Early Chamber Ensembles

early chamber ensemble posing on stage

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 Chambers Ensemble Program is directed by Baroque violinist Gesa Kordes, assisted by Don Fader. The program takes music majors at both the undergrad and graduate level by audition at the beginning of each semester.

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 regularly perform 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.

For questions or to audition, email Gesa Kordes at ggkordes@gmail.com.

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 bassoon
  • Baroque flutes
  • Recorders
  • Soprano cornetto