First Ensemble (はじめてアンサンブル Hajimete Ansanburu ) is the third episode of the Hibike! Euphonium anime series. It was first broadcasted on April 21, 2015.
The band is separated into groups in accordance with their instrument sets to practice the piece The Marines' Hymn, with each practice being commenced with a meeting in preparation for the Sunrise Festival where various schools' concert bands play in a march. The first years are instructed with circular-breathing in the inner garden by Kaori Nakaseko, but are interrupted by Asuka for the students to select their preferred instrument. Despite Hazuki's earlier intention to play the trumpet, she ends up playing the tuba while Sapphire chooses the contrabass, and Kumiko is given the euphonium which hasn't been played in so long.
During practice, conflicts arise. The aloof Natsuki Nakagawa does not practice, preferring to sit by the window listening to music. There is also a significant absence of second-years. The horn-players neglect their practice for hand-games and Yuuko demands for the concert band to play in ensemble immediately for the teacher rather than to practice everydadue to the festival nearing. When they play for Taki, however, he criticizes their performance.
Later that evening, Shuuichi discusses with Kumiko, Hazuki, and Sapphire about half of the thirty second-years quitting due to their conflicts with the third-years. Due to the enthusiastic second-years' leaving, primarily the lazy ones remained. Meanwhile, Kaori remains optimistic about the band's practice, assuring that she will take care of the trumpets whereas Haruka retains her pessimism about progress. The latter also implies the struggle of unity had happened in the past. Asuka appears and reassures them that she will be confident about the next sectional leader's meeting.
The leaders decide to postpone practice (something that appears to deeply upset Reina) until they handle Taki's policy regarding ensemble. It is that afternoon that Reina plays, alone, From the New World by Dvořák. Kumiko muses that the composer wrote it in the United States, thinking of his own home, while living in a barren new land, drawing a comparison with the band's current situation. After playing, Reina frustratedly screams at the sky.
- In order of appearance:
- The Marines' Hymn, composed by Jacques Offenbach
- From the New World, composed by Dvořák