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Music Ensembles

The Rhode Island College Symphony Orchestra

The Rhode Island College Orchestra Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Dr. Edward Markward. Performing standard repertoire and featuring frequent soloists, the Symphony Orchestra maintains a full performance schedule of four concerts per year. The ensemble rehearses on Tuesday evenings from 7:00-10:00 p.m.. It is open by audition to all Rhode Island College students, regardless of academic major. Recent performances have included Brahms' Academic Festival Overture, Stravinsky's Firebird Suite, Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, and Sibelius' Symphony No. 5.

The Rhode Island College Chorus

The Rhode Island College Chorus is a select, concert mixed choir of approximately 55 - 70 voices and is conducted by Teresa Coffman. Membership is open to any RIC student by audition. The Chorus performs a wide variety of literature -- from a cappella pieces to large-scale choral/orchestral works, from traditional works to multi-cultural and avant-garde pieces -- on a minimum of three concerts at Rhode Island College per academic year. Since 2000, in addition to regular performances at the College, they have performed for the Rhode Island State House General Assembly, for the regional Music Educators National Conference, with the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra, and at various high schools, community organizations, and churches. They have worked with composers Jean Berger, Michael Remson, and Libby Larsen and with conductor Rodney Eichenberger. For more information, or to schedule an audition, please contact Dr. Teresa Coffman at 456-9506 or tcoffman@ric.edu.

Rhode Island College Chamber Singers

The Rhode Island College Chamber Singers, conducted by Teresa Coffman, are selected by audition from members of the RIC Chorus. The ensemble was formed to provide a challenging, small ensemble experience for RIC's most advanced student singers, to provide musical entertainment and enrichment for campus and community organizations, to recruit for the college at local high schools, and to act as ambassadors for the College. After several years of inactivity, the ensemble was reestablished in the spring of 2000 during Teresa Coffman's first year as choral director at Rhode Island College. Since then, the group has performed on each College choral concert and for countless on- and off-campus organizations, usually averaging approximately thirty performances during the academic year. The ensemble consists of twelve to eighteen singers and performs a wide variety of literature, including Medieval chants, Renaissance though twenty-first century sacred and secular music, nontraditional and non-Western music, and vocal jazz arrangements. The group's first tour occurred in the spring of 2001 when the ensemble toured the New England area, singing at middle and high schools and churches. International tours include a May 2002 concert tour of Ireland, a May 2004 concert tour of Scotland and Wales, and a May 2006 concert tour of Italy. In anticipation of the Ireland tour, the Singers commissioned, performed, and recorded the work Chamber Music, a set of songs based on the poems of James Joyce by the Irish American composer Michael Remson. Other composers the ensemble has worked with include Jean Berger, Michael Kregler, Paul Nelson, Barbara Kolb, and Libby Larsen.

Rhode Island College Women's Chorus

The Rhode Island College Women's Chorus, conducted by Teresa Coffman, and the Men's Chorus, conducted by Tianxu Zhou, are the two newest additions to the RIC choral program, and were formed to offer a wider variety of choral possibilities for RIC students. Each performs on the regular RIC choral concerts and also performs a variety of choral literature - from Medieval sacred music to contemporary vocal jazz.

Wind Ensemble

Conducted by Dr. Robert Franzblau, the Rhode Island College Wind Ensemble has been recently hailed as one of the most respected college wind bands in New England. A balanced 50-piece ensemble, it performs high-quality contemporary and traditional wind band repertoire, emphasizing works scored originally for winds. Recent guest appearances include performances at the College Band Directors Association Eastern Division Conference in Baltimore and the Music Educators National Conference Eastern Division Convention in Providence.

Guest artists who have appeared with the Wind Ensemble include Frank L. Battisti, Steven Bryant, Michael Weinstein, Thomas Duffy, Diana McVey, Liana Stillman, Roger Cichy, Marvin Stamm, Tony Clements, and Robert Jager. In addition, the Wind Ensemble regularly features both faculty and student soloists from Rhode Island College. Faculty soloists include Joseph Foley, Dr. Mary Ellen Guzzio, John Sumerlin, and Kara Lund (voice). The annual Senior Concerto Competition allows deserving seniors in the Wind Ensemble to perform a major concerto with the ensemble. Recent performances include Premiere Rhapsodie for Clarinet by Claude Debussy, Night Soliloquy by Kent Kennan, Sonata for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble by Kent Kennan, and Concertino for Trombone by Laars Erik Larssen.

Four concerts are performed annually. The group rehearses Mondays from 7:00-9:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 2:00-4:00 p.m, and is open to all Rhode Island College students by audition. Repertoire from previous concerts includes Gandolfi's "Vientos y Tangos", Ticheli's "Blue Shades", McTee's "Soundings", Grainger's "Lincolnshire Posy", and Corigliano's "Gazebo Dances". Utilizing a flexible approach to instrumentation and selected by audition from the Wind Ensemble, the Chamber Winds perform music written for eight to twenty wind and percussion players. Recent performances include Weill's "Threepenny Opera Suite", Milhaud's "La Création du Monde", Zappa's "The Dog Breath Variations", and Strauss' "Serenade in E flat".

Concert Jazz Band

The Rhode Island College Concert Jazz Band, directed by Professor Joseph Foley, is an auditioned ensemble of 20 musicians. Performing a wide variety of jazz styles including swing, blues, funk, be-bop, fusion, and contemporary jazz, the band performs at least twice per semester on campus. The RIC jazz band also performs annually at the Williams College Collegiate Jazz Festival in Williamstown, Massachusetts and at the Rhode Island Jazz Appreciation Month celebration held at the college. Previous guest artists who have performed on concerts/clinics with the band are Marvin Stamm, Harold Jones, and Bill Prince. The jazz band rehearses on Wednesday afternoons from 4:00 - 6:00 pm. If you would like further information or would like to schedule an audition, please contact Joseph Foley at (401) 456-9504 or jfoley@ric.edu.

Other Ensembles

In addition to the major ensembles listed above, Rhode Island College supports a wide variety of smaller performing organizations. These include the Opera Workshop, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Combos, Chamber Orchestra, Brass Ensemble, Trumpet Ensemble, Flute Choir, Clarinet Quartet, Saxophone Quartet, Guitar Ensemble, and Piano Ensemble.

Page last updated: August 14, 2013