Ensemble Courses

PSPR-362

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Sean Skeete
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Overall ensemble rating 4
Department: ENS
Location: Boston Campus

This course is intended to provide an opportunity for students to identify, recognize, and study the great creators, performers, and pioneers of rock and popular music. This course will provide student performers and writers a better understanding of the historical, stylistic, and technical subtleties of the various pop and rock genres. Course work will culminate in an end-of-semester concert or recital performance. Assigned library listening, transcribing, and notation of individual parts will be required on a weekly basis. Creating arrangements of selected material will be optional for ensemble members. Instrumentation: male and female vocalists, mixed horns, piano, two guitars, bass, drums, and hand percussion.

PSPR-365

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Karen Bell
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Overall ensemble rating 3
Department: ENS
Location: Boston Campus

Designed for the pop/rock rhythm section player or instrumentalists, this course develops the skill of singing and playing simultaneously. All class members will be expected to sing and will learn to sing lead as well as background vocals while playing. Analysis of influential performers, including Elton John, Ray Charles, Phil Collins, Sting, and Bruce Springsteen; in-class and end-of-semester performances.

PSPR-366

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Sean Skeete
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Overall ensemble rating 3
Department: ENS
Location: Boston Campus

The Women in Hip-Hop Ensemble is dedicated to celebrating the contributions of female hip-hop artists while also examining their legacy within the context of hip-hop culture at large. Each class concentrates on the career and impact of two female hip-hop icons followed by rehearsal of live arrangements of their works. Students learn the "5 elements" of hip-hop, the socioeconomic and political influences that birthed hip-hop, and biographical information of the artists covered in class. To build performance technique, students study the artists’ audio and video recordings to incorporate the elements that designate the era and regional sound from which that artist and her work hails. Students consider how their historical knowledge reveals itself through stylistic integrity, movement, lyrical pronunciation and/or delivery as well as attire. At the end of the semester, the students perform a full set that pays homage to female artists, complete with produced backing tracks, live arrangements, choreography, and costume authentic to the era and artist. This course studies the music and contributions of past and current artists such as Queen Latifah, Salt-n-Pepa, Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliot, Lauryn Hill, Rapsody, Nicki Minaj, Noname, and more.

PSPR-367

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Sean Skeete
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Overall ensemble rating 3
Department: ENS
Location: Boston Campus

The Hip-Hop for Social Change Ensemble is dedicated to celebrating and examining the unique history of hip-hop as a tool for social commentary and protest. Each class concentrates on two iconic songs or acts that sought to tell the stories of marginalized people or challenge systems of oppression, followed by rehearsal of live arrangements of these works. Students learn the "5 elements” of hip-hop, the socioeconomic and political influences that birthed hip-hop and the stories of how these important songs came to fruition. To build performance technique, students study the artists’ audio and video recordings to incorporate the elements that designate the era and regional sound from which the artist hails. Students consider how their historical knowledge reveals itself through stylistic integrity, movement, lyrical pronunciation and/or delivery as well as attire. At the end of the semester, the students perform a full set that pays homage to these influential compositions, complete with produced backing tracks, live arrangements, and attire authentic to the era and artist. This course studies the music and contributions of past and current artists such as KRS-One, Queen Latifah, Public Enemy, The Roots, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Talib Kweli, Tupac Shakur, The Fugees, Kendrick Lamar, and J. Cole.

PST-471

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Sean Skeete
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Overall ensemble rating 3
Department: ENS
Location: Boston Campus

A performance class for vocalists and instrumentalists interested in developing skills involved in live performance. In-class performances will be videotaped and critiqued for effectiveness in movement and presentation. All performances will be in a rock/pop band format; topics to be discussed include microphone and rehearsal techniques, lead sheet preparation, stage presence, and other activities necessary for effective live performance. Classes will present an end-of-semester final performance.

PST-472

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Sean Skeete
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: PST-471
Department: ENS
Location: Boston Campus

Continuation of PST-471. In-class performances will be videotaped and critiqued for effectiveness in movement and presentation. Topics to be discussed will include stage dress, MC techniques, stage setups, music and show programming, and other activities necessary for effective live performance. Classes will present an end-of-semester final performance.

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