The String Orchestra
String Orchestra is the principal performing ensemble for string
players at Otterbein University. In addition to the string majors, the
ensemble includes many students from across campus. This ensemble
provides students the opportunity to explore the standard string
orchestra repertoire, but programming includes many styles. Recent
performances have included jazz and fiddle styles, Baroque performance
practice and outstanding works from the 20th and 21st centuries. The
string orchestra performs at least once each term and is directed by Dr.
The Westerville Symphony
The Westerville Symphony
at Otterbein University offers students a symphonic orchestral
performing experience. In this unique ensemble students perform alonside
professional and semi-professional players from the region. The
Westerville Symphony presents a Masterworks series, featuring the core
classical and romantic orchestral repertoire, as well as Young Peoples
Concerts and Pops programs. All string majors participate in this
ensemble, and wind, brass and percussion students also have the
opportunity to participate. The Westerville Symphony is directed by Peter Stafford Wilson.
Chamber music is a vital part of
the musical development of string players and all string majors and many
non-majors participate in Chamber Music each quarter. Students
typically perform the masterworks of the string quartet literature, but
also perform string quintet and piano/string chamber literature. Student
chamber ensembles meet twice each week. The weekly coaching by a member
of the string faculty is reinforced through a self-directed rehearsal.
The chamber ensembles perform publicly at least once each term. Chamber
Music is coached by the Otterbein University string faculty and directed
by Dr. Jim Bates.
Jazz and Alternative Styles
Whether you wish to
simply play in a jazz group or you seek a complete jazz education, those
participating in jazz and contemporary music at Otterbein enjoy a wide
array of ensembles and a full compliment of courses to support their
interests. Jazz area ensembles are among the most visible in the music
department, as each performs regularly at venues on and off campus.
Participation in ensembles and most courses are open to all Otterbein
students regardless of major. More serious students may be interested in
one of our Bachelor of Arts degrees with emphasis in Jazz Studies,
Music Business or Audio Production. Whatever your level of interest, at
Otterbein you can study with dedicated educators who are also
accomplished professional musicians.
The Jazz Ensemble
The Jazz Ensemble is the
flagship group of the instrumental jazz area. This group concentrates on
big band compositions and arrangements from the past 70 years, with an
emphasis on more current music and historically significant pieces.
Instrumentation may vary, but holds closely to the typical big band
coterie of around 20 musicians. The goals of this ensemble are to learn
important repertoire and performance practice from stylistic innovators
in the genre, develop one-on-a-part section blend, swing feel and
ensemble precision, and increase improvisation skills. The Jazz Ensemble
is directed by Jay Miglia.
Jazz was first played in small
combos and this kind of ensemble remains the crucible in which artists
prepare themselves. The instrumentation of these groups is very flexible
to allow maximum participation by any interested student. The goals of
each combo are to learn tunes from the standard jazz canon and
elsewhere, improve understanding of form and chord-scale reading, build
improvisation skills and a precise, unified ensemble sound. Otterbein
usually carries two jazz combos, both of which are free to explore
diverse jazz styles and adapt any music into their format. Jazz Combos
are directed by Chris Berg and Karl Wohlwend.
Jazz Guitar Ensemble
The Guitar Ensemble
explores the art of the small guitar ensemble in a contemporary jazz and
multi-idiom context including part-reading, jazz phrasing,
accompaniment, arranging/composition, and improvisation. Prior
experience with the guitar and some note reading ability are required. A
recent smaple of repertoire includes compositions by Sting, Frank
Zappa, Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, and various jazz standards. The
Guitar Ensemble is directed by Chris Berg.
was created as an outlet for Otterbein students who are interested in
popular music. Over the course of each year, the group cover a variety
of styles and many opportunities for students to get involved at their
comfort level, or stretch beyond it if they choose. Members can opt to
step out front as the lead singer, take a supportive role with simple
keyboard or percussion parts, or take a technical role. It all comes
together to provide a great experience in an actual working band. The
group performs at least once each quarter and produces a CD each year in
conjunction with our Audio Production students. The Anticipations is
open to any student currently enrolled at Otterbein University,
regardless of major. The Anticipations is directed by Eric Van Wagner.
Opus One is a 16-voice jazz ensemble
that performs a wide variety of music, including unaccompanied
multi-part pieces. Opus One has a busy performance schedule, and is one
of the featured ensembles each February for "Music and Romance," a
performance in an off-campus venue that also serves as a fundraiser for
student touring. Opus One is directed by Dr. Gayle Walker.
Early Music Ensemble
This ensemble provides
students the opportunity to perform music composed during the Medieval,
Renaissance and early Baroque periods. Students interested in this
performing experience perform using period instruments, such as the
recorder, krumhorn and lute, and utilize techniques based on
Historically Informed Performance (HIP). String players utilize baroque
bows to create performances inspired by authentic practices. The Early
Music Ensemble performs each quarter and frequently collaborates with
other student ensembles and faculty performers. The Early Music Ensemble
is directed by Dr. Jim Bates.
Musical Theatre and Opera Pit Orchestras
Theatre is an exciting part of the Otterbein culture. Each year Opera
Theatre and Musical Theatere present productions utilizing student
musicians in the theater pit. The range of styles runs from Mozart to
rock and jazz depending on the production. This performance opportunity
prepares players to meet the demands encountered by contemporary music
professionals. The pit orchestras are directed by Dennis Davenport and