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.
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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.