The University of Western Ontario Chamber Orchestra is the Faculty of Music's ensemble dedicated to repertoire composed for smaller orchestral instrumentations. It offers students a chance to refine their ensemble and performance skills with challenging works in a professional rehearsal and performance atmosphere.
The repertoire of the UWOCO ranges from the Baroque era to the 21st Century, including chamber symphonies, serenades, divertimenti and concerti. Primarily comprised of Music Majors, this fall semester accredited course is open to all Western students. Admission to the UWOCO is by audition.
Past conductors have included Jerome Summers, Len Ingrao, James McKay and Geoffrey Moull. The present conductor of the UWO Chamber Orchestra is Western's director of orchestral ensembles Alain Trudel.
The EMS experience combines the strengths of our faculty specializations with the uniqueness of individualized student programs. EMS instrumentalists perform on copies of baroque and classical string, wind and keyboard instruments supplied by the Don Wright Faculty of Music. Students without experience on period instruments may audition on their modern instruments.
Occasionally singers already experienced in historical performance participate as soloists.
EMS performs four to six concerts each academic year both on and off campus. Most concerts involve both orchestral and chamber music.
The UWO Jazz Ensemble is one of the longest standing university jazz ensembles in Canada. Established in the late 1960s, directors have included Bill Davies, trombonist Charles (Chuck) Dalkert, Henry Meredith (Dr. Hank), Phil Nimmons (the "Dean of Canadian Jazz"), Trombonist Rob Stone, Bruce Smith and Bobbi Thompson. The group is currently directed by Kevin Watson.
The Jazz Ensemble performs at many venues as well as giving educational concerts to local high schools. Rehearsals are Tuesdays 7-9 in MB 345, and Thursdays 7-9 in MB 104.
The University of Western Ontario Percussion Ensemble was founded by current conductor, Dr. Jill Ball. The group offers an opportunity for percussion majors to refine their musical skills as a section. Rehearsals are held once a week with concerts typically held in early Spring.
Watch the members of the Percussion Ensemble perform:
The University of Western Ontario Concert Band was founded in the early 1960s at the College of Music by Professor Donald A. McKellar. The Band was comprised primarily of students from the Arts and Science Faculty at the University with a few College of Music students participating in addition to some faculty. It was the first ensemble that a student could participate in for credit at a Canadian university. The initial Concert Band was renamed the Symphonic Band and a Wind Ensemble was later established for more senior players by Jerome Summers.
It has grown from its humble beginnings to a 65+ person ensemble which is made up almost entirely from Music majors at the Faculty of Music. It is currently conducted by Prof. Gary McCumber.
Notes from the conductor: Our goal is to explore and perform quality music written for the wind band and to exhibit to our audiences a mastery level of performance. Through the rehearsing and performing of diverse repertoire, performers are presented with a wide variety of styles, compositional techniques, creative expressions and rehearsal processes. The large ensemble experience assists performers in advancing their skills and knowledge while developing individual musicianship.
The University of Western Ontario Symphony Orchestra is the prime orchestral ensemble of the Faculty of Music and renowned as one of Canada's outstanding university orchestras. Over its history, it has gained widespread acclaim through numerous appearances and radio broadcasts, including a performance on the American Public Radio Network. Its graduates have gone on to establish reputable careers as performers, educators, composers, and administrators.
Rehearsing and performing in a professional atmosphere, the UWOSO's range of repertoire is very broad, including representative works from the symphonic repertoire, opera, oratorio and contemporary compositions. The UWOSO collaborates regularly with UWOpera and the UWO choral ensembles. An annual concerto competition allows a select number of student performers to present a full concerto with orchestra. Admission to the UWOSO is by audition.
The UWO Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1963 under the leadership of Donald McKellar who was succeeded by Robert (Bob) Skelton, by Clifford Evens in 1972, by Simon Streatfeild in 1977, by Jerome Summers in 1983, by James McKay in 2008, and Geoffrey Moull in 2009. Other occasional conductors included Herman Dilmore and Peter Odegard. The present conductor of the UWO Symphony Orchestra is Western's director of orchestral ensembles Alain Trudel.
Evolving from the Symphonic Band, the University of Western Ontario Wind Ensemble was established by Jerome Summers in the 1980s. Recognized as one of the finest wind bands in Canada, the Wind Ensemble is indebted to the leadership of past conductors: Donald McKellar, A. James Ford, Charles (Chuck) Dalkert, Wayne Jeffrey, Jerome Summers, David McKinney, Gary McCumber. With the appointment of their current director, Dr. Colleen Richardson, in 2007, the Wind Ensemble continues its journey towards excellence in performance and wind band education. Apparitions by the UWO Wind Ensemble is on Albany Records & available at Amazon.ca