A chamber group is a small ensemble of musicians who each play their own part. A smaller group than an orchestra, and with less people on each part, chamber music gives students all the fun of playing together, but with the added responsibility of being a leader on their own part within the group. Chamber groups, which can be comprised of any number of combinations of instruments, rehearse daily with a chamber coach, and perform at the end of the week without any help from the coach. No conductor means students really take ownership of their note-reading, rhythm, and ensemble! (Enjoy this performance of a cello chamber group from 2015):
Chamber music is part of a daily schedule for violin students in late book 4 and above, and viola and cello students in books 3 and above. Students receive their music in the mail a few weeks before Institute starts, and should come with their part solidly prepared, so they can truly contribute to the group.
It is always fun to see the friendships develop between members in chamber groups. I know many friendships that started this way (as chamber groups at ISSI), and are going strong 25 years later!
Do any of you ISSI alumni have fond memories of, or keep in touch with, members in your string quartets? Tell us about it in the comments!