Contact a Humanities Office or Academic unit.
Find your course outlines.

MUSIC 1GR3A Ensemble:Chamber Orchestra

Academic Year: Fall 2016

Term: Multiterm

Day/Evening: E

Instructor: Prof. David Bowser


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 416

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23668

Office Hours: Mondays 5:00-6:00PM or by appointment

Course Objectives:

This performance course provides students with skills development in orchestra training and ensemble performance while exploring a varied orchestral repertoire. Students are expected to learn assigned music quickly, and to demonstrate continuous progress in all the skills that are appropriate to the ensemble: listening, tuning, balance, blend, musicality, style, rhythmic precision, dynamics and flexibility in phrasing.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:


Method of Assessment:

Marking Scheme

End of Term Performance Tests: 40% (2 tests @ 20% each)

Students will be required to perform orchestral excerpts from the term’s repertoire at the end of each term. Students will be expected to perform the excerpts without mistakes, to reflect the musical instruction provided during rehearsals, and to demonstrate fluency in all of the ensemble skills.

First term -- Monday, November 14, 2016, 6:30-9:30PM (by individual appointment);

Second Term -- Monday, March 13, 2017, 6:30-9:30PM (by individual appointment)


Participation: 20%

Each student’s willingness to accept direction, and his/her efforts to incorporate the instructor’s suggestions into his/her performance at each rehearsal and concert will be appraised. Because of the co-operative and experiential nature of this course, irregular attendance by any student is seriously detrimental to the progress of her/his ensemble. If a student must miss a rehearsal, s/he must inform the instructor by email before the expected absence with relevant documentation. Absences, excused or in-excused, will directly affect the student’s skill development, and will be reflected in her/his grade for this component. Promptness is also expected and lateness will also have an impact on a student’s grade.


Preparation / Progress: 40%

Specific assignments for preparation and individual practice will be given weekly. Appraisal of each student’s success in this area will be based on her/his ability to easily perform her/his individual parts, and to adapt to the give-and-take of ensemble rehearsing. Students are expected to learn assigned music quickly, and to demonstrate continuous progress in all the skills that are appropriate to the ensemble: listening, tuning, balance, blend, musicality, style, rhythmic precision, dynamics and flexibility in phrasing.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Unapproved lateness will be penalized by 2% of final grade per rehearsal and 25% of final grade per concert.

Unapproved absence will be penalized by 5% of final grade per rehearsal and 40% of final grade per concert.

All rehearsals and concerts are mandatory and promptness is expected.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Other Course Information:

Program 1:

Maurice RAVEL                                   Pavane pour une infant défunte

Pietro MASCAGNI                               Intermezzo sinfonico from Cavalleria rusticana

Richard WAGNER                                Siegfried Idyll

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART             Symphony No. 40 in g minor, K. 550


Rehearsal and Concert Schedule

Monday, September 19, 2016, 6:30-8:30PM

Monday, September 26, 2016, 6:30-8:30PM

Monday, October 3, 2016, 6:30-8:30PM

Monday, October 10, 2016 Reading Week – no rehearsal

Monday, October 17, 2016, 6:30-8:30PM

Monday, October 24, 2016, 6:30-8:30PM

Monday, October 31, 2016, 6:30-8:30PM

Monday, November 7, 2016, 7:30-10:00PM

Friday, November 11, 2016, 7:30-10:00PM

Saturday, November 12, 2016, 2:00-4:30PM PRE-DRESS REHEARSAL 

Sunday, November 13, 2016, 10:00AM-12:30PM DRESS REHEARSAL

Sunday, November 13, 2016, 3:00-5:00PM CONCERT

Monday, November 14, 2016, 6:30-9:30PM End of term solo performance test of orchestral excerpts (by individual appointment)


Program 2:

Felix MENDELSSOHN                          Hebrides Overture

Concerto TBA

Antonin DVORAK                                 Symphony No. 8 in G Major, op. 88


Rehearsal and Concert Schedule

Monday, January 9, 2017, 6:30-8:30PM

Monday, January 16, 2017, 6:30-8:30PM

Monday, January 23, 2017, 6:30-8:30PM

Monday, January 30, 2017, 6:30-8:30PM

Monday, February 6, 2017, 6:30-8:30PM

Monday, February 13, 2017, 6:30-8:30PM

Monday, February 20, 2017 Reading Week – no rehearsal

Monday, February 27, 2017, 6:30-8:30PM

Monday, March 6, 2017, 7:30-10:00PM

Friday, March 10, 2017, 7:30-10:00PM

Saturday, March 11, 2017, 2:00-4:30PM PRE-DRESS REHEARSAL

Sunday, March 12, 2017, 10:00AM-12:30PM DRESS REHEARSAL

Sunday, March 12, 2017, 3:00-5:00PM CONCERT

Monday, March 13, 2017, 6:30-9:30PM End of term solo performance test of orchestral excerpts (by individual appointment)

All rehearsals and concerts take place in Convocation Hall.