News Release: 5/10/2019
New EYSO Summer Chamber Music Camp Brings Innovative Programming to the Fox River Valley
Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra (EYSO) will host a week-long Summer Chamber Music Camp July 22 – 26 on the campus of Elgin Academy, 350 Park St., Elgin, IL. The camp is designed for students entering 4th grade or higher, who have played their instrument for at least two years.
“I had so many influential experiences at summer music programs,” said Theresa Goh, director of the EYSO Chamber Music Institute. “Stepping out of my comfort zone to try new things helped me grow in unimaginable ways. I wanted to bring that experience to young people in the area.”
The program will divide string players into trios, quartets and quintets based on their age and ability. Each group will work with a regular coach and spend 3-4 hours together each day. The camp will also include chamber orchestra, masterclasses, and classes in composition, Alexander Technique, and listening workshops--a total of more than 35 hours of instruction. Camp days will run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with early drop-off and aftercare available through Elgin Academy.
The camp culminates in a final performance on Friday, July 26 in Elgin Academy’s historic Sears Gallery. Built in 1924, this neo-classic architectural gem was Elgin’s first concert hall and art gallery.
The acclaimed KAIA String Quartet will be featured as ensemble-in-residence for the camp. KAIA is a Chicago-based ensemble devoted to capturing the essence of Latin American culture through the medium of the string quartet. KAIA recently completed their residency with WFMT Chicago's classical and arts radio station where they performed, curated, and exposed audiences to new ways of thinking about Latin American music.
The quartet has not only toured internationally and recorded three albums, but are also committed educators. Through Promotora de las Bellas Artes, Mi Festival, KAIA has toured Mexico, performing education concerts. Locally, the quartet has partnered with Ravinia Festival’s Reach*Teach*Play program to engage young people with the “stories within the notes.”
Students will be inspired by daily performances by KAIA, receive coachings with its members, and see the inner-workings of their collaborative creative process.
About the value of chamber music, EYSO Artistic Director Randal Swiggum said, “Chamber music not only helps sharpen a student’s playing skills, but also their ability to collaborate, solve problems creatively, and explore the world around them through music. Each player shares the spotlight as a soloist, as part of a supportive, collaborative “team." Performing without a conductor, making decisions together as a group, and actively listening and analyzing allows students to become more independent musicians. In this nurturing environment, and using EYSO’s approach to educating the “whole musician,” students grow quickly.
The online application is open at EYSO.org, including details and timeline. For those new to EYSO, an audition video is required. Applications are due by June 15. EYSO will notify all applicants of their acceptance status by Monday, June 23. Applications for tuition assistance will be accepted during the registration process.
College age music students are eligible to join the camp as teaching assistants. Those selected will share their passion for chamber music and be responsible for a myriad of jobs including assisting faculty during coachings, operational and administrative tasks, technology support, music library assistance, and serving as “camp counselors,” shaping the culture of the camp. Teaching assistants will have the unique opportunity to observe and learn from our renowned faculty.
“We’re excited about this opportunity to collaborate with EYSO to bring this experience to current and prospective Elgin Academy students,” said Seth Hanford, head of school at Elgin Academy, host of the 2019 Chamber Music Summer Camp. “It’s another opportunity for us to live up to our promise of “taking learning personally.”
ABOUT THE EYSO: EYSO serves nearly 400 students from 70 communities and has a national reputation for providing students with an engaging musical experience and a comprehensive learning environment of curiosity, imagination, critical thinking, and collaboration. Students explore a thematic curriculum each season – one which helps students develop artistically and technically, and prepare them for a future of complex ideas, creative risk-taking, and leadership as global citizen. This approach has led hundreds of alumni to successful careers as professional musicians, educators, and strong leaders in every field.