Over 40 students participate each semester in chamber ensembles. These include a brass quintet, one or more small wind ensembles, several string quartets and quintets, and ensembles with strings and piano. Ensembles are auditioned in order to form groups of comparable abilities. As with all ensembles at Bowdoin. no preference is given to music majors or minors -- we welcome students at all levels of performing ability and with all kinds of academic interests. Students may take chamber ensembles for credit, but the half-credit is given only to students who participate in both chamber ensembles and orchestra. Chamber ensembles normally occupy about the first two-thirds of the semester, while the orchestra meets for the last third of the semester.
Ensembles are coached once a week by faculty and local professional musicians, and rehearse at least once a week without the coach. the performing opportunities include not only ensemble recitals, but also a semesterly Common Hour devoted to student chamber performance.