This class will study some of the premier music ensembles of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to understand their approach to musicianship, to creativity in music, to the interpretation and arrangement of new and old repertoire, and finally to understand the larger cultural and artistic implications of these groups. From a reinvigoration of the early music scene with groups like Les Arts Florissants or the Jupiter Ensemble to contemporary ensembles like Imani Winds, the Miro and Dover string quartets, Eighth Blackbird, etc., the explosion in musical styles, genres, and streams of influence has profoundly altered the musical landscape in the twentieth-first century.

We’ll discover, through close readings of work by transformative ensembles, how to engage with contemporary trends in music. Students in the class will form an ensemble, and all students will be expected to provide weekly arrangements of a variety of music of different genres and styles for this group.

Classes designated Honors are enrichment options for students who participate in Levine’s merit programs or the Washington Musical Pathways Initiative.

This class is an appropriate option for students who have completed Music Theory Level 10 or AP Music Theory. Students who have not taken a music theory class at Levine should take an online placement test prior to registering for the class.

Please note: this is a hybrid class that can be joined either in person or via Zoom.

For more information, please contact the Department Chair at


Tuition Assistance

Levine Music is dedicated to providing quality music education for all students, opening our doors to anyone who wants to learn music, no matter their ability or financial circumstances.