Performance Ensembles

The Five College Early Music Program, directed by Robert Eisenstein, sponsors a number of performing ensembles, open by audition or permission of the instructor. Ensemble credit is available for UMass, MHC, and HC students. Normally auditions are conducted at the audition/information sessions held at the beginning of each semester at each of the Five Colleges.  Watch this page for information about schedules and possible on-line audition procedures for Fall 2020.  

Please not that we are still uncertain about the possibility of conducting any of our ensembles in person in the fall.   Schedules will depend upon the decisions made by Mount Holyoke and the rest of the Five Colleges, and not all ensembles/instruments may be offered in the fall. 

The Five College Early Music Collegium

For singers interested in large-scale Renaissance choral works, one-on-a-part ensembles, and/or occasional solos; historical instrumentalists of all sorts.  Directed by Robert Eisenstein

Euridice Ensembles

Our umbrella organization for faculty/student chamber groups specializing in 17th and 18th-century music. Modern and early string, wind and keyboard players from all five campuses are invited to participate in these historical performance-oriented bands. The primary ensemble is a small baroque chamber orchestra. Be coached and play or sing alongside recognized professionals!  Led by Robert Eisenstein and Laurie Rabut

Voces Feminae

Our women's vocal ensemble, a small ensemble of women's voices concerned primarily but not entirely with Medieval repertory.  Directed by Catherine Bell


The following ensembles are scheduled according to participants’ availability

17th-Century Song Seminar

For singers, keyboard players, lutenists, gambists, guitarists and cellists. Masterclass format.  Focus on repertoire, performance style, techniques, ornamentation and sources.   


Medieval Ensemble

Depending upon interest, medieval ensemble might consider various topics including Gregorian chant, 13th century monophonic and polyphonic song, instrumental dances, 14th century chanson, etc.   

Renaissance & Baroque Dance

Group class in 16th-18th century social dances from Arbeau to Feuillet: branle, almain, pavane, galliard, English country dance, minuet, and more.  Includes opportunities to dance with live music.

Renaissance & Baroque Dance Band

For players of recorder, flute, violin, viola, ‘cello, viola da gamba, lute, and guitar.  Includes opportunities to play for the Renaissance and Baroque Dance Class.

Other Ensembles include:

Renaissance Wind Band

Lute Ensemble

Viol Consort

Recorder Consorts



We offer Individual and Group Lessons in Early Music Instruments 


For modern instrumentalists, singers and beginners who wish to learn an early instrument—no prior experience required.  The Early Music Program owns a wide variety of historical instruments available for student use.  Lessons are available for:



Viola da gamba and baroque ‘cello


Renaissance Winds