Arts & Entertainment Editor
The 36th annual Chamber Music Festival commenced on campus on Monday, July 10 and will run until July 28. It consists of various programs geared towards expanding students’ knowledge of chamber music and its performance. Participants in the program are ages 10 and up. “There is a regular, weekly schedule of chamber orchestras, chamber music ensembles, performance master classes and a series of seven concerts,” explained Susan Deaver, an adjunct professor in the Department of Music and one the festival directors, along with Dale Stuckenbruck.
The Pierrot Consort, the faculty ensemble-in-residence on campus, along with other faculty members and guest artists are coaching the festival. With the weekly schedule organized in a grid system, musicians participate in rehearsals and master classes, preparing for the final performance during the third week of the festival in the Tilles Center. There are two differing chamber orchestras: the advanced orchestra consists of high school, college and conservatory students, and the seminar orchestra is comprised of younger students ages 10-14. “We have approximately 70 participants enrolled this summer,” Michael Roberts, a Post alumnus and assistant to the festival directors, said.
Deaver and Maureen Hynes, an adjunct professor of music, co-founded the festival in the spring of 1981. “It’s rewarding to us because we love chamber music; we’re all professional musicians and love performing,” Deaver said. “The event offers many opportunities for students to play pieces from their solo repertoire or excerpts from the chamber music they study throughout the program. A full-time participant will perform in four differing chamber ensembles,” Deaver described. “It’s essentially a semester’s worth of work in three weeks. It’s a very intensive study of standard chamber music.” Many students that have participated in the festival have gone on to become professional musicians.
Both instructors and students have been thoroughly rewarded by the Chamber Music Festival. “My experience with the Festival thus far has been excellent,” Roberts said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the work that I do. Although there is a lot of work that goes into preparing for our program, it is well worth it once we reach our performances during the final week of the Festival. Our participants consistently perform music of a high caliber, and their growth as musicians during the three-week Festival is truly spectacular.”
“We have our first concert on Friday, July 14 at 8 p.m. in the Hillwood Recital Hall, featuring the Pierrot Consort,” Roberts said. “We also have many performances during our final week, including various participant chamber music concerts. Our final concert will be on Friday, July 28 at 8 p.m. in the Tilles Center, featuring the Festival Chamber Orchestra and all Festival participants.” Most concert tickets can be purchased at the door. Visit www.tillescenter.org/events for more details and to purchase tickets.