The Best Chamber-Music Camps for Amateur Adult Musicians

We may probably see some eight years old or even five-year-old prodigy musicians who can easily nail down some of the of the difficult musical pieces. You joined them together in one chamber group, and you will be awed. But the real musical world out there is not just filled with musical geniuses with the innate talent of making their instruments speak in ways that can communicate to the human soul. There are lots and lots of amateur and adult musicians out there. Probably late bloomers who started to dedicate themselves to playing instruments when they were in their adult stage.

Good thing we have excellent chamber music camps to aid our amateur adult musicians. These intense music programs have attracted serious musicians and were able to help them strengthen their chamber groups.

The Bennington Chamber Music Conference at Bennington, Vermont USA

The Bennington Chamber Music Conference which is held in the campus of Bennington College in Vermont is a self-run program covering one to two weeks. The entire conference runs for a period of four weeks from July to August. The camp’s executive director Marilyn Bell is also a former participant. The field will be having its 73rd conference this summer and will soon to have a grand celebration for their 75th.

Participants are admitted by audition in which they can request for a music piece in advance for practice. Some who came auditioned not for the coaching program but to perform. A total of 90 to 110 participants came every year. The program involves coaching sessions and performance sessions.

Chamber Music Workshops at the Composers Conference in Waltham, Massachusetts

For the past 43 years Chamber Music Workshop at the Composers Conference which last two weeks was situated at Wellesley College. This year, 2018, it was relocated to Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. The executive director of the conference is Kathryn Welter.

Most of the participants in this camp are returning players, about 75 percent of them. Admittance is by audition and will be given assignments and tell them to obtain the music and prepare in mid-May.  They will also be given tips and ideas on how to study the music score and what they could expect to happen in the camp. The camp also involves coaching and a series of performances.

The KentMusic String Quartet Conference at Hamilton, New York, and Seattle, Washington

The Manhattan String Quartet runs the KentMusic String Quartet Conference for two weeks. The first week is at Colgate University in Hamilton on the first half of June, while the second week is at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Washington on the second half of June.

The program of KentMusic String Quartet Conference was only for string quartet. All participating groups will have the same piece to work on. This 2018 they will work on Dvořák’s String Quartet in A-flat major, Op. 105. Participants will have daily coaching sessions and rehearsals as well as having very enlightening lectures in the afternoon with music theorist David Clampitt. The entire program does not only involve performances from the participants, but it also includes two concerts rendered by the Manhattan String Quartet.