The Delaware Chamber Music Festival has been renamed "Chamber Music Connection" (CMC) and is currently hosted in Worthington, Ohio. It has been going strong for twenty years and provides year-round after school programming dedicated to the study and performance of chamber music to over 1000 students per year.
I have seven kids, and we have participated in many youth programs: scouting, club sports, church activities, chess club, drama, school orchestra, etc. CMC is the best thing I have ever seen for educating a child's mind, heart, and soul. CMC students develop a talent (music) but they also grow up in the program. They make friends, but they also learn how to listen to each other, work together, and build consensus with their peers. They learn to be responsible for and to each other. The music they produce is magical. Every concert makes me cry (from awesomeness).
CMC students have developed musical outreaches to kids in homeless shelters. They play regularly at The Ohio State School for the Blind and our local Children's Hospital Benefit. CMC students are growing up to do great things in the world.
The Chamber Music Connection is the best non-profit ever! It's effects are revolutionary. For a distracted generation which takes short-cuts, and thinks it can get whatever it wants because video games offer instant gratification and ways to cheat, Chamber Music teaches another way. There is no cheating in music, and there are no results without hard work. Chamber music in particular, in which the students play in small groups, with no conductor and one person on each part, demands attention, deep listening, and present-mindedness.
CMC is unique! It is a connection between children and professionals that rarely happens in any other activity. Artistic Director, Deborah Price, has developed the programs and, using her musical connections, has engineered residencies with world-class artists for these students. When world-class chamber music professionals come to perform in Columbus, Ohio, they often come to coach our student groups. They report that there is nothing else like this program in the country!
The CMC students are not an elite group of prodigies. They are performing at all levels. We have children as young as six and seven. CMC is open to the all music students; no audition is required. It serves both dedicated young musicians who are planning performance careers, as well as casual students who just want to play music with friends and improve on their instruments.
As a former board member and avid concert goer of the Delaware Chamber Music Festival, I am pleased to recommend this non-profit highly.The Festival is committed to offering the highest quality chamber music to Delaware listeners at the lowest possible prices. Musicians from the Philadelphia orchestra and the University of Delaware rehearse tirelessly to perform outstanding concerts for two weeks every June. In addition to performing the classics, they often offer new compositions so that younger composers get a chance to have their music performed. The DCMF is a jewel that helps Delaware to keep a high profile in the arts community.
As former secretary of the board of the Delaware Chamber Music Festival, I can attest that this organization is always seeking ways to serve the community with outstanding musical productions. Each year the DCMF puts on a festival of four concerts every June, but even more important, perhaps, are the Outreach Programs to children in the community. Dedicated musicians from the Philadelphia orchestra and the University of Delaware and the wider community give many hours of their time and energy to create highly professional concerts and activities. The DCMF is an outstanding organization that helps to keep classical and contemporary music alive in Delaware. It deserves the support of the community.
The Delaware Chamber Music Festival: An Appreciation
When we relocated to Delaware eight years ago, our first acquaintance with regional musical culture was the Delaware Chamber Music Festival. To our happy surprise it proved not to be a staid reproduction of familiar masterworks alone--although we enjoy re-hearings of them. Along with Bach and Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms, were works by 20th, and now 21st Century composers, even by once-neglected women, and also striking--often exciting--performances in genres once considered inappropriate and "unclassical," like tango and klezmer and other ethnic and national music. The juxtaposition worked--and still works. Further, the mix of matinee and evening performances attracts audiences for which one or the other times may be less viable. I have observed audiences grow in numbers and enthusiasm--and these include young people and residents of retirement and care facilkities.
Returning home, I have played CD recordings of some works I have listened to, and found that the live performances at the Delaware Music Festival were every bit as effective, if not more so by being "live," as those by marquee instrumentalists. I have also experienced performances of unfamiliar works which lured me into purchasing recordings of them in order to hear the music again. Although a modest enterprise by institutional measure, the Festival fills a gap in the musical calendar and continues to succeed in broadening the musical experience in our area.
I have been on the DCMF Board for a year and have experienced first hand just how involved all the board members are in the organization. Our Creataive Music Director, Barbara Govatos, outdoes herself every year with putting together unique blends of the contemporary and classical and drawing in new composers and very talented musicials. The organization definately is a group process with great leadership. Aswith most non-profits, we struggle for new audiences and greater donations through proviate individual and through grants.