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Guidelines

The Peabody Honors Ensembles are chamber music ensembles that represent the highest level of chamber music achievement at Peabody. Chosen by audition, any type of chamber ensemble can become an Honors Ensemble—string quartet, piano trio, wind or brass ensemble, guitar, sax, or percussion ensembles and any mixed ensemble with a substantial repertoire can be eligible.

Groups who are chosen to be Honors Ensembles will enjoy the some of these benefits:

  • Performance opportunities in and outside of Peabody
  • The composition of a new piece by a Peabody student composer to be premiered by the Ensemble
  • Opportunities to perform in master classes
  • Opportunity to make a demo recording
  • Outreach activities
  • and more…

Eligibility Rules and Regulations

  1. Groups must consist of three or more players (no conductor), with the exception of Guitar Ensembles, which may have two players. Any other group that wishes to audition as a duo must get permission from the Director of Chamber Music before auditions are held. For a group to be eligible to audition, there must be an existing, substantial repertoire for that combination of instruments.
  2. All groups should be registered for chamber music and assigned to a coach by the Director of Chamber Music, following the standard procedures for signing-up for chamber music at the beginning of the fall semester. Exceptions to this will be considered by the Director of Chamber Music. However, all groups must be registered for chamber music and assigned to a coach in the spring semester.
  3. An Honors Ensemble may include a maximum of one person who is not matriculated at Peabody, provided that the person graduated in the previous school year and was a member of this ensemble in the previous school year. There may not be more than one non-matriculated student in an Honors Ensemble. Students who are DMA DIP are considered matriculated students.
  4. All groups must complete their entire tenure as an Honors Ensemble with the same personnel with which they auditioned. In the event that there must be a change of personnel, the new member must be approved by the Director of Chamber Music, and the group may be asked to reaudition, which may result in the group losing its status as an Honors Ensemble.
  5. All groups are expected to remain together for an entire school year. The Honors Ensemble tenure ends on the final day of Juries each year.
  6. All groups are expected to be available for concerts throughout the year (and especially in the Spring) as assigned by the Director of Chamber Music. The Director of Chamber Music will work with all groups to facilitate the convenient and appropriate scheduling of concerts.
  7. All members of the Honors Ensembles are expected to be in Baltimore and available for rehearsals and coachings for a minimum of thirteen of the fifteen weeks of each semester. Any person who needs to be out of town for more than two weeks during the semester (excluding official Peabody breaks and vacations) must alert the Director of Chamber Music ahead of time. Group members are also expected to remain in Baltimore through the last day of Juries if they are scheduled to play a concert.
  8. Any group that is unable to rehearse for more than two weeks in a row at any time during the year (excluding official Peabody breaks and vacations) must consult with the Director of Chamber Music, who may revoke Honors Ensemble status for that group.
  9. Any group that cancels a concert for any reason other than a health or family emergency will lose its status as an Honors Ensemble.
  10. The Director of Chamber Music may revoke Honors Ensemble status for any group, at any time of the school year.

Auditions

  1. Auditions will be held each year at the end of October or beginning of November. The Audition Panel will consist of the Director of Chamber Music and at least two other faculty members. All decisions by the panel are final.
  2. All groups will be expected to play a minimum of two contrasting movements for the audition, but all groups are encouraged to be prepared to play more than that. Contrasting characters, tempos and styles are all encouraged. Members of the panel may choose any movement, or any part of a movement, that appears on the group’s repertoire list.
  3. The number of groups named to be Honors Ensembles will be at the discretion of the audition panel. The target number of groups is three to five. A variety of types of ensembles is desirable.

Activity Guidelines

  1. All groups must choose a name.
  2. All groups will have the opportunity to have a professional photo taken, to be used on the website and for concert programs.
  3. All groups will have the opportunity to make a demo recording.
  4. All groups will have a piece written especially for them by a Peabody student composer. Composers will be assigned to groups through the Composition Department faculty and the Director of Chamber Music. All groups are expected to make themselves available to their composer during the course of composition. Compositions will be completed no later than March 1st of each year. Groups are expected to thoroughly rehearse the commissioned piece, receive coachings on the piece, and perform the World Premiere at some point during the spring. It is hoped that each new piece will receive more than one performance.
  5. Groups will be expected to thoroughly learn at least one program’s worth of music over the course of the year (about 90 minutes of music). This can include the commissioned work.
  6. Most Honors Ensemble groups will be invited to perform in off-campus concerts. It is expected that all groups will act in a responsible and thoroughly professional manner in preparing the concerts, responding in a timely and courteous manner to presenters, and traveling to and performing the concerts themselves.
  7. All Honors Ensembles will be expected to do at least one outreach activity, coordinated by Creative Access.