Instrumental & Vocal Department

The School’s ensembles provide students with a comprehensive experience performing music of various periods and genres. These groups meet weekly and perform in the School’s major concerts, including the Winter Ensembles Concert, Holiday Choral Concert, Winter Chamber Soirée, Spring Chamber Recital, and Spring Ensembles Concert.


Diller-Quaile Youth Opera


Diller-Quaile Youth Opera provides a comprehensive experience in the preparation and performance of opera for school-age singers. Students rehearse and perform solos, scenes, and choruses from Baroque through Contemporary operas and staged works, with an emphasis on works specifically composed for young singers. Weekly rehearsals with a musical coach and a stage director focus on musical style, language, diction, character development, and stagecraft, leading to a performance at the end of the semester. An important aspect of Diller-Quaile Youth Opera is that students have the opportunity to be mentored by professional singers and to work alongside these singers in the chorus of a professional opera production.  Repertoire assignments are based on age, level, and voice category. An audition is required.

FALL: September through December
Junior Division Wednesday 5:30-6:15 p.m.
Senior Division Wednesday 6:15-8:00 p.m.
WINTER: January through March
Junior Division Wednesday 5:30-6:15 p.m.
Senior Division Wednesday 6:15-8:00 p.m.


Chamber Music
Intermediate and advanced students explore score reading and ensemble playing in ensembles of two to eight players or singers, which meet weekly throughout the school year. Ensembles study a wide range of repertoire from the works of Baroque through Contemporary composers and are shaped according to level. Placement auditions for returning students will be held in the spring and during interviews for new students.


Young Children’s Chorus (Grades 1&2)

Wednesday 3:45-4:30 p.m.

Intermediate Chorus (Grades 3-6)

Wednesday 4:35-5:25 p.m.

The Diller-Quaile Chorus (Grades 5-8)

Monday 4:40-5:40 p.m.

Diller-Quaile’s choruses provide sequential study of choral literature for young voices and the fundamentals of vocal technique. Through the study of choral repertoire spanning various periods and styles, students develop ensemble skills, sight-singing skills, comfort with score reading, and music literacy. Diller-Quaile choruses perform in the School’s large ensemble concerts each semester.


Reading Orchestra
The Reading Orchestra is a first ensemble experience for early intermediate instrumental students. Players further develop reading and ensemble skills, learn to follow a conductor, and become acquainted with music of diverse periods.

Reading Orchestra Saturday 9:00-9:45 a.m.


Intermediate Orchestra
The Intermediate Orchestra focuses on the development of strong ensemble skills and reading, as students learn to follow a conductor and become acquainted with music of various periods and styles.

Intermediate Orchestra Monday 6:30-7:30 p.m.


The Diller-Quaile Orchestra
Advanced students audition for The Diller-Quaile Orchestra. Repertoire is drawn from the standard literature and is also specially arranged for the group. Playing is on a highly polished level, with emphasis on stylistic nuance, phrasing, sight-reading, and sophisticated ensemble playing. Section coaches play along with the students, offering advice and practical suggestions on all aspects of orchestral playing.

Diller-Quaile Orchestra Monday 6:30-7:30 p.m.


Contemporary Ensemble Workshop
The Contemporary Ensemble Workshop is an intensive immersion in a range of contemporary classical and non-classical styles, including jazz, rock, folk, and world music. Over two Saturdays, advanced instrumentalists rehearse works specially arranged for the ensemble in preparation for a performance at the School’s Winter Instrumental Ensembles Concert in December. The ensemble is directed by Musicianship faculty member and composer Brian Coughlin, best known as director of the genre-defying chamber music group Fireworks Ensemble.

Contemporary Ensemble Workshop Saturday, November 21 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Contemporary Ensemble Workshop Saturday, December 12 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

To inquire about enrolling in lessons or classes for the 2015-2016 school year,
please contact 212-369-1484, ext. 26 or


Apply Now

View and download a 2015-2016 Application Form.