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Interlochen Adult Chamber Music Camp 2014

Mendy Smith

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Published: August 25, 2014 at 1:11 AM [UTC]

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.


From Gene Huang
Posted on August 25, 2014 at 3:47 AM
Sounds like a great time, Mendy. I would have loved to hear the Bach Chaconne on 4 violas!
From jean dubuisson
Posted on August 26, 2014 at 1:03 PM
Mendy many thanks for the report. Since I am very interested in people's experiences with taking their instruments on flights, I wanted to ask you to clarify the following sentence you wrote, which I couldn't quite parse:

"It always fits, especially when everyone else has to check in their bags no matter how small the plane:"

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