Wind Chamber Music Workshop

The Winds Department started off the year with a Chamber Music Workshop, coordinated by MTAC Pasadena Wind Chair, Cheryl Lopez. Students that played woodwind or brass instruments were encouraged to sign up for this unique one day musical experience. There was a high level of participation with 26 students signing up for the event, and the instruments represented included Flute, Piccolo, Bb Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, and Trumpet.

The Winds Chamber Music Workshop took place on Saturday, September 16, 2023 at First Presbyterian Church of Monrovia. Prior to the event, the participants were divided into 6 groups and assigned a part from professional level chamber music repertoire. Each group was assigned to one of 6 coaches that were selected from our MTAC Pasadena Branch wind teachers. Students were sent their individual sheet music parts a few weeks prior to the event and were expected to learn their parts to performance level by the event date. Learning their music very well was crucial to the process, as all groups were expected to perform at a recital at the conclusion of the event after only a short coaching session. (Many students had the added challenge of learning a part that didn’t even include the melody line.) 

The wind coaches had a challenging job, as they had to facilitate musical collaboration with students who had never met or played with each other prior to the event – many of whom had never played in a chamber music group before! In addition, many of the participants were not the coaches’ private students, so they had to quickly assess the abilities of the individual players and prioritize what needed to be worked on to showcase their group’s piece at the event’s recital. The wind coaches rose to the challenge magnificently.

What happened at the event’s recital was nothing short of magical! You would never know that these students had met each other and heard their parts together only a few hours prior to their beautiful performances. A reception followed the recital. All students went home with a rose and a personalized certificate, along with memories of a wonderful performance that they and their group created together.

A special thank you to our talented wind coaches: Stephanie Barrett, Ruth Kasckow, Alexandra Miller, Jamie Pedrini, Lynne Snyder, and Charlotte Wilkins.