Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chamber Music Institute

Summers mean the start of the wonderful Marian Anderson String Quartet Chamber Music Institute, a summer camp for string and piano musicians of all ages and abilities. Individual students and chamber groups are coached by the members of this world-class quartet. But since it is a music camp  there is contra dancing with live music, a performance by a local jazz trio,  a master class, cultural potluck dinner with talent show, theatre workshop, and, of course, a Texas-style barbeque. Historically, students' ages have ranged from 7 to better than 70, all held togehte with the glue of a love of classical music.

The City of Bryan is truly fortunate that The Marian Anderson String Quartet has chosen to make this city their home. They have been quartet or ensemble in residence at the City College of New York and four other universities before starting a eight-year-long artist-in-residence program at Texas A&M University.

Not only does the quartet undertake a demanding touring schedule, but they have made outreach to the community a great priority. The quartet performs in public locally at least eight times per year, and they hvae works tirelessly through the Sisyphian task of building the Chamber Music Institute from the ground up. The First Methodist Church allows the CMI to use its lovely facilities, including two commercial-grade kitchens and multiple practice rooms.

Although anyof the musicians could have made a successful career playing in a major symphony orchestra--for instance, the cellist played with the New York Philharmonic--they instead chose to devote their talents to bringing their music to small communities and people who might not have the opportunity every to hear live chamber music.

The Marian Anderson String Quartet is the gem in the crown of Bryan, Texas,

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