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Mendy Smith

Interlochen Adult Chamber Music Camp 2014

August 24, 2014 18:11

Camp this year was wonderful. It was the perfect time of year to leave Houston for a week. While temperatures down here were soaring, weather at Interlochen was mild if not a bit chilly.

I had a potential issue with getting my viola onboard on the last leg of the flight. As I told the flight attendant, the viola will fit. It always fits, especially when everyone else has to check in their bags no matter how small the plane:

This year was a bit different than last that there was a new emerging quartet in residence "invoke". The quartet was formed from a college group out of the University of Maryland. The violist Karl was my stand-partner for a week in the morning sessions reading through Beethoven Op. 132. We got into a little bit of mischief when we spent a wee bit too much time discussing fingerings and bowings. All I can say about them is WOW! Keep your eyes and ears for these guys and check out their kickstarter campaign:

This year was the inaugural year for the "Secret Viola Society". Surprisingly there was an abundance of violas this year, twenty total. Some of us took advantage of this opportunity to thieve a piece from our violin brethren: the Bach Chaconne, transcribed for four violas:

In the last days of camp, we got some coaching from the Enso quartet on the Rebecca Clarke quartet. It was new to us as well as Enso. It was educational to see how a professional approaches a new piece of music never seen nor heard before. Besides getting the notes and beats to line up, there is a lot of score study to determine the melody line, especially when it is broken up across parts, and in determining dynamics. It was fun to introduce a new piece to a pro group.

And finally, the last evening was spent playing through the Mendelssohn Octet - until midnight.

Can't wait until next year.

2 replies

Summer Camp Preparation - Adult Version

August 1, 2014 18:39

1) One year before: reserve favorite room/cabin.

2) 11 mo before: Submit vacation request and make flight reservations.

3) 10-8 mo before: work in planned camp music into private lessons with teacher.

4) 7 mo before: get local friends to "rehearse" planned camp music. Make house/pet-sitting arrangements.

5) 6-3 mo before: start contacting other participants to schedule "off" events. Continue "at-home" rehearsals.

6) 2 mo before: Start practicing camp music in earnest.

7) 1 mo before: frantically make arrangements for transportation to/from airport. Send notices to colleagues/clients of pending vacation.

8) 2 weeks before: final phase of practice for camp music. Get camp schedule penciled/penned in. Pick though sheet music to bring to camp.

9) 1 week before: frantic house-cleaning and yard work. Meetings with house/pet-sitters. Generate "packing list" for items to bring.

10) 2 days before: pack and re-pack. Double check flights and ground transportation. Set out-of-office notice.

11) 1 Day before: wake up 5 hours before early am flight. Re-check packed luggage and supplies. Get to airport 3 hours early. Find bar at airport. Fly in, unpack everything and crash. Turn off phone.

12) Camp Day 1: Wake up at 5am as usual and wait outside cafeteria until open to get the desperately needed cup of coffee with fellow campers. Catch up on a year's of gossip and news. Schedule pre-camp readings. Breath. Make music.

6 replies

Previous entries: June 2014


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