Marian Anderson Group Performance Program

***The Marian Anderson Group Performance Program (MUSC 0110)***

This is an extension of the Marian Anderson (Solo) Performance Program (Music 0100), starting in fall 2019.


Objectives of the program

  • To develop excellency in performance skills, at pre-professional level.
  • To synthesize elements of musicianship, as developed through individual coachings (of instruments or voices), with elements of academic knowledge of music theory, history, and culture, also acquired in enrollment in Music Department courses.
  • To be able to profesionally present, orally, the above-mentioned synthesis.

Admission to the program

Admission to and continuance in this Program is determined on the basis of auditions and juries for the Committee for the Marian Anderson Program, a Committee of the Department of Music formed by the Director of Performance, the Undergraduate Chair, and one other member, which also serves the same role for Music 0100. 

The program is open to declared music majors or minors, who have priority, but the group can be formed by a mix of students, including non majors or non minors. Successful completion of Music 070 is a pre-requisite (or, the course must be taken concurrently with Music 0110 during the first semester).

All students seeking admission to MUSC 0110 must demonstrate in an audition that they have already attained an intermediate level of advancement and that they have the musical potential and requisite commitment for continued applied studies. Auditions are held at the beginning of the Fall Semester and may be arranged by contacting the Director of Performance (215-898-8698) or signing up in Dr. Michael Ketner's office, Room 227, in the Music Building. Audition times will be posted here.

Audition requirements

Auditions are scheduled in twenty-minute blocks. Students should bring a completed MUSC 0110 information form to the audition (sent to them by the Director of Performance, Dr. Mike Ketner, once they have been approved for an audition time).  

Preference is given to pre-formed groups, which should audition with a movement or substantial excerpt from a movement of a work for their ensemble type. 

You can also audition individually, with the understanding that the Committee would try to put a group together for you, however you would need to show evidence of past ensemble experiences and present a rationale for your plan to work in groups, by providing specific options and performing related pieces; if the audition is convincing, but an ensemble cannot be found, the Committee will consider you for admission in MUSC 0100 (soloist).   

Ensemble requirement

All students who are registered for MUSC 0110 are required to participate in one of the performance activities sponsored by the Department of Music. Students may be directed to a specific ensemble by the Committee. Satisfactory completion of MUSC 0110 is contingent on satisfying the ensemble requirement and unsatisfactory participation (in terms of attendance, preparation, commitment) will be reflected in the student’s final grade.


Students are only allowed to register for MUSC 0110 after a successful audition. The course is a two-semester course beginning in the fall semester, which carries one course unit of credit after the completion of two consecutive semesters. Each semester requires a minimum of ten lessons.

Other requirements and grading


The MUSC 0110 group will perform at least one complete recital of at least two complete works. Students are encouraged to perform in the College Houses, in the Penn Libraries, and at schools in the University City community.

  • JURY and grading

Students are required to present a final jury near the end of the spring semester for the Faculty Committee. The final jury will consist of an entire work or movements from selected works. This will be paired with an oral presentation. The grade for the year will be determined by the jury in consultation with the chamber music coach. Criteria for grading include: preparedness of one's part; willingness to rehearse and positive attitude to learning; and attendance at coachings. Please note that three unexcused missed coachings will result in automatic failure. Absences due to sickness will be excused only with a doctor's note.


Students are required to attend and participate in 3-4 master classes on performance given by guest artists throughout the year.


Finally, students will be asked to become familiar with Marian Anderson through one two-hour visit to the Marian Anderson archives organized jointly by the Department (Undergraduate Chair) and the Library (Head of the Music Library). See here below for more.


Students’ grades will be based on the successful completion of the above requirements. The Commttee is ultimately responsible for assigning the final grade based on the juries and other factors, but the instructors will make a recommendation. Students receive 1 c.u. at the end of the spring semester.


The African-American contralto Marian Anderson (February 27, 1897 – April 8, 1993) was one of the iconic figures of the 20th- century American performance scene and a highly relevant one both for her native city, Philadelphia, and for Penn. The Penn Library hosts the Marian Anderson Music Study Center (since 1998 the core of the Music Library) as well as the Marian Anderson Collection, including an archive of her papers and a collection of photographs (see here). The Music Department organized a conference in 2018 to celebrate Anderson, including school visits.