Skip to main content

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 a tango quintet, string quartets, piano trios, cello octets, wind quintets, vocal chamber groups (including a barbershop quartet and Critical Mass, our medieval/Renaissance vocal ensemble), Broadway and opera scenes, percussion 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. 

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.

Students participating in the Fetter Chamber Music Program are eligible for five complimentary private lessons from an approved teacher on the instrument played in the Fetter ensemble. These lessons can be in addition to lessons covered through our private music lesson program, Music 048, or in lieu of those lessons.  It is possible for a student to study one instrument in Music 048 and play another instrument in a Fetter Chamber group, thus receiving private lessons on two different instruments.  The private lessons through the Fetter Program are not intended for beginners. Participation in the Fetter Program as well as the additional coaching are subject to approval by the Fetter coordinators, Andrew Hauze and Jenny Honig.

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.

Students perform a Mendelssohn piano trio. Photo by Photo by Sungwon Ma '16
A cello duet. Photo by Photo by Sungwon Ma '16
Flute duet Photo by Photo by Sungwon Ma '16

Students perform a duet for violin and guitar by Barbara Kolb. Ms. Kolb visited campus as part of the Stott Master Class series to coach the students on her composition.

Photo by Photo by Sungwon Ma '16
Photo / Photo by Sungwon Ma '16
1 of 4

Chamber Music, Fall 2022

If you enjoy making music in small groups with others, consider taking part in the Fetter Chamber Music Program (Music 47)! We support all types of small musical ensembles (usually defined as one person per part) in any genre. All instruments (including voices) are welcome. Here's how the program works:

  • 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. Groups are organized on a first-come, first-served basis. Since space in the program is limited, sign up early!  Truly all genres are welcome - we've supported improv, tango, mariachi, vocal ensembles, percussion ensembles, duets, trios, quartets, and more, and we're always open to new ideas.
  • If you're new to the program, you just need to perform a short audition for Andrew Hauze to place you in the program. Pre-recorded video auditions are encouraged to enable groups to be organized during the month of August.  You may also wait and audition in person during the first week of classes. (This can be the same audition as your Orchestra or Wind Ensemble audition if you're already auditioning for those ensembles.) Please email Andrew Hauze to arrange a video audition, or sign up here to audition during the first week of classes.
  • Students attend 10 one-hour coachings during the semester with an assigned coach.  All coachings should take place in-person when possible.
  • Students work together in rehearsal for at least one hour per week outside of their coachings.
  • All participants perform on one of the Fetter Chamber Music concerts toward the end of the semester.
  • At least one member of each group registers for Music 47 for 0.5 credit (the other members may register for 0.5 or 0 credit, according to their preference). The students registered for credit write short program notes (2-3 paragraphs) on the music they are preparing.
  • One semester of participation in a Music Program Ensemble (Chinese Music Ensemble, Chorus, Jazz Ensemble, Gamelan, Orchestra, Taiko, or Wind Ensemble is a prerequisite (for returning students) or co-requisite (for new or returning students) for each semester of MU47 participation. This applies to every student in every Fetter group. It is expected that Fetter students will play the same instrument/voice in their Departmental Ensemble, unless their instrument is not included in a Departmental Ensemble. In that case, students may satisfy this requirement by joining the College Chorus, Gamelan, Taiko, or Chinese Music Ensemble.

If you have any questions or are interested in taking part, please contact Andrew Hauze or Jenny Honig.

Julián Plaza, Nocturna, April 30, 2022

It Takes Five to Tango Quintet: Quincy Ponvert ’23, bandoneón, Leo Posel ’22, piano, Spencer Tate ’22, violin, Peter Wu ’22, guitar, Henry Cassel ’23, bass

Schubert, "An den Mond," April 30, 2022

Olivia Scarozza '25, soprano; Joyce Ben '25, piano

Debussy String Quartet, movement 1, December 4, 2021

Chroma Quartet: Spencer Tate ’22 and Lucy Atkinson ’22, violins, Natalie Kim ’22, viola, Andy Zhang ’22, cello

Grieg, Holberg Suite, First Movement, December 3, 2021

Lab Orchestra, conducted by Quincy Ponvert '23

Leo Posel, "Falling Puddles, Jumping Leaves" November 16, 2019

Leo Posel ’22, piano; Amalia Gelpi ’20, bass; Owais Noorani-Kamtekar ’21, trumpet

Maurice Ravel: String Quartet in F Major, 4th Movement

Audio Player Controls
0:00 / 0:00