This post is a trope on the felicitous phrases “Re-Imagining the University Ensemble Experience” and “Re-Imagining the Music Degree Recital” by David Cutler, author of the book The Savvy Musician as well of the web site of the same name. Please hasten to investigate these posts and his book and let him inspire thoughts and dreams in you as well.
Cutler directs the Accidental Collective, “Duquesne University’s premier contemporary music ensemble”, which, besides the regular audition process also wants to know “who you are” – you have to fill out a form “describing background, skills, and interests: secondary instruments, improvisation, composing/arranging, singing, public speaking, movement, additional competencies, reliability, willingness to take chances, etc.” Instrumentation choice is thus inspired by the whole person/package, not just what they play, so the group may have a very unusual instrumentation. But so be it. The idea is, roughly, if you built it [right], a unique and dynamic group will come out of it.