County community. KPO presents four performances each academic year at Saint Cecilia Music Center in downtown Grand Rapids. 

KPO sponsors a scholarship for GRCC students from all majors who perform in KPO.

Rehearsals are held weekly on Wednesday nights September to May at the GRCC Albert P. Smith Music Center. Membership is open by audition.

For more information, contact Music Director Dr. Libor Ondras.

Tickets and Concert Dates can be found at grccmusic.ludus.com

Ticket Prices

Adults: $14.00 

Seniors (55 & Older): $7.00

Veterans: $7:00 

High School Students & GRCC Students are FREE with Valid School ID 

Jazz Ensemble - MUS 190

Membership by audition held at the beginning of the fall semester. The jazz ensemble will rehearse and perform pieces in various styles and from various periods in jazz and big band development. Improvisation will be taught and emphasized in performance. Contact Shannon Shaker, director of bands, for more information concerning the audition. 

Auditions

The Jazz Ensemble is open to music majors and non-music majors alike. Contact Shannon Shaker for more information. 

Jazz Combo - MUS 181/182

The instrumentation will vary each semester and may include the traditional 3 horns and rhythm section. Music varies from published charts, to the Real Book, to original student compositions. Combos rehearse for one hour each week. Performances include fall and winter jazz night and Musical Moods. 

For additional information about auditioning for a jazz combo please contact Dr. Shannon Shaker

Guitar Ensemble - MUS 198

The Guitar Ensemble studies and performs works from original and transcribed sources. Repertoire ranges from Renaissance through Modern music eras. The ensemble has between two to four performances each semester. This course satisfies the major ensemble requirement for students who choose guitar as their major instrument.

For more information about the Guitar Ensemble, please contact Jonathan Marshall.

Check out some of the music of GRCC Guitar Performs:  The Wellerman 

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