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Chamber Orchestra

The Chamber Orchestra at the Community Music Center of Boston is made up of approximately 40 string, woodwind, brass, and percussion musicians.

Rehearsals

Saturdays, 3:15-5:30 PM

Auditions

We want to make the audition process as stress-free and welcoming as possible. If you have an audition video from districts or another orchestra audition, please feel free to use that video in lieu of the specific requirements listed.  We can reach out to you if we need more playing examples.  Our goal is to simply hear a good representation of your current playing level and find the placement that will work best for you.

Please prepare and record an audition video which is no more than 8 minutes in length and includes the following:

  •  Dates: Audition Videos Due Wednesday, June 23
  •  Two contrasting solo selections, one that demonstrates fast technical playing and the other slow lyrical playing.  A standard orchestral excerpt may replace one of the two solo selections.
  • Two scales utilizing your full range, one of which can be chromatic.
CMCB Virtual Orchestra Debut with Margaret Bonds – He’s Got The Whole World in His Hands

Community

  • A home away from home.
  • A safe, inclusive space.
  • A supportive, welcoming environment.
  • An accepting and nurturing world class faculty devoted to the individual needs of all of its members, including a wind and string coach available for sectionals and support at every rehearsal in addition to the conduct.
  • An integrative approach that allows students to get the best music education at the highest level for their specific needs and range of abilities.

Collaboration

  • With the incredible resources, classes, seminars, masterclasses, private instruction, and more that CMCB has to offer.
  • Specific collaborations with other CMCB ensembles, such as Una Voce.
  • With local schools.
  • With many of the best teachers and musicians in the Boston and larger New England community.
  • With parents and friends to help, support, encourage, and celebrate each student’s individual needs and successes.
  • With students to be active participants in programming through leadership committees, within the rehearsal environment, and through one-on-one feedback.

Cultural and Neuro- Diversity

  • Dedicated to performing, showcasing, and advocating historically overlooked and underrepresented BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and female composers, alongside pulling from the classics, such as Beethoven, Mozart, and Gershwin.
  • Inclusive, welcoming, appreciative, and encouraging of the unique perspectives and experiences of our multicultural, LGBTQ+, and neurodiverse students

Creativity

  • Provide an often neglected opportunity for programming student arrangements and compositions specifically created by Chamber Orchestra members for Chamber Orchestra
  • Experiment with new approaches to music making with interdisciplinary collaborations and unique, less typical and/or collaborative performance styles

What makes us different from other youth orchestras?

Size: Chamber orchestra tends to be about a quarter of the size of a symphony orchestra.  This allows for:

  • More individual attention
  • More leadership opportunities
  • More voice in creative and artistic decisions

Time: A smaller time commitment without sacrificing the quality of the instruction.

Inclusivity: From students with hopes of becoming a professional musician to students that simply love music, Chamber Orchestra provides enriching opportunities for students with a wide range of experience and goals. With over twenty years of experience teaching multi-level ensembles, including over 15 years with the Colleges of the Fenway Orchestra, CMCB’s conductor has a unique way of challenging and engaging high-level musicians while keeping it a safe, relaxed space for students that may find some aspects of music more vulnerable.

A string coach and a wind coach are present at each rehearsal and regularly lead sectionals.  Other CMCB faculty lead sectionals on specific instruments and repertoire as needed.  Orchestral fundamentals are addressed at the beginning of each rehearsal (rhythmic concepts, intonation, balance, basic conducting, and how to practice ensemble skills at home).

Orchestra members are encouraged to join the Chamber Orchestra Student Committee.  This committee meets monthly and the agenda is student driven.

Thus far the committee has:

  • designed a complete concert program
  • compiled and read program notes during a performance
  • designed physical concert programs
  • planned to greet and seat audience members at a performance

Repertoire from all periods and styles is performed and explored.  Recent and future repertoire includes:

  • Beethoven – Symphony 8, mvt. 2
  • Dvorak – Symphony 9, mvt. 1
  • Williams, John – Star Wars Through The Years, arr. Bulla
  • Bach – Brandenburg Sinfonia, arr. Isaac (Brandenburg 3, mvt.1)
  • Dvorak – Song to the Moon (with soprano soloist)
  • Bonds, Margaret – He’s Got The Whole World in His Hands, Hold On (with soprano soloist)
  • Adams, Leslie – Sence You Went Away from Nightsongs (with soprano soloist)
  • Mozart – Overture to The Abduction from the Seraglio
  • Grieg – Selections from Peer Gynt (with chorus)
  • Williams, John – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part One, arr. Story
  • Villeda, Jorge – Spring Waltz (former CMCB violinist and composition student)

Conductor: Kathleen Berger, kberger@cmcb.org
Assistant conductors: Stephanie Chen, Janet Underhill
Michael DePasquale, mdespasquale@cmcb.org, 617-482-7494 x23

*Dates subject to change