In addition to participation in NEC's orchestras and chamber music ensembles, there are specialized ensembles available to woodwind, brass, and percussion instrument majors.
NEC Wind Ensemble
NEC Wind Ensemble, conducted by Charles Peltz, offers students an opportunity to play literature from the Renaissance through the present day for wind, brass, and percussion. Each year a number of faculty and students appear as soloists in Wind Ensemble concerts. In addition to its concert series in Jordan Hall, the ensemble sometimes performs at national music conferences as well as at various venues in and around Boston. During the past two decades, the Wind Ensemble has commissioned and premiered new works by Pulitzer Prize composers Michael Colgrass, John Harbison, and Gunther Schuller, plus other distinguished composers such as Sir Michael Tippett, Daniel Pinkham, and William Thomas McKinley. Through performances and recordings, the Wind Ensemble has established a reputation as one of the country’s premier wind ensembles. Recent recordings for Mode extend a recording tradition that dates back to the 1960s and the founding of the ensemble by Frank Battisti.
2011-11-11 Boston Musical Intelligencer review
"an unforgettable experience"
NEC Symphonic Winds
NEC Symphonic Winds, conducted by William Drury, performs woodwind, brass, and percussion repertoire from the Renaissance through the present day for octet to full wind ensemble. Important works that are sometimes neglected because of unusual instrumentation form an integral part of four annual Jordan Hall concerts. Bronze Music, the ensemble's debut CD on Albany Records (under its previous name, Jordan Winds) includes works by Larry Bell, Peter Child, Linda Dusman, Joshua Feltman, Gerald Levinson, David Macbride, and Malcolm Peyton.
Symphonic Winds also reads standard orchestral repertoire that serves to improve members’ ensemble skills.
NEC's annual Brass Bash is a Jordan Hall concert that puts the spotlight on current and former Boston Symphony Orchestra members who teach at NEC, along with their students—often performing side by side. Students enrolled in Horn Class, Trumpet Class, Trombone Class, and Tuba Class perform in Brass Bash.
NEC Percussion Ensemble, conducted by Frank Epstein, performs twice a year in Jordan Hall and makes appearances throughout Boston.
The repertoire has included premieres of works by Irwin Bazelon, Elliott Carter, Peter Child, Edward Cohen, John Harbison, Jennifer Higdon, Fred Lerdahl, Robert Rodriguez, Felicia Sandler, Gunther Schuller, and Joan Tower. Most of these works appear on the two Naxos CDs released under the American Music for Percussion banner in 2011.
Guest artists appear occasionally with the ensemble, and there are opportunities for solo performances.
The ensemble is open to all percussionists.