Fetter Chamber Music Program
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, piano trios, ensembles combining brass, winds, and strings, vocal chamber groups, Broadway and opera scenes, drumming ensembles, and jazz and free improvisation combos. 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. Listen to 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 coordinators of the Fetter Chamber Music program are Andrew Hauze and Jenny Honig.
For students interested in participating in spring 2021, we will need to approve interested groups on a case-by-case basis due to COVID-19 restrictions. We regret that we cannot simply approve every group that is proposed, but we will carefully consider all of the possibilities with interested students.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the following adjustments will be made:
- Fetter Chamber Music opportunities will only be available to students who are living on campus.
- Students may propose a group that they have already formed with others, or may ask to be placed into a group. We make every effort to organize groups, though sometimes it is necessary to wait until the following semester to find the right match, and some instrument groupings may just not be possible.
- Coachings will need to at least begin remotely. Students will rehearse together in the Concert Hall while their coach is remote.
- A virtual performance opportunity may be possible but is not guaranteed.
If you have any questions or are interested in taking part, please contact Andrew Hauze (email@example.com) or Jenny Honig (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you'd like to play chamber music this fall, sign up to audition here! [Please note that you may have to click the link again once you login to the scheduler, or just search for the calendar for Andrew Hauze] Please just prepare a short (3-4) minute piece or excerpt from a longer piece that you're comfortable playing and that you feel demonstrates your current level. Please contact Andrew Hauze with any questions about the audition. We'll hope to hear you make music soon!