About Ensembles at Kalamazoo College
Any student may participate in a music ensemble, regardless of major, though some ensembles require an audition (see below chart for details). Music ensembles generally meet twice a week for 1.5 hours each time. Participation in a music ensemble does not conflict with the regular class schedule, and it is possible to perform in more than one ensemble in the same quarter.
Dynamic, adventurous, and thoughtfully-curated works.
Dr. Andrew Koehler, Director
Founded in 1990 by Dr. Barry Ross as the Kalamazoo College and Community Orchestra, the group brings together students, faculty, and amateur and professional musicians of all ages to perform great music. After a national search, Dr. Andrew Koehler was appointed to succeed him as the new music director of the group, which subsequently renamed itself the Kalamazoo Philharmonia (KPHIL). Having grown enormously since its inception, the ensemble is now of full symphonic proportions and has been recognized as an arts organization of major importance in the greater Kalamazoo area. The orchestra generally plays three concerts per season, the programs of which are introduced by Dr. Andrew Koehler and Cara Lieurance on WMUK the week preceding the performance.
For more information on requirements, rehearsal schedule, and contact, please visit the KPHIL Ensemble page.
To learn more about the orchestra and its performance schedule, please visit the Kalamazoo Philharmonia website.
The Academy Street Winds (ASW)
A beloved ensemble for both its members and audiences.
Dr. Thomas G. Evans, Director
The Academy Street Winds (ASW), directed by Dr. Thomas G. Evans, functions as a beloved creative outlet for woodwind, brass, and percussion students. In addition, community musicians join the ensemble and further expand the sound and capabilities of the group.
ASW holds one concert each quarter, playing exciting arrays of band music which can be both challenging and simple, but – as Dr. Evans attests – never “simple-minded.” The band is a great favorite for both its members and its audiences, as the programs are usually coordinated around greatly diverse themes, which allow for performances of much-loved pieces, both classic and brand-new.
For more information on requirements, rehearsal schedule, contact, and performance schedule, please visit the ASW Ensemble page.
You will want your dancing shoes on for a concert with the Jazz Band!
Tom Evans, Director
Directed by Dr. Thomas G. Evans, Kalamazoo College’s Jazz Band pulls together an expansive collection of contemporary and classic jazz arrangements to provide both the students participating and the audience members with a truly electric experience. This group varies in size each year, making the music selections continuously diverse and exciting.
The Jazz Band holds one concert each quarter and performs additionally for the annual Burgers and Blues on the campus Quad.
For more information on requirements, rehearsal schedule, contact, and performance schedule, please visit the Jazz Band Ensemble page.
Kalamazoo College Singers and Lux Esto Chamber Singers
Become a part of the rich tradition of choral music at K! Join us for a wide and diverse array of repertoire!
Dr. Christopher Ludwa, Director
Directed by Dr. Christopher J. Ludwa, the Kalamazoo College Singers – a mixed Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bass choir – upholds Kalamazoo College’s goal of providing a unique and comprehensive span of informative education by performing a wide and diverse array of repertoire. The ensemble holds a major performance once per quarter.
Lux Esto Chamber Singers
Typically relying on Soprano and Alto voices, the members of this group often perform more advanced and challenging music, with emphasis on working together as an ensemble. This ensemble seeks students who have participated in a choir prior to college, allowing for a richer, more developed, and more beautiful sound.
For more information on requirements, rehearsal schedule, contact, and performance schedule, please visit the Kalamazoo College Singers & Lux Esto Singers Ensemble page.
Kalamazoo Choral Arts
One of Kalamazoo’s longest running musical organizations, The Bach Festival Society was founded in 1946 by Henry Overley, Professor of Music at Kalamazoo College.
Dr. Christopher Ludwa, Director
The Kalamazoo Choral Arts has approximately 65 singers who are both members of the Kalamazoo community and K-College students. The ensemble seeks to bring together people of all ages and diverse backgrounds and provide them with an opportunity to experience the joy of making music together by performing some of the best works in the choral repertoire. Each year, the choir performs 2-3 concerts.
For more information on requirements, rehearsal schedule, and contact, please visit the Kalamazoo Choral Arts page.
To learn more about the chorus and its performance schedule, please visit the Kalamazoo Choral Arts website.
International Percussion Ensembles
Come experience the music of different cultures!
Directed and managed by Carolyn Koebel, Kalamazoo College’s International Percussion Ensemble consists of Steel Pan, West African, and Taiko drumming, all of which provide a unique percussion experience as they bring together individuals with varied musical backgrounds from Kalamazoo College, nearby institutions, and the greater Kalamazoo Community. Each ensemble practices one evening a week and prepares a performance at the end of the 10-week quarter.
Caribbean Steel Drumming – Jean Raabe
Sabar Yaru: West African – Carolyn Koebel
Japanese Taiko – Carolyn Koebel
For more information on requirements, rehearsal schedule, contact, and performance schedule, please visit the International Percussion Ensembles page.
Beautiful sounds of the broader Middle East performed by the Bayati Ensemble.
Beau Bothwell, Director
The Bayati Ensemble is a joint community/student ensemble that explores and performs the music of the broader Middle East, including music from the Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish, Persian, and neighboring traditions.
We are open to a range of instruments including Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass Flute, Oboe, Clarinet Percussion, Keyboard Traditional instruments (oud, saz, sagat, ney, qanun), and Traditional vocalists. We also have a few Middle Eastern instruments available to loan to students.
For more information on requirements, rehearsal schedule, and contact, please visit the Bayati Ensemble page.
Bring your musical skills and Jam with others!
Ron Di Salvio, Director
For more information on requirements, rehearsal schedule, and contact, please visit the Improvisation Ensemble page.