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Instrumental Course Descriptions

Instrumental Program Course Descriptions

MUSC 112 - Survey of Jazz, LE (3 Credits)
This course is a survey of one of America’s most important art forms—jazz. The basic history of
jazz—including its precursors, many distinct styles, marriage with other musical idioms, and global
spread—will be examined in conjunction with a close look at many different performances by the
great jazz musicians. Reading and extensive listening will both be important aspects of the course.

MUSC 125/325 - Westminster Jazz Ensemble, LE (1 Credit)
This ensemble is actively trained in the art of jazz improvisation and typically performs at least
once a semester. Students may participate in this ensemble with instruments of their choice; the
instrumental make-up of the group changes from semester to semester, depending on the
instruments students bring. May be repeated for credit. Upper-division credit earned beginning with
third semester. Audition required.

MUSC 135/335 - Westminster Chamber Orchestra, LE  (1 Credit)
This ensemble is designed especially for string, woodwind, and brass players. A spectrum of
classical styles is typically covered in the course of a year, but most repertoire is taken from the
late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. May be repeated for credit. Upper-division credit
earned beginning with third semester. Audition required.

MUSC 175/375 - Westminster Percussion Ensemble  (1 Credit)
This class provides an opportunity to investigate rhythm and a wide variety of interesting percussion instruments and tone colors in the social setting of a performing ensemble. At least one performance will be given on campus every semester, involving everyone in the class. Beginners and more experienced players are welcome. May be repeated for credit. Upper-division credit earned beginning with third semester.
No audition required at this time.

MUSC 185/385 - Chamber Music (1 Credit)
This class provides Westminster music students—music majors, minors, and otherwise—with an opportunity to join a small group of musicians (2-10 players) in studying and performing great music written specifically for small groups with one player per part. Class time will take the form of the professor coaching each group separately with all groups present. May be repeated for credit. Upper-division credit earned beginning with third semester. Audition required.

MUSC 302 - Instrumental Conducting (2 Credits)
In this course, students will learn techniques necessary for the successful conducting of
instrumental ensembles such as concert bands and chamber orchestras. Baton patterns, cuing,
non-verbal communication of musical interpretation, score analysis, the relationship between
conductor and musicians, and rehearsal techniques will be covered in detail. Course
activities—inside and outside class—will include required reading, assigned listening, baton
practice, video-taped practice, live performance, and both peer and instructor evaluations.