A musical theatre 2015 performance of There's Gotta Be Something Better.
Photo by Gary Barringer

Participation is required for students seeking a Bachelor of Music, or Bachelor of Jazz Studies degree, Master of Music and the Post-Baccalaureate  Diploma in Performance

Our Bachelor of Music program requires that a student participate in at least two ensembles each year for four years. The Bachelor of Jazz program requires at least one ensemble each year for four years. All new and returning music students must audition for ensemble placement for their credit ensembles every year. Auditions take place late August and early September.

We welcome auditions by community members and students from other faculties who wish to perform with one of our ensembles.

Ensemble auditions 2020-21

For the 2020-21 academic year, our ensemble directors are developing new experiences and educational opportunities through our on-line ensembles – whether it is music-making with students from different universities, working with mentors from around the world, or deep dives into repertoire and into examining the process of making music together.

We are committed to providing music-making of the highest level for all of our students.

Learn more about ensemble auditions 

University of Manitoba ensembles

Accompanying (1 and 2)

This is a required course for first- and second-year piano majors. Students in this course learn the art of performing in collaboration with small ensembles and solo instrumentalists or vocalists.

Director
Judy Kehler Siebert

Who is eligible?

Year 1 and 2 piano majors only, or by professor consent

Rehearsals​

Tuesdays, 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Room T2-145, Taché Arts Complex

Cantata Singers

Cantata Singers is a small vocal ensemble of emerging professional singers and musicians. It is currently the podium choral ensemble for graduate and advanced undergraduate conducting students.

Faculty
Elroy Friesen
Who is eligible?

Auditions are open to all Desautels Faculty of Music students, UM students and community members. Priority is given to advanced vocal performance majors. Participants who are not Desautels Faculty of Music students pay a nominal fee.

Rehearsals

Mondays: 4:15 - 6:15 p.m.

Chamber ensembles

We have a wide array of chamber ensembles, made up of different instruments and vocal groupings. From strings to brass, to small vocal groups, our chamber ensembles offer repertoire and instrumental pairings suited to each unique group.

Faculty

Our faculty varies for these ensembles.

Who is eligible?

Third- and fourth-year string, brass, woodwind and piano majors.

Rehearsals

Various times.

Contact
Judy Kehler Siebert

Collegium Musicum

The Collegium Musicum is like a musical archaeology laboratory. We explore the music, instruments, and performance practices of “early music”: music from the Middle Ages through the mid-18th century or so. Each year we build a concert program around a unifying theme and perform it in March or April. Past programs have focused on Christmas music, spring, war and peace, music on the Iberian peninsula, music in Franco-Flemish territories, and so on. Opportunities sometimes arise to perform in the community. 

The ensemble plays everything from Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony to Renaissance dance music, Baroque chamber music, secular art music, and folk/popular musics, using practices to help recreate music as it may have been heard centuries ago.

We play the instruments from the Desautels Faculty of Music's large period instrument collection. String instruments: violas da gamba, a lute, citterns, a rebec, a baroque violin, harps, a psaltery, and others. Wind instruments include recorders, crumhorns, shawms, cornetti, a natural trumpet and several sackbuts (early trombones). The battery includes frame drums, nakers, and other auxiliary percussion instruments. Keyboard instruments include a virginal and a double-manual harpsichord.

Director
James Maiello
Who is eligible?

The Collegium Musicum is open to all interested members of the UM and Winnipeg communities. No audition is necessary. Skill levels range from beginner to advanced, and we strive to create an informal, supportive community of practice.

If you are a UM student enrolling in the course for credit, please inform the instructor at the first rehearsal of the Fall Term.  

Rehearsals

Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.; small ensembles will also be expected to rehearse independently.

We explore a wide range of topics in our rehearsals that are unique to early music. Please contact the program director for details.

Composition Seminar

Director
Örjan Sandred
Who is eligible?

Composition majors only

Seminar times

Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Room T2-175, Taché Arts Complex

Concert Band

The University of Manitoba Concert Band is a 60-piece ensemble that performs a wide variety of wind band repertoire, and provides a platform for budding conductors to take on leadership roles.
 
The Concert Band presents four concerts a year (usually with the Wind Ensemble). 
 
Founded by Connie Turner, the Concert Band is conducted by Jacquie Dawson, and it includes a mix of students from the Desautels Faculty of Music, other university students, community members and select grade 12 students. 

Director
Jacqueline Dawson

 
Who is eligible?

Any university-age or community member is welcome to audition; players do not need to attend the University of Manitoba. Participants who are not Desautels Faculty of Music students pay a fee of $60 per year.

Rehearsals

Tuesdays, 7-9:30 pm
Room T2-145, Taché Arts Complex

Concert Choir

Concert Choir provides an opportunity for students, faculty, alumni and community members to explore a variety of choral repertoire in a supportive, yet challenging environment. Concert Choir also provides a platform for budding conductors to take on leadership roles and offers a space for future music educators to gain valuable choral singing experience.

Directors
Catherine Robbins and Elroy Friesen
Who is eligible?

Auditions are open to all Desautels Faculty of Music students, University of Manitoba students and community members. Participants who are not Desautels Faculty of Music students pay a fee of $125 per year.

Rehearsals

Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:30-6:15 p.m.
Room T2-266, Taché Arts Complex

Jazz Orchestra

The University of Manitoba Jazz Orchestra is a 17-piece jazz orchestra that provides the full big band experience.

Bachelor of Jazz Studies students are required to participate in at least one ensemble each year for four years. In addition to UMJO, students can audition for the small jazz ensembles.

Director
Derrick Gardner
Who is eligible?

Entrance is by audition and is open to Desautels Faculty of Music students, university staff and students, and the community.

Rehearsals

Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Room T2-272, Taché Arts Complex

Jazz Vocal Ensembles

Jazz vocal ensembles offer jazz vocalists the opportunity to showcase their skills and talents while being backed by small jazz ensemble instrumentalists. Led by accomplished jazz vocalist Karly Epp, the jazz vocal ensembles give our jazz vocal students the confidence and organization they need to front a jazz band.

Director
Karly Epp
Who is eligible?

Jazz voice majors

Rehearsals

Tuesdays, 4-6 p.m.
Room T2-272, Taché Arts Complex

Musical Theatre

In Musical Theatre, participants learn repertoire from musicals both old and new, curated into shows surrounding a theme. Musical Theatre participants also have the opportunity to perform in cabaret-style performances of song in intimate settings.

Director
Donna Fletcher
Who is eligible?

Entrance to this course is through the general ensemble auditions held at the beginning of September. Open to Desautels Faculty of Music students, University of Manitoba students and community members. Participants who are not Desautels Faculty of Music students pay a nominal fee.

Rehearsals

Tuesdays, 3:30-6:30 p.m.
Room T2-266, Taché Arts Complex

Opera theatre ensembles

In the University of Manitoba Opera Theatre, participants learn repertoire from opera scenes both old and new, curated into shows surrounding a theme. These themed shows occur annually. Select participants also have the opportunity to perform in the Desautels Chamber Opera Group, which stages a full-length chamber opera biennially. In years during which the chamber opera is not performed, select participants will have the opportunity to perform opera repertoire with the orchestra.

Director
Katherine Twaddle
Who is eligible?

Students enrolled in the Desautels Faculty of Music with a major in voice.
Casting for the biennial November production with orchestra, which alternates with the Chamber Opera production, is based on participation in the excerpt production in February of the previous academic year. Priority for both of these productions is given to students enrolled in the Masters of Music Performance in Voice.

Rehearsals
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. 
  • Fridays, 2:30-5:30 p.m.

Room T2-175, Taché Arts Complex

Percussion Ensemble

The Percussion Ensemble performs an eclectic and varied selection of percussion-centred music, performing concerts multiple times per year, both in the faculty and at select external locations.

Director
Victoria Sparks
Who is eligible?

All who are interested are encouraged to apply. Preference is given to students majoring in percussion.

Rehearsals

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1-2:15 p.m.  
Room T2-145, Taché Arts Complex

Small Jazz Ensembles

The University of Manitoba small jazz ensembles, led by the Jazz Studies faculty, provide many opportunities for music students to perform and earn credits.

Bachelor of Jazz Studies students are required to participate in at least one ensemble each year for four years. In addition to the small jazz ensembles, students can audition for the University of Manitoba Jazz Orchestra.

In addition to The Hang on Wednesday nights and Mardi Jazz on selected Tuesdays, student ensembles perform opening sets for the Izzy Asper Jazz Performances and at many other community events.

Director/ faculty

Our faculty varies for these ensembles.

Who is eligible?

Jazz majors, Desautels Faculty of Music students, UM students and community members. Eligibility is determined by audition. Priority is given to Desautels Faculty of Music students.

Rehearsals

Two per week, based on schedules of ensemble members.

Contact
William Bonness

Symphony Orchestra

The University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra (UMSO) provides intensive training and performance experience in orchestral repertoire. Comprised mainly of string, woodwind, brass and percussion majors at the Desautels Faculty of Music, the ensemble is also open to all University of Manitoba students, staff and members of the community by audition.

Orchestra members perform a wide range of repertoire including baroque masterpieces and contemporary premieres in addition to the classical and romantic orchestral canon. UMSO members have regular opportunities to work closely with musicians from the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in coachings and sectionals.

UMSO also collaborates with UM Opera Theatre, the University Singers and other choirs, and the composition department at the Desautels Faculty of Music.

Director
Naomi Woo
Who is eligible?

Entrance is by audition and is open to Desautels Faculty of Music students, university staff and students, and the community.

Rehearsal schedule
  • Mondays: 3:45-6:00 p.m.
  • Wednesdays: 4:45-7:00 p.m.

Room T2-145, Taché Arts Complex

Contact
Minna Rose Chung

Works performed in past seasons:

  • Elgar: Enigma Variations
  • Mozart: Marriage of Figaro
  • Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
  • John Adams: Shaker Loops

As well as major symphonies by Beethoven, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mahler, Bruckner, Schumann, Mozart and Shostakovich.

University Singers

The University Singers is a choral ensemble performing varied choral works both classic and modern, and students performing with this group learn an eclectic array of repertoire. The group has been featured on professional recordings and has performed with celebrated musicians from around the world.

Participants have the opportunity to perform in varying locales in Europe, with annual fundraising concerts hosted to offset the cost.

Director
Elroy Friesen
Who is eligible?

Auditions are open to all Desautels Faculty of Music students, University of Manitoba students and community members. Participants who are not Desautels Faculty of Music students pay a nominal fee.

Rehearsals

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1-3:15 p.m.
Room T-266, Taché Arts Complex

Wind Ensemble

The University of Manitoba Wind Ensemble programs and perform first-class repertoire, including works by Benson, Grainger, Hindemith, Holst, Husa, and Schwantner.  The ensemble has also been active in commissioning and performing new music for winds, including pieces by Canadian composers Bruce Carlson, Allan Gilliland and Michael Matthews. The ensemble also provides the opportunity to instrumental conducting students to take on leadership roles. 

The Wind Ensemble has performed throughout Manitoba and Western Canada, and has been an invited guest ensemble at the Cantando International Music Festival in Edmonton. 

Director
Jacqueline Dawson
Who is eligible?​

Desautels Faculty of Music students; non-music students and community members are also welcome to audition. 

Rehearsals

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:45-5 p.m.
Room T2-145, Taché Arts Complex

Listen to the University of Manitoba Wind Ensemble:

Women's Chorus

The University of Manitoba Women’s Chorus comprises singers from the Desautels Faculty of Music, the wider university campus and the surrounding community.  This choir was founded in 1990 by Henry Engbrecht, and enjoys collaborating in performances with various arts organizations including the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Prairie Voices, Canzona, Musik Barock and the WSO New Music Festival.

The group had the honour of singing at the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Centre for Ukrainian Canadian Studies and performed the Canadian premiere of From Behind the Caravan: Songs of Hâfez by Abbie Betinis, recorded and broadcast by CBC. The chorus has performed across Canada, and has had opportunities to perform in Europe. The group most recently visited Iceland and Holland. The Women's Chorus is a female-voice only ensemble.

Director
Elroy Friesen
Who is eligible?

Auditions are open to all Desautels Faculty of Music students, University of Manitoba students and community members. Participants who are not Desautels Faculty of Music students pay a nominal fee.

Rehearsals

Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:30-4:15 p.m. 
Room T2-266, Taché Arts Complex

eXperimental Improv Ensemble (XIE)

The eXperimental Improv Ensemble is an interdisciplinary performance group.
Activities of the ensemble vary widely, ranging from live soundtrack performance to the mounting of multimedia art installations. The XIE is dedicated to fostering interdisciplinary collaboration with partners both on and off campus. Recent academic collaborations include projects with architecture, computer science, sculpture, and electrical engineering.

Director
Gordon Fitzell
Who is eligible?

Composition majors only

Rehearsals

Fridays, 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Room T2-175, Taché Arts Complex

Past performances include:

  • Winnipeg New Music Festival
  • Canadian Museum of Human Rights
  • performance with dance collaboration with the UM Department of Religion
  • collaboration with Brandon University's New Music Ensemble
  • evening of live soundtracks at Cinémathèque
  • outdoor sound installation for the Museum of Clear Ideas
  • Taste for Justice—a “sonic cuisine” fundraiser sponsored by Amnesty International