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Chamber Music forms a central role in the curriculum of the music student at Michigan. Playing sophisticated music one-to-a-part is essential in building listening skills, intonation, flexibility, responsibility and communication and all students are encouraged to participate in the wide range of small ensemble opportunities presented in our curriculum. Required minimums are spelled out for each program of study but additional participation is both encouraged and rewarding.
In addition to a world-class chamber music faculty there are numerous opportunities to attend concerts, masterclasses and workshops with the many visiting ensembles brought to campus by both the School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) and the University Musical Society (UMS.) We are also only a short drive to several other important chamber-music-presenting organizations in Detroit and Michigan.
Here at the school there is a faculty chamber music series (Michigan Chamber Players) which presents a series of concerts featuring our faculty and often in collaboration with more advanced students.
String Quartet headed by Prof Andrew Jennings of the Concord Quartet provides an opportunity for weekly coachings of student groups as well as master classes and two formal public concerts each semester. In addition the class can interact with our Outreach programs to present performances in school and other community venues around the area.
Piano Chamber Music headed by Prof Christopher Harding explores the vast repertoire for piano and other instruments with regular coachings and several performance opportunities through the semesters. Outreach is also a part of this program.
Mixed Chamber Music headed by Professor William King focuses on repertoire that incorporates winds, voice, percussion and non-traditional instruments into the string chamber-music environment. Coaching and performances are arranged as appropriate.
There are duo classes (mostly for strings and piano), some focusing on specific repertoire, some on more general works, offered by our string and piano faculty which may be taken as offered.
The opportunity to interact with the School’s marvelous composition program brings many chamber groups into the realm of premiering new works, perhaps written for them, and working directly with the composers in both formal performance and workshop situations.
There are other small-group ensembles ranging from Jazz to Mariachi to improvisation which are available for students’ participation as the inclination and curiosity dictates.
The diversity of the offerings guarantees each student the time and opportunity to fulfill their chamber music expectations and broaden their horizons in this rapidly changing area of the musical world.
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