Eastman offers countless opportunities to perform. Diverse musical genres are reflected by the School’s many established ensembles. The School’s two symphonic orchestras and wind ensembles perform both the standard repertoire and lesser-known works; Musica Nova performs a variety of new music, emphasizing the greatest works of the 20th and 21st centuries, while Collegium Musicum focuses on the 16 to 18th centuries. Four choral ensembles offer the full range of music for small choirs and large chorus. Eastman Opera Theatre mounts three productions each year, covering the full range of music for theater, from Monteverdi to Sondheim. Students in the opera program also perform numerous studio productions of operatic scenes and short works, in addition to three main-stage productions each year (and sometimes more with double bills). And the Jazz department offers big band, new jazz ensembles, studio orchestra, and small combos. The Beal Institute provides the opportunity for students to perform in Studio Orchestra, for film composition projects. Studio-based ensembles include the Eastman Saxophone Project, Percussion Ensemble, Trombone Choir, Horn Choir, Brass Guild, and more.
Beyond these faculty-directed ensembles, Eastman’s thriving chamber music program cultivates over 50 ensembles each semester, as most Eastman students choose to go beyond their minimum requirements in chamber music, reflecting a strong culture of collaborative music-making.
Students regularly form “pick-up” ensembles to present student works and concerto performances. Student-run ensembles have included Ossia (new music), Film Music Ensemble, folk music ensembles of various styles.