Music is an intrinsically social phenomenon. To borrow words from the poet, Robert Browning, to be in the presence of a musical event is to feel one's "solitude peopled at once." This is true, not only for the audience, but also for the musician as well. Ensemble playing is an immensely important learning tool for music students. It helps the aspiring musician learn -- hands on -- how to interact socially and technically with other musicians and with a live audience. The dynamic can be studied through texts and visuals, but the act of making music with others in a live setting is the more profound teacher.
The Department of Music promotes a wide range of ensembles, both major and minor, with new ones emerging as students and faculty create and collaborate.