Music 140 ensemble courses are part of the performance courses requirement of the music major, and are also open to other students and members of the community by auditions. Ensembles are:
- African Music Ensemble, music and dance of West Africa taught by a Ghanaian master drummer.
- Gospel Chorus, music of the African American gospel tradition with particular emphasis on contemporary performance techniques.
- Jazz & Improvised Contemporary Music Ensemble, an intermediate-advanced repertoire ensemble performing music that incorporates experimental practices in contemporary improvised music, encompassing several styles of music and a variety of approaches.
- Indonesian (Javanese) Gamelan, music of the Indonesian island of Java, performed on the Music Department’s Gamelan Kyai Udan Mas. Students in the beginning class learn to play many of the instruments in the gamelan. Intermediate and advanced students may learn the more difficult instruments. Concert repertoire consists of traditional and contemporary gamelan compositions. Public performances may also feature Indonesian shadow play.
- University Baroque Ensemble features instrumental and vocal performance of music of the Baroque period (c.1580-c.1740) on historically appropriate instruments, using performance styles based on what is currently known of the performance practices of the country and period in which the pieces were composed. Whenever possible, the Ensemble performs directly from 17th- and 18th-century scores, learning to become familiar with the quite different kinds of musical notation used in earlier periods that often come from the extraordinarily rich Special Collections housed in Berkeley’s Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library.
- University Chorus: Critics have called the University Chorus “very impressive in sonority, quality of tone, and expressiveness.” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “flawless.” (San Francisco Classical Voice, March 2006). From Slavonic chant to standard choral-orchestral repertoire to contemporary music, this large chorus performs an exciting variety of literature.
- University Chamber Chorus. This grammy-winning ensemble has been praised by the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and Opera News alike as “excellent,” “splendid,” “electric.” “The UC Chamber Chorus leaves no syllable unarticulated and no musical marvel unexplored” (San Francisco Examiner).
- University Symphony. Bold programming of both historical and contemporary repertory and high artistic standards have made this one of the country’s finest university orchestras; it is not only a pre-professional training orchestra, but a major performing ensemble in the Bay Area as well.
- University Wind Ensemble, for the study and practice of traditional and contemporary wind band repertoire.