Music 3701
The Performance of Chamber Wind Music: The Classical-Era Wind Octet with Double Bass

Offered every spring semester, beginning 2018
James Spinazzola, coach (jms862 {at} cornell(.)edu)
2 credits

This coached chamber music course emphasizes rehearsal skills, leadership, and collaborative methods; familiarization with the repertory; musical analysis through performance; and developing a historically informed, musically unified, interpretation.

Students meet weekly for three one-hour sessions: twice with the instructor, and once alone. (Meeting times will be determined at the outset of the semester.) They also participate in masterclasses with guest artists and/or Music Department faculty. These classes will present general topics, concepts specific to performance practice, and traditional performance-based instruction. The course includes two performances featuring music prepared throughout the semester.

Enrollment is generally limited to nine players: pairs of oboes, clarinets, bassoons, and horns; and double bass. In spring 2020, the ensemble will be expanded to include pairs of oboes, clarinets, and bassoons; two basset horns (played by clarinetists); four horns; and double bass. Admission is by permission only, and auditions will be held by appointment in December, 2019.  Students are strongly encouraged to supplement the course with individual instruction on their instrument. 


Please prepare the following excerpts for your ten-minute audition.  You will also be asked to play a few major scales (however you practice scales is fine), and brief a brief sightreading excerpt. Please contact James Spinazzola (jms862 {at} cornell(.)edu) if you wish to sign up for an audition.

Repertoire & performance dates

W.A. Mozart – Serenade No. 10, K. 361/370a, “Gran Partita”


  • Sunday, April 19, 2020 – 7pm, Barnes Hall
  • Sunday, April 26, 2020 – 3pm, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Reisterstown, Maryland *
  • * This off-campus performance is part of the “Music in the Valley” concert series hosted by St. John’s Episcopal Church, located northwest of Baltimore, MD. We will leave Saturday, stay overnight in Baltimore, and return Sunday evening.