Chamber Music and Ensembles

Every semester, over 400 students at Manhattan School of Music are placed into Chamber Music and Ensembles, if required by credit, by their department chairs in collaboration with the Director of ensembles. Over one hundred chamber groups are coached weekly by renowned faculty specializing in chamber music. Recommended chamber groups are given the opportunity to participate in master classes, compete in the Fuchs Chamber Music Competition, and perform on the Winter and Spring Chamber Music Festivals.

Instrumental groups vary from piano trio or string quartet to woodwind or brass quintets, from the Baroque Aria Ensemble to more contemporary ensembles. Pianists may also play in four-handed or two-piano teams, accompany vocal ensembles or even learn harpsichord.

New students are assigned to groups before the semester begins. At the end of each semester, returning students may request the type of group into which they want to be placed by submitting a Group Request Form. We do everything possible to honor requests; however, limitations of space and availability are considered.

For vocal ensembles, graduate singers may sign up at the beginning of each semester to study without auditioning in a variety of vocal classes and ensembles: Songs of the Romantic Period, Vocal Performance Class, Russian Romance Songs, Voice & Guitar Ensemble and Preparing the Exit with Neil Rosenshein.  Auditions are held at the beginning of the fall semester for all Opera ensembles, American Musical Theater and Lab, Baroque Aria Ensemble, and Catherine Malfitano’s Revealing the Actor/Singer Within. If students are selected to participate in these ensembles, they will not need to take additional ensembles. However, singers are encouraged to take up to 3 vocal ensembles, all included in the same credit.

Final performances are encouraged for all Chamber Music and Ensembles students, whether in a school recital or an outside engagement. The Winter and Spring Chamber Music Festivals offer weekend-long celebrations for students and audiences alike and give ensembles a chance to perform at the end of each semester.

If you have any questions, please email Abby McGill, Director of Chamber Music at or visit the chamber music office in Room 305.

Chamber Music Department

Abby McGill
Director of the Orchestral Performance Program and Director of Chamber Music