Performance and Research Opportunities

A performer’s “research” is usually the development of performance skills through rehearsal, guidance and commitment. Hamilton's eight ensembles offer a breadth of opportunity exceptional for a college of our size. Students are encouraged to participate in more than one ensemble, and participation earns partial course credit. Solo performance options are also provided.

Department Ensembles


The Hamilton College Choir performs a diverse repertoire from around the world and spanning several centuries. In addition to performances on campus and in neighboring communities, the 60-voice choir tours annually during the spring recess; recent tours have ranged as far as Chicago, Boston, Montreal, and St. Petersburg, Florida. The Choir also tours internationally every four years, most recently to Italy in 2017.

Conductor: Charlotte Botha
Rehearse 3 hours per week
Annual Spring tour
Earn 0.25 credit per semester
Membership determined by audition

Hamilton Voices

Hamilton Voices is a flexible vocal ensemble that studies and performs a selection of music based on a specific time period, vocal technique, theme, or style. The group seeks to respond to, create awareness of, or engage with current issues through interdisciplinary artistic expression. As a project-based ensemble, Hamilton Voices approaches each semester as a clean slate to celebrate unique, individual talents and to explore fresh performance expressions. Following the principles of choregie, each part of the collaborative artistic process is driven by group reflection, discourse and creativity.

Conductor: Charlotte Botha
Rehearse 2.5 hours per week
Earn 0.25 credit per semester
Membership determined by audition


The Hamilton College Orchestra typically includes 45-50 college students and community members. The Orchestra has recently performed major works by Brahms, Dvorák, Schubert, Schumann, Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Stravinsky, Philip Glass, and Leonard Bernstein, and regularly features advanced student musicians as concerto soloists.

Conductor: Heather Buchman
Rehearse 4 hours per week
Perform 4 concerts on campus each year
Earn 0.25 credit per semester
Membership determined by audition

Chamber Ensembles

The chamber ensembles program encompasses a wide range of ensembles. Standing groups include the Brass Ensemble, Flute Ensemble, Saxophone Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Hamstrings Quartet, and Piano Duet Class; other groups are formed based on interest. Each group works with a coach from the full time or adjunct music faculty and performs multiple times a semester both on and off campus.

Coordinator & Brass Ensemble Director: Heather Buchman
Coaches: adjunct music faculty members
Rehearse 2 hours per week
Membership determined by audition

Jazz Ensemble and Combo

The Jazz Ensemble focuses on the big band sound; it also provides opportunities for student improvisation within an ensemble context, and for students to have their own charts and arrangements read. The ensemble performs several concerts on campus each year.

The Jazz Combo is a small select band (or bands) made up of members of the larger ensemble. They rehearse under the direction of Prof. Woods, and they also rehearse on their own. They play concerts with the ensemble as well as their own gigs.

Director: Mike Woods
Rehearse 2 hours per week
Earn 0.25 credit per semester
Membership determined by audition

Masterworks Chorale

Open to any member of the community without audition, Masterworks Chorale brings together Hamilton students, faculty, and staff with members of the surrounding community to perform great choral masterworks; recent repertoire has included the Verdi and Mozart Requiems, John Rutter Gloria, and Lili Boulanger Psalm 80. They are accompanied by Symphoria and perform with outstanding vocal soloists from around the region.

Conductor: G. Roberts Kolb
Rehearse 2 hours per week
Earn 0.25 credit per semester
No audition required

Solo Performance

Vocal and instrumental soloists have a range of performing opportunities, including departmental concerts, recitals and featured appearances with ensembles. The department offers courses in vocal and instrumental solo performance by a faculty of private instructors. A fee is charged for such instruction; students receiving financial aid are eligible for assistance in meeting the cost. Learn more ...

Research Stories


Department Name

Music Department

Office Location
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

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