Chamber music is a vital part of the Cali School curriculum. We offer a wide variety of opportunities, ranging from the Collegium Musicum, which performs music from the Middle Ages though the 18th century, to ensembles performing contemporary and newly composed works. Ensembles are formed by the faculty following auditions that determine students' interests and abilities. Students may also have the opportunity to perform with faculty in concert. Recent joint student and faculty concerts have included performances of William Walton’s Façade: An Entertainment; John Harbison’s Wind Quintet (commissioned and premiered by emeritus professor David Singer; and Milhaud’s The Creation of the World: Chaos, Man and Woman Created, Desire, and Kiss.
Collegium Musicum, directed by Jeffrey Gall, performs solo and ensemble works for instruments and voice from the pre-19th century repertoire. It also performs later works related to the earlier styles. Its diverse programs have included: The Love Feast - Music from Early American Religious Societies, works from the Ephrata Cloister, Shakers, Moravian Brethren, Harmony Society, and the shaped-note tradition; Spain and New Spain 1550-1750, with works from Europe and the Americas; Monteverdi's Orfeo; magic scenes from Purcell’s The Fairy Queen and King Arthur; "Vanity of Vanities” - Rome 1650, works by Carissimi, Storace, Pasquini, Froberger, and Marini, music of Charpentier and the French baroque, and Italian Influences in German Music, 1600-1650 including works of Böhm and Schütz. In December 2012 they performed a program titled The British Orpheus: Music of Henry Purcell and the English 17th Century.
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The Cali School provides a unique opportunity for students to perform on the Partch Instrumentarium, the collection of microtonal instruments invented by the 20th century composer Harry Partch. Students perform works by Partch and others, compose, and are also encouraged to invent their own instruments. The ensemble's performances have included: Partch's Eleven Intrusions, O Frabjous Day!, Daphne of the Dunes, The Wind, The Letter, Soldiers–War–Another War and Castor and Pollux; Dean Drummond's MS Genitron; premieres of Elizabeth Brown's Seahorse and Mathew Rosenblum's Yonah's Dream; Sam Donovan's Elemental Storm and Elizabeth Walsh's The Lesson of the Moth.
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