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Ensemble Connect anniversary events

February 15, 2017

Ensemble Connect—a two-year fellowship through Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute—has brought top young musicians to Skidmore twice a year as part of their preparation for professional music careers that include community engagement and leadership.

In celebrating its tenth year, Clive Gillinson, executive and artistic director of Carnegie Hall, says the fellows have "enjoyed presenting a range of musical experiences for Saratoga Springs audiences, including performances of commissioned works, workshops with leading composers, and interactive concerts at area schools. ... We look forward to many more years of collaboration." Paul Calhoun, Skidmore's dean of special programs, calls the ensemble "one of the jewels in our arts crown" and its performances "the high points of our music events calendar every semester." And a Times-Union reporter noted the opportunity for students to "interact with professionals who are not that much older than themselves and who are making their way in the music world. That's the kind of thing that builds inspiration, ambition and a larger worldview."

Over the past decade, the program has touched the lives of nearly 20,000 people:

  • 790 clients of service organizations such as assisted-living centers, nursing homes, and Saratoga Bridges have been visited by the performers
  • 2,760 school students in surrounding communities have participated in interactive performances
  • 3,275 Skidmore students have worked with ensemble fellows in classes and lessons
  • 12,554 Skidmore students, faculty, and staff have attended on-campus events featuring the ensemble

This week Skidmore welcomes 10 new fellows, two ensemble alumni, and a guest musician to celebrate the anniversary with three major events.

Thursday, Feb. 16, students from Milton Terrace Elementary School in Ballston Spa will attend a special performance and workshop, with the ensemble leading them in active listening, improvisation, reflection, and musical composition. The event will be held at Skidmore's Zankel Music Center.

Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. in the Tang Museum, "Words Without Songs Without Words" will feature an ensemble fellow creating musical poetry from abstract to memoiristic, students in the "Creative Writing in German" course reciting sound poems inspired by the Tang Museum's collection, and brass players performing experimental-music great Pauline Oliveros's compositions that consist of text instructions. The event is free and open to the public.

Friday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. in Zankel Music Center, the Ensemble Connect tenth anniversary concert will welcome guest artist Caroline Shaw. The violinist and Grammy-winning singer, and the youngest person ever to win a Pulitzer in music composition, Shaw has worked with Vancouver's Music on Main, the Folger Library, Kanye West, the Cincinnati Symphony, and the Guggenheim's Works & Process Series.

The Friday evening program will include:
Guami/Gabrieli/Chilese: Three Venetian Canzoni (arr. Raymond Mase)
Rosenmüller: Sonata No. 4 in C Major
Marcello: Oboe Concerto in C Minor
Caroline Shaw: Stucco & Brocatelle (world premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
Vivaldi: Sinfonia al Santo Sepolcro
Vivaldi: Concerto in G Major (RV 151), "Alla rustica"
Andrew Rindfleisch: In the Zone

Tickets—$8 for adults, $5 for seniors and Skidmore community members, free for students and children—are on sale here. A reception follows the performance.

Ensemble Connect's campus residencies are presented by the Music Department and the Special Programs Office; the spring residency is supported by the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation.

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