The Department of Music and Dance encourages the study of chamber music of every style, configuration, and period. Participation is open to all through auditions held at the beginning of each semester. Groups have included string quartets, quintets, and sextets, Baroque trio sonatas, piano trios, ensembles combining brass, winds, and strings, vocal chamber groups, drumming and jazz ensembles. All participants must register for MU 47 for credit/no credit. One semester in a department ensemble is a prerequisite or corequisite for each semester of MU 47. This applies to all students in the Fetter chamber group. It is expected that Fetter students in department ensembles will play the same instrument/voice in both activities.
Groups meet weekly for 10 one-hour coached rehearsals and for an additional one-hour per week self-directed rehearsal. The culmination of the rehearsal process includes a performance late in the semester. Click here to hear excerpts from recent performances. The Elizabeth Pollard Fetter Chamber Music Program supports student musicians by selecting and providing funding for coaches. Additional opportunities are available through the Gil and Mary Stott Chamber Music Master Class Series.
The Elizabeth Pollard Fetter Chamber Music Program has been an integral part of the Swarthmore College performance program for four decades. It began in 1975 as the "Pollard Scholarship Funds," with an initial contribution from Elizabeth Pollard Fetter '25 in memory of her mother, Emilie Garrett Pollard '93. With the passing of Elizabeth Pollard Fetter in 1977, husband Frank Whitson Fetter '20 stepped forward to endow the Elizabeth Pollard Fetter String Quartet Scholarships at Swarthmore College. Dozens of student musicians were subsequently supported in their desire to explore the string quartet repertoire.
In 2001, the program was renamed the Elizabeth Pollard Fetter Chamber Music Program and was expanded to support the coaching of multiple chamber music groups. Funding continues to be enhanced by successive generations of the Fetter family, some of whom are Swarthmore alumni. Swarthmore College, students and faculty past and present, and the community at large, has been enriched by the musical communication made possible through the generosity of the Fetter family.
The faculty supervisor of the Fetter Chamber Music program is Professor Michael Johns.