Participation in chamber music is an important aspect of studying string instruments at Furman. Multiple ensembles are formed each year, rehearsing and performing under the guidance of string faculty.
The flagship ensembles are the Hartness and Gladden String Quartets, supported by the Hartness and Gladden families. The members of these ensembles are selected in the Fall and perform together for a full year, receiving a scholarship for their work.
Furman string students are in demand for professional opportunities for area events such as weddings, worship services, and corporate events.
Thanks to a bequest from local saxophonist and Furman supporter Al Bergman, this ensemble studies the art of collaborative chamber music under the guidance of saxophone and jazz studies professor Matt Olson. Paid a stipend for participation, members are selected by competitive audition and perform both on campus and at community events.
Offering a more intimate exploration into the jazz experience, these varied groups are fertile ground for student composition and special arrangements of jazz standards. Members of the jazz faculty guide students as they study, select, rehearse, and perform in various campus and community venues. Membership is set by audition.
Uniquely active, vibrant and engaged, members of Furman’s harp studio perform with the Furman Symphony Orchestra and the wind ensemble as repertoire dictates. The group is heard at many campus and community events. Under the tutelage of faculty member Anita Burroughs-Price, students collaborate for duets, trios and quartets. All members of the harp studio participate.
Trumpet choir, low brass choir, horn ensemble, tuba quartet, trombone ensemble and the standard brass quintet are a few of the varied options for our talented brass students. Guided by the brass faculty, students explore chamber music tuned to their specific skills and musical growth. Membership is selected by the faculty.
More than a standard woodwind quintet, faculty introduce students to the next level of their musical growth through advanced collaborative studies. Membership is selected by faculty and instrumentation varies in size and type based on repertoire and student skill. Brass players are added as needed.
Under the direction of Dr. Omar Carmenates, the Furman University Percussion Ensemble performs a wide variety of literature while also dedicating itself to the commissioning and performing of new chamber works from both established and up-and-coming composers. In addition to its on-campus concerts, the ensemble actively records new works and can be heard on The John Psathas Percussion Project Volumes 1 & 2, and Matthew Burtner: Avian Telemetry all released through PARMA Recordings.
As part of a long-standing collaboration with Furman’s David E. Shi Center for Sustainability, the ensemble also has become known for its performances and recordings of ecoacoustic music, helping promote Furman’s standing as one of the nations academic leaders in sustainability. Most recently, the ensemble received major support from the David E. Shi Center for Sustainability to collaborate with composer Matthew Burtner on the premiere recordings of his Six Ecoacoustic Quintets and Avian Telemetry, the latter being a new work written expressly for the ensemble.
Students of the Furman Percussion Ensemble have also presented interdisciplinary performances and research at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the Ecomusics and Ecomusicologies conference, the nief-norf Summer Festival Research Summit, the International Conference on Romanticism, and the Esri International GIS User Conference.
In addition to private study with outstanding faculty members, students gain performing experience through weekly music department recitals, keyboard area and studio classes, degree recitals, numerous and varied accompanying and chamber music opportunities, concerto concerts, ensemble concerts, and much more.