Cate offers instrumental programs for both classical musicians and those playing contemporary styles. (Often, students play with both groups.) Our Chamber Music program, offered as an academic course, takes the form of a small orchestra playing classical repertoire, while the Jazz Band tackles jazz, pop, and rock music. Both groups have ample opportunity to perform, not only at schoolwide big events such as Parents Weekend, but also for special occasions, recitals, and shows. The instrumental music ensembles play scores carefully selected and arranged around the specific membership of each group, and under expert direction achieve a high level of individual and ensemble musicianship.
Though Cate is fortunate to enroll numerous exceptional student instrumentalists, the ensembles are open to all players and are intended to challenge and instruct all members in order to foster improvement. The school also organizes individual lessons for students with such interest, and is able to draw upon the Santa Barbara area to secure truly excellent applied music teachers.
Cate’s singers join Camerata, where they work and learn together while performing an ambitious and varied repertoire of modern and classical pieces. Camerata definitely includes some singers of stunning ability and musical focus, but is also designed and directed to allow students of modest experience to develop as members as well. The Camerata director works to ensure that in addition to striving for excitement and artistry in performance, the group also develops steadily in terms of skill, expressiveness, and understanding of the nature of vocal and choral music.
As with the instrumental ensembles, Camerata has numerous performance opportunities, including major recitals here at Cate that include full group, smaller ensemble, and sometimes solo pieces. An addition, Camerata performs off campus for special events.
Individual lessons for vocalists may be scheduled on campus and on the same basis as instrumental lessons.