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Skidmore College

Ensemble Connect brings the sounds of Carnegie Hall to Saratoga Springs

October 15, 2019
by Sara Miga

Top young classical musicians bring their musical talents to Skidmore College, local schools and community organizations, when the Ensemble Connect program returns for its 13th residency at Skidmore College Oct. 15-19. A concert is scheduled for Oct. 18 at Zankel Music Center.
Ensemble Connect is a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School and Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. The two-year fellowship program prepares the next generation of promising classical musicians in the United States for careers that combine musical excellence with teaching and community engagement. 
“As musicians and artistic ambassadors, it is such a wonderful opportunity for us to take our musicianship and our message to another community, to both inspire and be inspired by the people of that community,” says Ensemble fellow Brian Hong, a violinist. 
Since 2007, Ensemble Connect has participated in two, five-day residencies at Skidmore College each year. Through concerts, master classes, lessons, interactive performances and other events, fellows have reached nearly 25,000 community members with classical music, including many who would not otherwise have the opportunity to be exposed to such world-class music.
“It’s critical to share the music that I love with audiences who might not yet have familiarity with nor access to that tradition,” says Ensemble fellow Leo Sussman, a flutist.
This year’s residency includes interactive performances at Caroline Street Elementary School, Waterford-Halfmoon Elementary School, Saratoga Bridges and The Summit at Saratoga. Fellows will also conduct classroom visits and perform alongside students. 
At Skidmore, the residency provides students from diverse majors — not just music — exposure to the expertise of classical musicians.
Sussman said he loves that Skidmore students and faculty are “open to trying out new ideas, especially those that bridge traditional fields of study.”
From a previous visit, Sussman fondly recalls “examining harmonic spectra of multiphonics in a physics class, interpreting a graphic score musically while members of a dance class interpreted the same score through movement, and spending an afternoon improvising based on artwork in the Tang Museum.” 
The main Ensemble Connect concert program will be held Friday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. in the Helen Filene Ladd Recital Hall at the Arthur Zankel Music Center. Tickets to the Oct. 18 concert can be purchased here.
Ensemble Connect fellows return to Skidmore Feb. 11-15. The Feb. 14, 2020, concert will feature the New York state premiere of a new work by T.J. Cole, commissioned by Carnegie Hall. For more information on the history of the program at Skidmore visit:


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