The UCLA Guitar Ensemble, directed by Peter Yates, was founded in the late ‘60s by Theodore Norman as a learning laboratory for sight-reading, composition, exploration of repertoire and collaboration.

Soon it also became a performing group giving quarterly concerts on and off campus. Collaboration continues with department vocalists, instrumentalists and composers, as well as with other ensembles such as the University Chorus and the Early Music Ensemble. Music is drawn from across the spectrum of periods and styles, with members often performing original compositions that emerge from class assignments. The class might find itself shifting from playing figured bass to tuning microtonally in order to take part in microfest. Over the years, several innovative groups have gestated in the ensemble, including The Modern Arts Guitar Quartet, The Los Angeles Electric 8, The Elgart/Yates Duo, and ensembleFRET.