Mission Statement:The UP Chamber Festival will provide a positive learning experience and will encourage student string players to continue making music.
The seventh annual UP Chamber Music Festival was held at Marquette Senior High School on October 16th. There were 97 participants, 17 string teachers, two music companies and a dozen parent helpers. A GREAT time was had by all!
The festival was held in October as an experiment. Due to predicaments with the four letter ‘s’ word (SNOW) and the other ‘s’ word (SCHEDULING) it was decided to give October a try. The early-in-the-school-year challenge was for groups to find time to choose repertoire AND to learn it. Now, we know how Haydn felt! To address that difficulty, students were given an option of choosing an alternate schedule. They were given introductory information about their piece and got to play through it with an adult ensemble. It is hoped that this event will encourage participation in Solo & Ensemble and help the public school teachers get their student ensembles off to a good start.
Other students had the traditional coaching sessions and opportunities to perform in a master class setting. Robin Bloomberg of Baroque Violins presented a very valuable session on Care of Stringed Instruments in Difficult Climates and Danielle Simandl, Superior String Alliance Camp Music Director, gave a rousing lesson on rhythm and keeping a steady beat that benefited even the most advanced students. Two levels of sight-reading sessions were held and local entrepreneur, Joe Patrick gave students an opportunity to try electronic pick-ups and other gadgets. Several new teachers and Marquette Symphony members collaborated with current and retired string teachers to make a special event.
There were two categories for prizes at the end of the day. Groups were evaluated on performance level AND progress. It was the universal opinion of all involved that there was tremendous growth throughout the day and the goal of the festival was met.