African Music and Dance Ensemble


The African Music and Dance Ensemble is the core of the African Music and Dance Performance course (MUSC 0244), for which enrolled students get one (1) credit. The Ensemble gives students with or without a musical background a rich, hands-on experience with numerous East African (Ugandan) music and dance cultures through regular rehearsals and fall/spring end-of-semester concerts. For further information about the Ensemble, please contact Dr. Damascus Kafumbe at

Chamber Music

Chamber Music at Middlebury College 


The department fosters the creation of chamber music groups on campus by offering coaching and performance opportunities. Students who want to play in a chamber music ensemble are required to audition, in order to ensure placement in an appropriate group. Chamber music groups are offered free coaching by the music department’s applied faculty. Schedules will be designed around the availability of the students in each group, and participating students will be asked to commit to attending at least eight coachings during the semester and to practicing individually to master their own parts. Middlebury College Chamber Music placement is open to pianists and to players of all orchestral instruments: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Questions: Andrew Massey,

The Music Department offers one performing chamber music course during the 2013-14 academic year:

MUSC 0240 Performing Chamber Music (Spring 2014)
In this course for intermediate to advanced performers we will explore the art of collaborative music making in the classical tradition. Students will form small vocal and instrumental ensembles (2–6 players) at the beginning of the semester or may enroll in the course as an established ensemble. Repertoire will be determined in collaboration with instructor. Weekly coaching sessions for each group and master classes for all groups will culminate in at least one end-of-semester performance and writing assignment. In addition to technical performance issues, master classes and readings will consider group dynamics, rehearsal techniques, and interpersonal aspects of musical collaboration. Although previous chamber music experience is not required, students should be experienced performers of notation-based music. 3 hrs. lect./disc. ART (Staff)

College Orchestra



The  Orchestra is open to all members of the Middlebury Community. The first phase consists of open rehearsals, in which all are invited to participate, at which there is a wide variety of repertoire to read and try out during these rehearsals. From this process, an orchestra and specific repertoire emerges. All players for the concert must be able to commit to the 5 rehearsals leading up to it. If you would like to participate, and to receive full detailed information, contact the conductor, Andrew Massey.

Click here to hear a segment of Eroica, performed by the Orchestra January 23, 2010:

The Middlebury College Orchestra is a full symphony orchestra, that offers several concerts each academic year. The orchestra is open to all members of the Middlebury Community, and also interested players in the wider central Vermont area.

Membership is by audition; all positions are open as the year begins. Full details below


Rehearsal Schedule

Generally, full orchestra rehearsals take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7pm to 9 pm.

Details of each concert and its rehearsals, and rehearsal details for each week, will be posted to the web page, and circulated by email.

Questions: Andrew Massey - 


Each year the Beucher Concerto Competition is held, choosing a member of the Middlebury College Community to appear as soloist with the orchestra during the Spring Semester. There was no 2013-14 Beucher Concerto Competition

Jazz Activities

Sound Investment Jazz Ensemble in action


The Music Department offers two organized jazz activities.  For this spring, there will also be an unusual opportunity for jazz singers.

The Jazz Workshop provides a weekly opportunity for jazz students to work on repertoire development, jazz idiom and theory, improvisation and playing in small groups.  Beginning jazz players are welcome; advanced students are encouraged to participate.  Previous jazz experience is not required; proficiency on your instrument is.  Auditions are not required.  The workshop meets on Thursdays, from 4:30 to 6:30 in the Center for the Arts, room 221.  Please contact Dick Forman at for more information.

The Sound Investment Jazz Ensemble, the College’s 17-piece big band, currently has no openings.   But Dick Forman, the band’s director, is eager to meet students with previous jazz ensemble experience who would be interested in playing with the group in the future.  Please contact him at to set up a time to say hello, or for more information.

The band is considering adding a couple of tunes to its repertoire, originally arranged by Darmon Meader, for The New York Voices.  We’ll be looking to form one SATB quartet to perform these charts with the band.  Auditions will be held Wednesday and Thursday, February 12 and 13, from 1:00 to 3:00, in the CFA, room 217.  No appointment is necessary.  Please just stop by.  If you’re interested, but cannot audition during those times please contact Dick Forman at to make an appointment.  Please prepare a bit of one standard ballad and one up-tempo tune of your choosing.  See Dick if you need more information.

Jazz has been part of the Middlebury experience since the early 1930’s, when a group of students formed a band to play the music that’s come to be called America’s National Treasure.  Jazz continues to be heard in practice rooms and performance spaces across campus.  The Music Department supports a vibrant jazz scene with two organized activities for jazz players, periodic courses in jazz and other popular music genres, and jazz-specific private lessons in piano, voice, guitar, sax, trumpet, trombone, bass and drums.   

The Sound Investment Jazz Ensemble is the College’s swingin’ 17-piece big band.  The Basie band remains a strong influence.  In addition to charts from the Basie, Ellington, Buddy Rich and Thad Jones books (for example), the band also plays the best of contemporary jazz compositions and arrangements.  Membership in the band is by audition only.  The SIJE maintains an active performance schedule that includes dance gigs, club dates and concerts.

The Jazz Workshop provides an opportunity for students to work on jazz idiom and theory, improvisation, repertoire development, and playing in small groups.  Beginning jazz players are welcome; advanced students and existing jazz combos are encouraged to participate.  Auditions are helpful, but not required.  Combo performances are encouraged and supported in spaces around campus, at 51Main (the College’s downtown bistro) and in presentations in the Center for the Arts.

We’re happy to feature several recordings of our current and former students. The recordings were made at performances in the MCA Concert Hall, using two fixed microphones mounted over the stage. The recording results are, unfortunately, not studio-quality, but the samples will give you an idea of the material we play and the great music we make together. 

Click below to listen.

88 Basie Street.  Composed and arranged by Sammy Nestico.  SIJE, featuring Felix Klos ‘14, piano.

Bag’s Groove.  Composed by Milt Jackson, arranged by John Clayton, Jr..  SIJE, featuring Grace Bell ‘13, vibes, Jeff Haswell ’12, tenor sax, and Peter Moore ’14, alto sax.

Caravan.  Composed by Duke Ellington and Juan Tizol, arranged by John Wasson.  SIJE, featuring Taylor Smith, ’12, alto sax.

I Hope in Time a Change Will Come.  Composed and arranged by Oliver Nelson.  SIJE, featuring Andy Singer, ’11, soprano sax.

Time after Time.  Lyrics by Sammy Cahn, music by Jule Styne.  Arranged for the Marty Paich Orchestra.  SIJE, featuring Elizabeth Goffe ’09, vocals, Ross Bell ’10, tenor sax.

I Mean You.  Composed by Thelonious Monk.  The Felix Klos Trio.  Felix Klos ’14, piano, Brian Parker ’14, bass, Joel Feier, ’13 drums.

Time after Time.  Lyrics by Sammy Cahn, music by Jule Styne.  The Felix Klos Trio.  Felix Klos ’14, piano, Brian Parker ’14, bass, Joel Feier, ’13 drums.