The Early Chamber Ensembles offer students the opportunity to perform early repertoire (music from the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical eras) for credit in the School of Music’s chamber music program.


The Early Chamber Ensembles Program


  • Is directed by Baroque violinist Gesa Kordes, assisted by Don Fader
  • Takes music majors at both the undergrad and graduate level by audition at the beginning of each semester. To audition, contact Gesa Kordes at
  • Meeting times are arranged according to the schedules of the participants and the instructors.
  • Students are placed in ensembles based on their level and experience, and perform either on “modern” or on period instruments (and voice parts), depending on interest and ability.
  • Ensembles are generally small chamber music groups of 2-6 people. Each group receives weekly coachings on ensemble techniques, on performance practice, and on the technique of their instrument (as appropriate).
  • String, woodwind, and keyboard students also have the opportunity to take individual lessons on the School of Music’s early instruments.
  • Students sign up under course number MUA 169, 269, 369, 469, and 569 (as appropriate), section 014


The Early Chamber Ensembles perform regularly one concert per semester, with occasional run-out concerts, such as a performance for the annual meeting of the Southern chapter of the American Musicological Society.  Concerts feature instrumental and vocal repertoire from troubadour songs to Mozart.


Questions? Email Gesa Kordes:



Period Instruments Owned by the School of Music Available for Student Use


French double harpsichord (Dowd)

Italian single harpsichord (Houben)

English single harpsichord (Dowd)

Fortepiano (after Stein)


Baroque violins and bows

Baroque viola and bow

Baroque cello and bow

Viola da gamba (7-string bass)

Viola d’amore


Baroque oboes

Baroque flutes


Soprano cornetto