Chamber Music

The University of Iowa School of Music provides opportunities for chamber music of all varieties. Students are encouraged to organize their own chamber ensembles, but when it is not possible to fill an ensemble, a faculty member will be happy to help recruiting to fill the ensemble. Once an ensemble is formed, it is up to the students to ask one of the brass faculty to coach the ensemble.

Some ensemble instrumentation ideas:

  • brass quintet (two trumpet, horn, trombone, tuba (or bass trombone)
  • brass trio (trumpet, horn, trombone)
  • low brass trio (horn, trombone, tuba)
  • trombone quartet
  • trumpet quartet
  • tuba/euphonium quartet (two euphonium, two tuba)
  • horn quartet
  • mixed chamber ensemble (find music that not only uses brass, but also includes woodwinds, strings, or percussion)

If you are looking for musicians to fill out a chamber ensemble, please leave a comment below. Include the following:

    • your name
    • instrumentation or type of ensemble you would like to organize
    • remaining instruments that need to be filled

SYLLABUS – 025:190:002 Brass Chamber Music

All brass chamber music groups must be established by the third week of the semester, if not earlier. A complete list of the members’ names, instruments, emails and phone numbers must be submitted to Professor Manning by the second week of school to have a coach assigned. Group members must meet to determine three common times amongst their weekly schedules (one for a coaching, one for rehearsals, and one alternate time.) Professor Manning will make every attempt to coach all brass chamber music groups his schedule will accommodate, but will not be available to coach groups after 5:00 pm or on weekends. When necessary, Graduate teaching assistants may be assigned to coach some brass chamber groups. If individual students or incomplete groups are interested in taking brass chamber music for credit, notify Professor Manning and he will attempt to assist you in completing a group (or leave a comment on this site).

Each chamber ensemble is responsible for performing at least twice during the semester. The first performance is to be presented on campus, either in within the School of Music ( such as a seminar class, student recital, or area seminar class) or for an on-campus University event. The second must be presented off campus, in the local community (school, church, hospital, etc.) If a faculty member cannot be present at the performance, a recording, program, photo or letter verifying the performance must be submitted to the coach by the end of the semester. Additionally, all brass chamber music groups may be required to perform (10-15 minutes of music) at the Brass Chamber Music Concert at end of the semester.

Each member of the ensemble is expected to practice his or her individual part to an appropriate level as to be prepared for each rehearsal and coaching. Additionally, the ensemble is responsible for a minimum of two hours of rehearsal between each coaching, showing significant progress and preparation of the assigned music. It is recommended that the ensemble schedule one two-hour rehearsal per week, but, if necessary, the ensemble may schedule two one-hour rehearsals. Coachings are one hour weekly.

Repertoire is to be determined by members of the ensemble and is subject to the consultation and approval of the coach. The ensemble is responsible for obtaining all music and photocopies are not acceptable for performance. Music must be either borrowed from the library, a faculty member, or purchased by a member of the chamber ensemble. Whenever possible, the score must also be made available to the coach and each member of the ensemble must have a copy of the score. The ensemble will keep track of the original score throughout the semester and each member of the ensemble is responsible for score-study and marking their parts with necessary cues.

Attendance is mandatory for all rehearsals and coachings. If there is a conflict, all members of the ensemble and the coach must be notified no less than 24 hours in advance. Regular times must be established for weekly rehearsals and coachings. A designated member of the student ensemble is responsible for reserving appropriate rooms for all rehearsals and coachings.

Grades will be based on preparation, effort, improvement, attendance and two performances (see requirements above). Teamwork and cooperation are essential to the success of any organization, and will be taken into account for determining the final grade of each student. Student ensembles are expected to resolve all musical, personal, and logistical conflicts to ensure the success of the chamber group. At least three members of any quintet/quartet must be taking chamber music for credit. All members of the chamber group, once established, are committed to the group for the duration of the semester, regardless of whether the course is audited or taken for credit.

Course Numbers
The correct course number for brass chamber music (brass quintets, quartets) is 025:190:002. The other two courses listed under “Wind Chamber Music” with similar course numbers are 025:190:010 (Brass Choir) and 025:190:012 (Collegium Tubum Tuba Euphonium Ensemble). Please be sure to sign up for the correct section.

For a copy of this syllabus, or questions about brass chamber music, email Professor Manning