Community Music Center Offers New Chamber Music Camp This Summer!

Published Apr 24, 2015

Community Music Center, a nonprofit music school in San Francisco, has made high quality music education accessible to everyone since 1921. This summer, they'll offer a Chamber Music Camp for musicians aged 12-18. Read on to learn about a fun and inspiring summer experience for young musicians!

Calling young musicians ages 12-18! Play in supportive small ensembles, coached by CMC faculty this summer in CMC's new Chamber Music Camp. Participate in master classes and large ensembles geared for your instrument. Pre-formed groups and individuals are encouraged to apply. There will be an end-of-camp performance on Friday, July 24 from 11am-12pm to celebrate our musical accomplishments!

Interview with CMC Chamber Music Camp Director, Poppy Dorsam

Poppy Dorsam, Director of Community Music Center’s new Chamber Music Camp, has taught cello lessons at CMC for 20 years. This new camp at CMC is for musicians aged 12-18 and takes place from 9am-noon from July 20-24. I sat down with Poppy last week to learn more about the benefits of playing chamber music and what campers can expect this July.

Tell us why Community Music Center decided to offer a chamber music camp?
One of the many reasons the experience of playing chamber music is important is that so much of what we do as musicians is alone or with a teacher. Playing chamber music gives us a chance to make music together. It’s the right time for CMC to have a chamber music camp for this age group as an important extension of our private lesson teaching. We can create great friendships through chamber music, and summer is a great time to focus on something you enjoy doing! We also hope to create friendships between current CMC students and students from outside CMC.
What are the benefits of playing in ensembles?
Playing with others requires you to listen both to yourself and to your musical partners. You learn to appreciate the qualities of sound and harmonies, and the interaction of rhythmic patterns. These things are unique to playing in an ensemble. Chamber music emphasizes the importance of learning your own part so well that you can contribute as an individual to the group and to the musical line you’re playing together.
Talk about the activities planned.
Campers will play in ensembles of both mixed instruments and ensembles of single instruments (e.g. cello quartets or piano four-hands). They’ll have daily coaching and independent practice time with their ensembles. There will be master classes to continue working on solos started in private lessons (by instrument group). Participation as a performer in master classes is voluntary, but highly encouraged. There will be an end-of-week concert to share what we’ve worked on together and celebrate our achievements.
Tell us about the music.
We plan to play classical music in traditional ensembles (e.g. piano trios, piano and strings, woodwind ensembles, piano four-hand duets) as well as the single instrument ensembles. Music will be available for varying levels and the experience will be customized based on each student’s need.
Anything you’d like to share about the Chamber Music Camp faculty?
I’ll be joined by a wonderful group of musicians this summer: pianist Lauren Cony, violinist Josie Fath, and clarinetist Rachel Condry. Each educator has been on Community Music Center’s faculty for an average of 20 years and was chosen because they are both great teachers and great performers. We all met through CMC and now Lauren Cony, Josie Fath and I play in a piano trio together. Rachel and I met at an Oberlin alumni concert here. She is wonderful and is already leading CMC’s chamber music program.

We’re all really looking forward to working with young musicians this summer and invite students and parents to learn more on our website:

Carpooling may be a possibility. Contact us if you are interested!

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Comments (1)

May 27, 2015, 7:21 p.m. Flag

How exciting and what a truly life-giving experience this could be. I know from performing with groups since I was a young child that there is nothing that compares to the art of listening to other performers and learning the value of harmony. In fact, I believe that this appreciation has underscored my whole life. I never became a good musician, but what I learned translated very well to acting and singing.

I think that people who had artistic outlets and learned the art of cooperating in a performance setting can become more balanced and sensitive individuals. In fact, with the one-week camp offering a recital on the last day, July 24, it should be a double-treat for parents and kids alike.

P.S. It'll be fun for the kids, too!


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