Large Ensembles

A large ensemble is a group of musicians (vocal, instrumental, etc) who perform together on a musical piece. Large ensembles have been a part of music history for centuries. Large ensembles can be an orchestra, chorus, jazz ensemble, or wind ensemble, consisting of layers of voices, instruments, or both.

Large ensembles are a huge part of a UNCSA musician’s day to day life. Almost every music student is a part of a large ensemble in one way or another. Each student practices their part to contribute to the overall large ensemble work. The UNCSA large ensembles contain a wide range of ages, from freshmen in high-school, to seniors in college, and even some graduate students. Large ensembles’ beginning can be traced back all the way to the early church, where large vocal ensembles would sing chants to accompany a reading of a bible passage or other such religious activity. Now, in the year 2015, Large Ensembles have become sophisticated and often more complicated, but the idea remains the same: creating one, varied sound as one group. The sound offered up being all the more powerful.

In large ensembles here at UNCSA all our instruments come together to create a strong powerful sound. Each voice or instrument has a smaller part that leads to a bigger picture. For example, in an orchestra you have several different groups of instruments and each instrument plays a role. The lower instruments normally play an accompaniment to the higher instruments or voices that play the melody and different harmonies. Within in each group like the woodwinds, strings, brass, or percussion each instrument plays. Then even within each of those groups different parts are played by even people playing the same instrument.

The sounds we as a group have submitted have special relation to the topic of Large Ensembles because the clips are from our large ensemble rehearsals, specifically Cantata singers and the Orchestra. In the Cantata singers clips you can hear the singers rehearsing Dr. Zullinger’s coachings and the Orchestra’s clips relay a large group of instruments playing pieces from an upcoming performance.