Douglas College's performing groups have a reputation for excellence throughout the province and across Canada through concerts, recordings and festival appearances. In addition, the College offers many opportunities for solo and small group performance in recitals, master classes and at off-campus events. Admission to all groups is by audition and is based on available seats. All Douglas College students and community members are welcome to audition. Ensembles can be taken for credit, audit or through the Community Music School.
Vocal students and those with an interest in choral music will sing in the College Chorus and/or Chamber Singers, under the direction of Eric Hannan. These groups rehearse music from all periods and perform regularly both at the College and off-campus. Community members are welcome to join the choir on Tuesday evenings, through the Community Music School.
This group rehearses and performs intermediate to advanced repertoire in a variety of musical styles. The Douglas College Concert Band has performed at many festivals and conferences; highlights include achieving a Gold award at MusicFest Canada and first place at the B.C. Festival of the Arts. Most rehearsals (Wednesday evenings) and performances take place in the Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre. Community members are welcome to audition and can join through the through the Community Music School.
The Douglas College Dues Band
Primarily comprised of full-time Douglas College music students, this group is a regular contributor to the College's jazz recordings. The Dues Band rehearses and performs classics from the jazz tradition along with more modern material.
Students wishing to become music educators are strongly advised to take at least one jazz elective.
The Douglas College Night Band
The Night Band is the College's premier jazz ensemble, consisting of top College music students and experienced professionals. This group has performed at conferences, schools and festivals across the country, including the International Association of Jazz Educators conference.
The Douglas College Night Band also offers recordings for sale. If you are a prospective student or music teacher and would like a complimentary copy, or are interested in purchasing CDs or LPs, please contact Jazz Band director Blair Fisher at 604 527 5272.
Small jazz groups offer a valuable addition to big band rehearsals and performances. These combos are sometimes formed as part of the jazz band class or are put together by students outside of class hours.
As is the case with participating in the chamber ensembles described above, playing small group jazz is an extremely valuable experience for students, helping them to develop self-reliance and improvisational skills. These groups are also often in demand for paid performances throughout the year.
Each year, depending on the number of students enrolled on each instrument, a number of small ensemble chamber groups are formed. Shown at right is a brass quintet that was hired on a summer grant to rehearse and play concerts in the school and the community.
Small ensembles can be either coached by faculty or run by students. The unique demands of playing in a chamber ensemble without a conductor is a valuable experience for students. Some examples of current small ensembles are the Brass Ensemble, Woodwind Ensemble, and Percussion Ensemble.
The Percussion Ensemble is made up of both College music students and members of the community. The group performs a great variety of musical styles, with a repertoire ranging from world drumming to contemporary percussion music, from Latin music to electronic-based percussion music. The ensemble has frequently been invited to share its music with the community, notably appearing at festivals to play for high school music students. The group rehearses from 2:30-4:30pm on Tuesdays under the direction of Douglas College's head of Percussion and Music Program Coordinator Robert Caldwell.
Community members can inquire through the through the Community Music School.