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Lewis & Clark students participate in a variety of ensembles ranging from Indonesian gamelan to Western orchestra to jazz combos to touring choral ensembles. Majors and non-majors are welcome. Please see below for a complete list of ensembles. 

To enroll in an ensemble, please e-mail the director to learn about the audition procedure. New students do not need to pre-register. Registration will occur following the audition. Ensembles are one credit graded courses.

Students are also encouraged to enroll in applied lessons. Please visit the applied lessons and performance class page for more information. 

Large Ensembles
Choirs Orchestra  Wind Symphony

Small Ensembles

African Marimba 

Chamber Music

Ghanaian Music/Dance

Gamelan Music 

Guitar Jazz Combos

Opera & Musical
Theatre Workshop

 Percussion Ghanaian Drum Ensemble

Faculty Ensembles
Friends of Rain Faculty Chamber Players


Large Ensembles



The choral music program at Lewis & Clark seeks to provide students with high-level choral singing experiences that enhance their understanding of vocal technique, choral methods, and music history through performing literature from many stylistic periods and countries. Best of all, the students who comprise the choral program are energetic, dedicated, and enthusiastic, and have a wonderful time singing together.

There are several different choirs available at Lewis & Clark. All choirs are single-credit courses with no prerequisites other than a (painless!) audition with the director.

  • Cappella Nova is Lewis & Clark’s premier mixed choir, performing music from all eras and major choral works with orchestra, both on campus and on domestic and international tours. Rehearsals are Mondays from 3-4:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 3:30-5:00 p.m. Director: Katherine FitzGibbon. 
  • Voces Auream (Treble chorus) performs some of the exceptional music available for treble voices, from powerful world music to newly composed works. Director: Brandon Brack.
  • The symphonic-sized Community Chorale is open to undergraduates, graduate and law students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members. Director: Jon Stuber. 

Student vocalists, regardless of major, have the opportunity to study voice privately, take part in opera and musical theater workshops and performances, and take courses in vocal pedagogy and vocal literature. There are music scholarships available for singers. Please see the scholarship page for more information.



Full orchestra of strings, winds, brass, and percussion performing works from the standard orchestral literature as well as modern repertoire, with concert programs including symphonies, concertos, and large-scale works for orchestra and choir.

More information about the Lewis & Clark Orchestra 

Instructor: Lance Inouye
Prerequisite: None.
Taught: Each semester, 1 semester credit.


  Wind Symphony


The Lewis & Clark College Wind Symphony, under the direction of Brett EE Paschal, is an exciting performing group with students of various majors. The ensemble performs diverse traditional and contemporary band literature, including occasional works for reduced instrumentation. Pursuit of high standards in preparation, performance, promotion of quality compositions and transcriptions from the wind band repertoire.

Instructor: Brett Paschal
Prerequisite: None
Taught: Each semester, 1 semester credit.


Small Ensembles

African Marimba Ensemble

Introduction to playing techniques of African marimba.

Instructor: Eric Miller
Prerequisite: None. Fee.
Taught: Each semester, 1 semester credit.

Chamber Music

Small, select groups such as string quartets, piano trios, duos, wind quintets. Weekly coaching plus two hours of outside rehearsal required as preparation for performance. Creativity encouraged through experimentation with unusual combinations of instruments, or the use of electronic media. May be repeated for credit.

Instructor: Nancy Ives
Prerequisites: None.
Taught: Each semester, 1 semester credit. 


Gamelan Music

Gamelan music is rooted in traditional Indonesian performance arts. The core of the orchestra, or gamelan, is a group of bronze percussion instruments that are forged and tuned together. Gamelan performance is often combined with dance and with shadow puppet plays (wayang).

Many of the instruments are played by striking with a mallet, and so the gamelan gets its name from the Javanese word for a type of hammer (gamel). Other musical elements include drums, bamboo flutes, stringed instruments, wooden percussion, male and female vocals, and a variety of noisemakers to punctuate the action of shadow puppet plays.

The various moods and tones of gamelan music are specifically associated with particular emotions and intellectual states. The music is composed of complex layers of melodic variants and interlocking parts moving semi-independently.

Lewis & Clark Gamelan
“The Venerable Showers of Beauty”

The core set arrived at Lewis & Clark College in 1980 after a two-year search in Indonesia by Vincent McDermott and Loraine Fenwick, the major donor of gamelan instruments to the College. The oldest instruments in this ensemble are likely to have been made in the late 19th century.

The ensemble draws its members from the Portland area community and from students at Lewis & Clark College.

For more information, contact the Department of Music: 503-768-7460.

Instructor: Mindy Johnston
Prerequisites: None for MUP 121 (beginning gamelan). MUP 121 required for MUP 221 (intermediate gamelan).

Taught: Each semester, 1 semester credit.

Ghanaian Drum Ensemble

Music of West Africa. Introduction to performance of Ghanaian drums. Singing in traditional styles.

Instructor: Alex Addy
Prerequisite: None. Fee.
Taught: Each semester, 1 semester credit.

Ghanaian Music and Dance

Introduction to both hand drumming and dance of Ghana, West Africa.

A high energy class focusing on movement and rhythm and building on the fundamentals taught in the beginning section.  Students will learn two dances each semester using teaching methods similar to those used in Ghana including singing the accompanying drum parts.

Instructor: Alex Addy
Prerequisite: None. Fee.
Taught: Each semester, 1 semester credit.


Guitar Ensemble

Instructor: John Mery
Prerequisite: None.
Taught: Each semester, 1 semester credit.

Jazz Combos Ensemble

Sight-reading, study, and performance of music representing diverse jazz styles arranged for big-band instrumentation. Styles of specific big bands, past and present. Ensemble rehearses and performs quality big-band jazz compositions and arrangements. Opportunities for solo improvisation and development of ensemble skills.

Instructor: Dan Balmer
Prerequisite: Audition.
Taught: Each semester, 1 semester credit.

Opera and Musical Theater Workshop

This course alternates between opera one semester and musical theater
the next, offering students training in acting, stage movement,
character development, and scene studies. It provides exposure to
standard operatic and musical theatre literature, and development of
singing and acting abilities in performing arias and ensembles.

Instructor: Susan McBerry
Prerequisite: Audition.
Taught: Each semester, 1 semester credit.

Percussion Ensemble

The Lewis & Clark Percussion Ensemble, directed by Brett E.E. Paschal, is an exciting and entertaining group that performs in venues as varied as concert halls, construction sites, and swimming pools.

The music performed ranges from traditional percussion literature to Baroque transcriptions, cutting edge contemporary works, rock and Latin arrangements, comedic musical excursions, and unique improvisations.

The Percussion Ensemble is a regular performer at the yearly Northwest Percussion Festival and is renown for its energetic, musical, creative, and precise execution.