Music Department Ensembles

Ensemble Audition Information

Auditions will be held during orientation and the first few days of classes. 

The Macalester African Music Ensemble, founded in 1987 and directed by Sowah Mensah, performs traditional African music primarily from Ghana, but also from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Guinea, The Gambia, Kenya, and Tanzania.

Directed by Chuen-Fung Wong, the Macalester Asian Music Ensemble performs traditional and modern music from East and Central Asia. (Asian Music Ensemble will not be offered in Fall 2015 or Spring 2016.)

The Chamber Music program at Macalester is coordinated by Mark Mandarano, and offers an opportunity to explore and perform repertoire for small ensembles.

Choral Ensembles

  • The Chorale (formerly Highland Camerata) is the large choral ensemble of Macalester College, directed by Michael McGaghie.
  • The Concert Choir is the advanced, select vocal ensemble of Macalester College, directed by Michael McGaghie.

Directed by Brazilian recorder player Cléa Galhano, the Macalester Early Music Ensemble focuses on Renaissance and Baroque repertory.

Jazz and Pop Combos are forums for students to receive coaching in the performance of standards and/or original music, directed by Peter Hennig.

Mac Jazz, directed by Joan Griffith, is an 18-piece big band that performs and records classic and contemporary big band jazz.

The Macalester Orchestra is a select ensemble of 50-60 students conducted by Assistant Professor of Music, Mark Mandarano.

Directed by Mike Breidenbach, the Macalester College Pipe Band is comprised of students, faculty, alumni, and community members, who are all dedicated to playing the bagpipes and drums at the highest level.

The Wind Ensemble provides an opportunity for Macalester students to rehearse and perform the concert literature for winds and percussion, under the direction of Shelley Hanson.

Student-run ensembles

For info about student-run a cappella groups such as Sirens, Off Kilter, Scotch Tape, Trads, Chromactics and Flying Fingers, please go to the Student Organization Directory.