The DOWNTOWN ENSEMBLE was formed during the 1983-84 season by its co-directors Daniel Goode and William Hellermann in response to a perceived need for repertoire customarily under-represented in today's new music world (please see enclosed repertory list). The response has been gratifying: good audiences and positive coverage from the press.

The DOWNTOWN ENSEMBLE was formed with one of the foci being music of open (unspecified) instrumentation ranging from the completely notated to the minimally notated. Special series have focussed on emerging composers, commissions (NYSCA), graphic music, and ritual/intermedia, and large ensemble music. During this time, some forty-five musicians have performed with the ensemble, with a core group performing most often of Andrew Bolotowsky, flute; Matt Goerke, cello; Daniel Goode, clarinet; William Hellermann, guitar/speaker; Guy Klucevsek, accordion; Margaret Lancaster, flute; Mary Jane Leach, voice; James Pugliese and Bill Ruyle, percussion; Joe Kubera, keyboard; Peter Zummo, trombone. The New Music America 1989 invitation to the Ensemble required more than 20 performers plus conductor.

Recent projects have included concerts with the Flexible Orchestra for, in addition to members of the DTE, orchestral ensembles featuring cellos (04-05), flutes (08-09), trombones (06-07) and accordions(10-11). In October 2004 the Ensemble was featured in the Sounds Like Now Festival celebrating 15 years of concerts produced by the Interpretations series.

In addition to the N.Y. State Council on the Arts, support has come from Composers' Forum, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Alice M. Ditson Fund, the Institute for Art and Urban Resources, Greenwich House Music School, Mary Flagler Cary Fund for Music, Meet the Composer, LaMama's Galleria, private contributors and its parent organization, the SoundArt Foundation.