Davidson Chamber Ensemble Program
In the fall, MYSO invites a limited number of MYSO members to participate in the Davidson Chamber Ensemble Program, which provides professional coaching and performance opportunities for about 100 motivated students to play in chamber ensembles. This is an exceptional opportunity to explore the richness of the chamber repertoire.
What is it?
Working with a smaller ensemble (generally 4 to 5 people) is quite different from playing with an orchestra or band. When performing chamber literature you learn how to make the musical decisions that conductors normally make in larger ensembles. With this new responsibility, your own musicianship will improve as you face new musical challenges. This wonderful program is supported through the generosity of Arthur Davidson and the late Francesca “Peter” Davidson. It is a unique and important part of a complete musical education, and MYSO is proud to offer this excellent opportunity to learn about chamber music and, ultimately, how to think about making music.
MYSO hires professional coaches from the area to work with each ensemble; these may be musicians from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra or other professional groups. In addition, MYSO provides at least one formal performance opportunity for the ensemble; in addition, selected ensembles will also be invited to play on the annual Honor Recital, which will present some of the most accomplished MYSO musicians as well as the Senior Symphony Concerto finalists.
What it takes:
In order to be part of the Chamber Ensemble Program, it is critical that the students and families have a very high level of commitment to the project and a flexible, cooperative mind-set, especially with regard to scheduling and rehearsal locations.
The Chamber Ensemble Program is student- and parent-driven, with groups making all their own arrangements, communicating with the coach, setting up their own rehearsals, etc. Participation will require considerable time and effort, as well as serious preparation in order to perform in the recitals in the spring. It is critically important that all members of the ensemble be willing to work hard and be open to compromise.
MYSO staff will place students in groups that are appropriate, based on instrumentation needs, age, musical expertise, experience, etc. There is an effort made to factor in geography, siblings, etc. when possible and appropriate. Students may also wish to organize a specific group of MYSO musicians on their own. Typically, we try to honor these requests if we feel that they help to achieve the program’s overall mission.
The Chamber Ensemble Program culminates on a Sunday in the spring, with each ensemble playing in one of four separate Chamber Ensemble Recitals in Youth Arts Hall at MYAC. Since we do not know from year to year who will be participating, or what literature will be chosen by students and coaches, we will not be able to pinpoint a group's exact performance time until closer to the recital date. Each recital lasts approximately 1 to 1½ hours. More details will be provided to those who are invited to apply.