The Department of Music offers several non-traditional and world-music ensembles. For audition and rehearsal information, contact the directors of each ensemble, as listed below.
Director: [[wrjohnson,Tripp Johnson]]
The William and Mary Appalachian Music Ensemble explores the rich heritage of traditional Southern Appalachian tunes and songs. Consisting of 25-40 students with a few faculty members and local sitting in, the ensemble learns the music together, often by ear. Playing together as a large group, the focus is on learning dance tunes and group vocal songs that have been played and sung in this country for centuries. The group also forms smaller ensembles, allowing members to delve deeper into the repertoire and develop their playing skills working with other musicians in a small group setting. Typically, the ensemble will be hold at least one dance each semester, as well as several performance opportunities for small groups.
The William and Mary Gamelan is a set of impressive hanging gongs, kettle gongs, and xylophones on beautifully carved and painted wooden stands. The set of instruments was crafted in Central Java and was purchased with the help of the first William and Mary Freeman Grant in 2004. The official name of the gamelan at William and Mary is "Gamelan Tunjung Baskara" or Sun Lotus. The Javanese musician/dalang/teacher Midiyanto named the instruments in a special ceremony in March 2006. Read more about the Gamelan Ensemble in an article from the Reves Center.
Director: [[akrasm,Anne Rasmussen]]
Established in 1994, the William and Mary Middle Eastern Music Ensemble is composed of 15-25 primarily undergraduate students who come to the group with excellent musicianship, but no prior experience with the Arab, Turkish, Persian, Armenian and Greek traditions that comprise the music of the Middle East. The ensemble, an extension of the ethnomusicology curriculum in the Music Department at W&M, is a forum for exploration and performance.
Director: Max Katz
The William and Mary Music of India Ensemble was established in fall of 2011 to provide students a personal experience of North Indian classical music through a hands-on study of its premiere stringed instrument, the sitar. Up to eight students participate in the 1-credit course, which is offered every semester (listed as MUSC E23). Learning entirely orally/aurally, each semester the class focuses on a specific raga (or melodic entity), crafting and memorizing a sequence of semi-improvised developmental sections. The semester culminates with a public performance of the suite-like piece with a guest tabla accompanist (percussionist). The Ensemble regularly hosts visiting artists who offer instruction as well as public performances. Guest artists have included Paul Livingstone (sitar), Homnath Upadhyaya (tabla), and Irfan Khan (sarod).
The Performance Art Ensemble, now in its 12th year at William and Mary, is an interdisciplinary workshop for artists and enthusiasts of all disciplines. The ensemble convenes every spring semester (listed as MUSC E22: Performance Art Ensemble). Members work individually and collectively to generate material that advances commonly held notions about art, performance, media, and the creative process. The group frequently tours, most recently to New York City and Yale University, and performs annually at the end of spring semester. The group is dedicated to creative freedom and exploration and forms cohesion through development of trust, mutual respect, and honesty. Any and all who are interested in Avant-garde, experimental, collaborative, and interdisciplinary performance, are welcome although there are a limited number of spaces.