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Back to Communications Home

Chamber maestros bring craft to Albany schools

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 13, 2011) -- It’s been an exciting and sometimes intense experience for a select group of elementary, middle and high school students who have trained alongside the pros this spring.

 

Theirs is not the usual equipment associated with springtime activities. Instead of bats and balls, they use string instruments: violin, viola, cello and bass.  A play book is replaced by works by Hayden or Mozart.  The field is a classroom or auditorium. And the coaching, well – it’s coaching.

 

A private grant has brought the world-renowned Walden Chamber Players to the City School District of Albany this year. The Boston-area group is holding residencies at Albany School of Humanities, William S. Hackett Middle School and Albany High School. (Check out news coverage of this story by the Times Union, YNN and Channel 6.)

 

Bringing chamber music – classical music with 200-year roots -- to 21st-century kids raised on a diet of hip-hop and pop music is nothing new to Christof Huebner, artistic director of the Walden Chamber Players. Besides its numerous gigs in the professional music world, the ensemble has brought its music and expertise to schools throughout the Northeast since 1997.

 

At all three district schools, Huebner and his colleagues are giving students a 101 about chamber music and its role in the arts, history and society in general.  They also show students how ensemble members work together to hone their craft. And they make it fun.

 

Albany High and Hackett orchestral students have the added bonus of teaming up with the Walden musicians in small groups. They’ll get a chance to show off the skills they learned in May: Hackett performers at the school’s May 18 Spring Concert and select Albany High performers at a Walden Chamber Players concert on May 20.

 

Stay tuned for more details about the May concerts.

 

The mission of the City School District of Albany is to educate and nurture all students to be responsible citizens, critical thinkers and lifelong learners to successfully compete in the global community by providing an academically rigorous and safe environment in partnership with parents, students and the community. The district serves approximately 8,500 students in 15 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students.

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