Chamber Music at Metropolis Performing Arts Center (2010-2011)

The Question

How is chamber music different from large ensemble and solo music? How can other forms of art help in the interpretation and performance of chamber music? How do musicians use scores, expressive devices, and practicing to prepare for a concert?

The Process

In this performance-based residency, young musicians at the Metropolis PAC were presented with a series of coachings, masterclasses, and performances to bring them more chamber music experience and exposure. Fifth House Ensemble artists worked with groups on essentials such as tuning and passing off a solid beat. The groups also prepared practice and rehearsal plans, as well as historical presentations, to enhance their understanding and commitment to their chamber music pieces. Fifth House Ensemble also introduced creative concepts like using music in academic projects and using non-musical ideas to understand music. In addition, their interactive performances and masterclasses were targeted towards problem solving and effective use of time, which helped not only group performances but also practicing techniques.

The Final Project

Students also were challenged to bring their new knowledge into a performance for family, friends, and peers. Through intense coachings by Fifth House Ensemble, students grew in their knowledge of composers and expressive techniques in a way that polished performance materials. After practice in public speaking and anxiety control, students gave a “Prelude” concert to Fifth House Ensemble halfway through the residency and a final concert at the end of the residency. Information given by both students and Fifth House was both relevant and inspired, helping to generate the next rising era of musicianship.