Albion College is a private liberal arts college located in Albion, Michigan. Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, it was founded in 1835 and was the first private college in Michigan to have a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, its student population during the 2013-14 academic year was approx. 1,350. The College's athletic teams are nicknamed the Britons and their colors are purple and gold, they participate in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Albion College is a member of the Great Lakes Colleges Association and the Michigan Campus Compact, an organization dedicated to encouraging student volunteerism; as of 2013, Albion College was ranked No. 100 in the U. S. News & World Report list of national liberal arts colleges, 115th in the Forbes list of America's Top Colleges, which includes universities as well as colleges. U. S. News includes a high school counselor ranking, in which Albion placed 85th among national liberal arts colleges; the origin of Albion College lies not in the city of Albion, but about 10 miles southeast of the present location of the college.
On March 23, 1835, Methodist Episcopal settlers in Spring Arbor Township obtained a charter for the Spring Arbor Seminary from the Michigan Territorial Legislature. Foundations for a building were begun in 1837 at a location about 3 miles southwest of the current village of Spring Arbor but were soon abandoned due to the economic turmoil caused by the Panic of 1837. No classes were held at the Spring Arbor location; the trustees applied to move the seminary to Albion in 1838, the legislature approved the move in 1839. With 60 acres of land donated by Albion pioneer Jesse Crowell, the cornerstone was laid for the first building in 1841; the seminary, now named the Wesleyan Seminary, first held classes in 1843, in the local Methodist Church. In 1844, classes began in the newly constructed Central Building, rebuilt as the present Robinson Hall in 1907; the Albion Female Collegiate Institute was founded in 1850 by the Wesleyan Seminary Corporation. The two schools merged in 1857 under the name The Wesleyan Female College at Albion.
On February 25, 1861, both schools were merged under the name Albion College when the school was authorized by the State legislature to confer a full four-year college degree upon both men and women. The Albion College student body is composed of 1,500 students; the student–to–faculty ratio is 11:1. The average class size of under 19 is comparable to other small liberal arts colleges. Albion College employs more than 100 full-time faculty, of whom more than 95% have earned the highest degree offered in their field. Albion College appears on the U. S. News & World Report list of America's Top Liberal Arts Colleges. Albion is a member of The Princeton Review's 376 Best Colleges and Best Midwestern Colleges list. Albion College offers 30 academic majors leading to Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees. In addition to the academic majors, numerous concentrations, academic institutes, special programs are offered; these include the Prentiss M. Brown Honors program, The Center for Sustainability and the Environment, Fritz Shurmur Education Institute, the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Public Policy and Service at Albion College, the Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management, pre-professional programs in engineering and law.
In addition to the expansive facilities on Albion's campus, Albion College offers many opportunities for students to travel and study at other institutions. Programs are offered in Philadelphia, London, Heidelberg, Tübingen, Seoul, Cape Town, Aix-en-Provence, Athens and Paris, to name a few. Albion offers more than 100 different off-campus programs in over 60 countries on six continents. Of the numerous academic buildings at Albion College, the largest is the Science Complex; the Albion College Science Complex comprises four academic buildings: Norris Hall, Kresge Hall, Putnam Hall, Palenske Hall, which house the Departments of Biology, Geology, Physics and Computer Science. The four buildings are connected by a 7,000-square foot Atrium. Kresge Hall features labs for introductory chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry on the third floor. Downdraft hoods in the intro and inorganic chemistry spaces help to maintain air quality; the organic labs are equipped with 12 six-foot ventilation hoods so students can learn chemical techniques and transformations in state-of-the-art facilities.
Research space for organic and inorganic chemistry faculty can be found on the third floor. Biochemistry research and teaching spaces are found on the second floor; these spaces were designed to share a central preparation space that houses equipment used in both research and teaching applications. Proximity to the biology department encourages collaboration between students and faculty in the different disciplines; the first floor contains various classrooms and zoology and research labs for the biology department, as well as a greenhouse. The ground floor contains a majority of the biology labs, including an aquatic lab and temperature-control suite. Putnam Hall features research labs for analytical and physical chemistry, an analytical chemistry teaching lab on the third floor; the second floor has three "Enhanced Classrooms" with fixed projectors for computers, DVDs, a port to plug in additional equipment, as well as the building's primary computer lab. All four levels of Putnam Hall feature faculty and staff offices, with the third floor home to chemistry faculty offices, second floor home to biology and computer science offices, the first floor home to the main building office.
An orchestra is a large instrumental ensemble typical of classical music, which combines instruments from different families, including bowed string instruments such as the violin, viola and double bass, brass instruments such as the horn, trumpet and tuba, woodwinds such as the flute, oboe and bassoon, percussion instruments such as the timpani, bass drum, snare drum and cymbals, each grouped in sections. Other instruments such as the piano and celesta may sometimes appear in a fifth keyboard section or may stand alone, as may the concert harp and, for performances of some modern compositions, electronic instruments. A full-size orchestra may sometimes be called philharmonic orchestra; the actual number of musicians employed in a given performance may vary from seventy to over one hundred musicians, depending on the work being played and the size of the venue. The term chamber orchestra refers to smaller-sized ensembles of about fifty musicians or fewer. Orchestras that specialize in the Baroque music of, for example, Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel, or Classical repertoire, such as that of Haydn and Mozart, tend to be smaller than orchestras performing a Romantic music repertoire, such as the symphonies of Johannes Brahms.
The typical orchestra grew in size throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, reaching a peak with the large orchestras called for in the works of Richard Wagner, Gustav Mahler. Orchestras are led by a conductor who directs the performance with movements of the hands and arms made easier for the musicians to see by use of a conductor's baton; the conductor sets the tempo and shapes the sound of the ensemble. The conductor prepares the orchestra by leading rehearsals before the public concert, in which the conductor provides instructions to the musicians on their interpretation of the music being performed; the leader of the first violin section called the concertmaster plays an important role in leading the musicians. In the Baroque music era, orchestras were led by the concertmaster or by a chord-playing musician performing the basso continuo parts on a harpsichord or pipe organ, a tradition that some 20th century and 21st century early music ensembles continue. Orchestras play a wide range of repertoire, including symphonies and ballet overtures, concertos for solo instruments, as pit ensembles for operas and some types of musical theatre.
Amateur orchestras include those made up of students from an elementary school or a high school, youth orchestras, community orchestras. The term orchestra derives from the Greek ὀρχήστρα, the name for the area in front of a stage in ancient Greek theatre reserved for the Greek chorus; the typical symphony orchestra consists of four groups of related musical instruments called the woodwinds, brass and strings. Other instruments such as the piano and celesta may sometimes be grouped into a fifth section such as a keyboard section or may stand alone, as may the concert harp and electric and electronic instruments; the orchestra, depending on the size, contains all of the standard instruments in each group. In the history of the orchestra, its instrumentation has been expanded over time agreed to have been standardized by the classical period and Ludwig van Beethoven's influence on the classical model. In the 20th and 21st century, new repertory demands expanded the instrumentation of the orchestra, resulting in a flexible use of the classical-model instruments and newly developed electric and electronic instruments in various combinations.
The terms symphony orchestra and philharmonic orchestra may be used to distinguish different ensembles from the same locality, such as the London Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. A symphony orchestra will have over eighty musicians on its roster, in some cases over a hundred, but the actual number of musicians employed in a particular performance may vary according to the work being played and the size of the venue. Chamber orchestra refers to smaller-sized ensembles; the term concert orchestra may be used, as in the BBC Concert Orchestra and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. The so-called "standard complement" of doubled winds and brass in the orchestra from the first half of the 19th century is attributed to the forces called for by Beethoven; the composer's instrumentation always included paired flutes, clarinets, bassoons and trumpets. The exceptions to this are his Symphony No. 4, Violin Concerto, Piano Concerto No. 4, which each specify a single flute. Beethoven calculated the expansion of this particular timbral "palette" in Symphonies 3, 5, 6, 9 for an innovative effect.
The third horn in the "Eroica" Symphony arrives to provide not only some harmonic flexibility, but the effect of "choral" brass in the Trio movement. Piccolo and trombones add to the triumphal finale of his Symphony No. 5. A piccolo and a pair of trombones help deliver the effect of storm and sunshine in the Sixth known as the Pastoral Symphony; the Ninth asks for a second pair of horns, for reasons similar to the "Eroica".