Chamber Music Academy

Advanced group instruction for fluent music readers.

Chamber Music Academy

Registration deadline: Wednesday, September 4

Start date: Wednesday, September 11

Last date: Wednesday, January 29 (Recital date of first semester)

Time: 4:30 – 6:30pm

Location: Ridgeview Classical Charter School, 1800 S. Lemay Ave. Fort Collins, 80525

The Chamber Music Academy is a collaborative music program, giving fluent music readers through high school age, advanced instruction in developing musical skills by playing with their peers and coaching and performing with experienced professional musicians.

This two-hour program includes:

First hour:

All students are assigned to a small ensemble group. In Fall 2024 there will be 3 sections of musical instruction:

  • Chamber Music Ensembles: classical and cross-over repertoire taught in small groups of trios, quartets, etc. coached by professional local chamber musicians such as violinist Michael Davis and Jephta Bernstein, and cellist Em Smith.
  • Singer-Songwriter Sessions: students will work with local singer-songwriter, Dennis Bigelow, on the art of writing songs on their chosen instrument.Songwriting is a bit like putting together a puzzle: you’re trying to put together many different pieces to make something that is greater than the sum of its parts. Every week in this course, students will explore different aspects of songwriting, including common song structures, chord progressions, lyric writing, and music arranging. Practical applications of music theory concepts and evocative writing will be taught. Students will learn to use these tools when searching for initial inspiration for songs or when they need to find a way to bring a song to a satisfying conclusion. By the end of the course, students will have a small portfolio of songs they will be ready to share with the world. Students with any level of songwriting experience are welcome. The focus will not be on any style of music or method of songwriting, but rather in exploring in depth the types of songs students are most interested in, discovering what makes them work, and helping students develop good habits and best practices for continuing songwriting success.
  • Jazz Combo Sessions: Jazz and classical bass player, Jo Asker, takes students through the vast repertoire of jazz standards as they learn about how jazz functions in a small group setting.Jazz is one of America’s essential cultural creations that has a broad history and a range of styles encompassing a shared musical vocabulary that is almost impossible to define yet has an unmistakable sound. All instruments are welcome to participate in the jazz combo sessions. Students will play songs from the vast repertoire of standards as they learn about the history of the music and how it functions in a small group setting. Each week will be a deeper dive into learning the fundamentals of improvisation, music theory, jazz as a musical vocabulary, and their instrument’s role in an ensemble. Along with weekly listening discussions and analysis, a final performance will highlight everyone’s growth as informed jazz musicians and help students get gig-ready for the future.

Second hour:

  • Chamber Orchestra: All chamber music ensemble members, and string members from the Jazz Combo Sessions, join together in one of three ensembles led by Michael Davis, former concertmaster of the Louisville Symphony, and other highly skilled conductors, for an intensive musical experience studying string quartets in a larger ensemble and other various genres of music. Faculty members are included in sections for an invaluable playing experience.
  • Composition Class: All Singer-Songwriter and Jazz combo sessions students come together for a unique musical experience working with composers Jo Asker and Gustav Hoyer.Composing music is akin to painting, in that most anyone with an imagination can do it, and those who do it at a high level have spent time learning the tools and techniques to turn their ideas into well-curated works of art. Over the course of the upcoming Fall and Spring semesters, the Composition class will take a hands-on creative approach to learning tools for how to write music. Students will have weekly exercises to practice new concepts and have those works performed to gain an important understanding as to what writing for musicians entails. Loosely following William Russo’s “Composing Music,” the course serves as a basic introduction to Western music theory and notation practices, musical structure, and orchestration. As a capstone, students will have an original string orchestra piece performed. This course is for music students interested in composing at any level. In addition to hands-on experience writing and honing of their musical voice, students will begin understanding music at a deeper level through analysis of composers from Bach to Taylor Swift and hearing their scores come to life. The aim isn’t to learn “about” composing – rather, we’ll learn “how to” write music through participation and practical application of ideas.

Throughout both semesters, master classes with our faculty and occasional visiting artists.

Additional CMA and Calendar information:

Select students perform with our faculty in our new Holiday Musicale (Nov. 17, 2024). If chosen to perform, availability for this performance is required. Registration is required and possible short video tape of your playing requested if you are a new student to ensure you are placed with peers of equal ability.

We follow Poudre School District calendar and school closures.

There will be no class:

  • During the week of Thanksgiving break.
  • Last day of classes in December is Dec. 11th.
  • There is no class for the holidays between Dec 12 and Jan. 7.
  • We resume classes for the first semester on Wednesday, January 8th.
  • Second semester begins on Feb. 12th.

Please contact Jephta Bernstein with additional questions about scholarships, the Chamber Music Academy or donating instruments.

 

Jam and write music together in CU’s Co-Create Labs!

In collaboration with CU Boulder SoundWorks, a concert series featuring new student compositions, CMA and MMP will work with CU student facilitators and engage in workshop topics, such as jam session, songwriting, and beginning improvisation. Whether students are beginners or experienced performers, exercises, such as ostinatos formed from the rhythmic content of students’ names, are designed to highlight everyone’s unique talents and abilities. Everyone enters as a teacher and learner.

Email Nicholas Felder at [email protected] for more information.

Chamber Music Academy – jam and songwriting session

Meadowlark Music Program – beginning improvisation session and picture/graphic scores (using an outline of pictures and symbols to describe musical occurrences)

Chamber Music Academy

400 S. Link Lane Fort Collins, CO 80524

When:
September 2022 – May 2023*

  • Guitar – 3:45 to 6:15pm
  • Violin – 3:45 to 6:15pm
  • Piano – 3:45 to 6:15pm

*Open rolling enrollment year-round

Boys & Girls Club Loveland Pulliam

2500 E. 1st Street,  Loveland, CO 80537

When:
September 2022 – May 2023*

  • Guitar – 3:45 to 6:15pm
  • Violin – 3:45 to 6:15pm
  • Piano – 3:45 to 6:15pm

*Open rolling enrollment year-round

Academy of Arts and Knowledge

4800 Wheaton Dr, Fort Collins, CO 80525

When:
September 2022 – May 2023*

  • Guitar – 4:00 to 5:00pm Tue/Thurs
  • Violin – 4:00 to 5:00pm Tue/Thurs

*Open rolling enrollment year-round

Boys & Girls Club Fort Collins

1608 Lancer Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80521

When:
September 2022 – May 2023*

  • Guitar – 3:45 to 6:15pm
  • Violin – 3:45 to 6:15pm
  • Piano – 3:45 to 6:15pm

*Open rolling enrollment year-round

Proudly supported by our Sponsors

Community Foundation of Northern Colorado:
Fort Collins Community Fund
Joseph J. and Alice A. Zink Fund
Editha Todd Leonard Trust Fund

HPE

Engle Family Foundation

Fan Foundation

Kathleen Winder 

Rotary Club Fort Collins 

Sutherland Family Foundation