Chamber Orchestra - Syllabus

Note: If you wish to sign up for Chamber Orchestra (MUS 115-01) credit, contact Dr. Duitman.

Instructor Information
Conductor, Dr. Henry E. Duitman, (616) 331-2581
Office hours: By appointment

Rehearsal Times

  • USUAL REHEARSAL TIME: 4:30 to 5:20 on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • REHEARSAL PLACE:  PAC 1515 or as noted
  • Be sure to have all rehearsal and performance dates cleared on your personal schedule.


The finest members of the GVSU Symphony Orchestra are invited to join the Chamber Orchestra and Musical and Opera Pit Orchestras.  Strings and Winds will be invited as repertoire needs are to be met--see Repertoire page


The mission of the Grand Valley State University Chamber Orchestra, Musical and Opera Pit Orchestras is to provide exemplary musical experiences that enable players and audience members to be engaged, actively and reflectively, with the finest examples of chamber music.

Course Goals

  1. To develop the aesthetic sensitivity, musical knowledge and independent ensemble performance skills of each orchestra member.
  2. To provide accompaniment for faculty and guest soloists.
  3. To provide selected members the opportunity of performing in the faculty/student Fall Arts Chamber Orchestras.
  4. To give the members added musical challenges and an engagement with chamber literature, which is impossible to achieve in the larger symphony orchestra.

Student Objectives

Upon successful completion of the course, a student will be able to:

  • perform independently and in groups, a variety of chamber orchestra repertoire.
  • perform with appropriate musicality, musical knowledge and ensemble performance skills.
  • demonstrate and utilize correct rehearsal skills.
  • demonstrate appropriate musicality, musical knowledge and ensemble performance skills.


  1. Members will practice their music diligently before each rehearsal, taking particular note of any problem passages that have been pointed out by the conductor.  
  2. Members must attend all rehearsals and performances as listed on the Calendar and Repertoire pages on this website. 
  3. Members will discuss any problems directly with the conductor.

Attendance at rehearsals, and performances (same as for Symphony Orchestra)

The director must receive a request for an excused absence by email well in advance of the requested date.  These requests will be granted in the following cases:

  1. sickness that causes absence from all classes.  A doctor or nurse's excuse may be required.
  2. funerals or weddings in the immediate family.
  3. other class conflicts that have been preceded by a written request from the professor.
  4. NOTE: If players are suffering physical pain, such as tendonitis, and wish to not play in a rehearsal, they must give the director a note from their studio teacher with this request.  They must then remain in the entire rehearsal, taking notes about the music, fingering along, etc.
  5. If players have outside professional gigs, all absences must be cleared well in advance.  Under no circumstances can a professional gig take precedence over a dress rehearsal or performance of the GVSU Orchestra


The Grade of A in Chamber Orchestra will be lowered in the following cases:

  1. evidence of lack of adequate preparation of the music, as determined though individual playing during sectional rehearsals and regular rehearsals.
  2. unexcused absence or tardiness
  3. a non-professional attitude displayed during rehearsals


1) Concert Wear

  • Either special Chamber Orchestra shirts (all black) or regular concert dress for the Symphony Orchestra 

2) Other

  1. All folders and music are the property of the university and must be returned at the end of each final performance of the music in that folder.  FAILURE TO DO THIS OR A LOST FOLDER MAY RESULT IN A PAYMENT FOR LOST MUSIC AND/OR A GRADE OF "INCOMPLETE."
  2. No cell phones, pagers, or PDAs are permitted in rehearsal.  Leave them in your lockers.
  3. You must have a pencil, your music, and all necessary equipment (mutes, rosin etc.) with you at the beginning of each rehearsal.
  4. If you are a student with special needs because of a learning, physical or other disability, please contact me or the Office of Academic Support (OAS) at 331-2490.

Page last modified June 17, 2017