Instrumental Music Activities

The Chamber Ensemble

The Chamber Ensemble is the primary performing ensemble for instrumentalists at Columbia College. Though many colleges and universities concentrate only on large ensembles such as symphony orchestras and symphonic bands, Columbia College offers the special challenges of small ensemble performance. The Chamber Ensemble showcases the chamber works of master composers like Beethoven, Mozart, Handel, Bach, and many others. The ensemble is open to strings including violin, viola, and cello, as well as woodwinds including flute, oboe, bassoon, and clarinet. Horn players are more than welcome to participate.

Once the ensemble is in place the members of the group break up into mixed or same instrument duos, trios, and quartets. The various groupings play music that is accompanied by the piano or is unaccompanied, such as the standard string quartet of two violins, a viola, and a cello. In addition to playing for many campus activities such as Chapels, the Medallion Dinner, as well as special services and formal recitals, the CCCE is often invited to perform for community functions such as the South Carolina General Assembly Women’s Caucus Jean Laney Harris Memorial Luncheon, the Wednesday’s At Trinity Concert Series, and the South Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities Excellence in Teaching Awards Dinner, among many others.

The Columbia College Chamber Ensemble is accompanied by Allison Hilbish, music program staff accompanist. In addition to accompanying the CCCE, Allison also accompanies the CC Concert Choir, the CC Chorus, and all applied vocal and instrumental music majors and minors. Allison holds BM and MM Degrees in Piano Performance from the University of South Carolina and has had extensive ensemble experiences with the Columbia Choral Society and the Palmetto Mastersingers. Additionally, she is presently the piano accompanist for St. Andrews Presbyterian Church.

The Chamber Ensemble is directed by Dr. Randolph D. Love, Professor of Music and Coordinator of the Instrumental and Music Theory programs at Columbia College. Dr. Love founded the Chamber Ensemble in 1979. In addition to performing with the South Carolina Philharmonic since 1985, Dr. Love is also a partner in the Palmetto Brass and has extensive experiences in small ensemble performance. He was principle trumpet of the Cincinnati Chamber Symphony, founded the Beryllium Brass Quintet in Cincinnati, and the Thunderbird Brass Quartet in Phoenix. He has performed with many other chamber groups and symphonies throughout the United States.

Jazz Combos Ensemble

For students wanting to add jazz to their Instrumental experiences, Columbia College offers the Jazz Combos Ensemble. This ensemble, which also caters to small instrumental groupings, focuses on the art of improvisation. The Jazz Combos Ensemble is directed by Aletha Jacobs, who, in addition to being a Columbia College graduate in music education, holds a MM Degree in Jazz Studies from the University of South Carolina. Aletha has taught courses in jazz history, performed with established jazz groups such as the Left Bank Big Band, the University of South Carolina's Vocal Jazz, and the Platters. She has performed with many well-known pop and jazz artists touring through South Carolina. As a freelance artist, Aletha performs with the Augusta and Florence Pop Orchestras and is constantly in demand by the South Carolina jazz community. The Jazz Combos Ensemble is open to all Columbia College students.