Trios, quartets push young musicians to improve

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— The Steamboat Springs Chamber Orchestra is making a push to ensure all available community resources go into creating the best possible learning experience for local music students.

When the orchestra decided to revive its youth orchestra program this year, members agreed to take it one step further.

This year, young musicians from elementary- to high-school age can study and practice in small chamber ensembles. Instead of playing as part of a larger orchestra section, students will be divided into small trios and quartets.

"They will be responsible for their part alone," said Teresa Steffen Greenlee, orchestra concert master.

"There is more independence in this format."

There are no age limits and no auditions to participate in the new youth ensemble program, but students must have at least two years of musical training and be able to read musical notations.

"Ability is not defined by age," Steffen Greenlee said. "Especially in our town, we have some extremely accomplished young musicians."

The Steamboat Springs Chamber Orchestra will hold an intensive, 11-week youth ensemble training program from February to May. The orchestra will hold registration and an informational meeting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 10 at the Depot Art Center, 1001 13th St. Call 870-3069 or 879-9008 ext. 107.

The youth ensemble is an 11-week intensive coaching program during which each musician will be pushed to the next level of performance.

Members of the chamber orchestra will provide individual coaching.

Public performances will be scheduled at the end of the program.

"This is really a terrific opportunity," Steffen Greenlee said. "This will give the more advanced students the kind of study and training they need to play with the Steamboat Springs Chamber Orchestra, which is what we want.

"I already have several of my students playing in the orchestra, but they have to be at a certain level."

Tuition for the 11-week session is $200. Scholarships are available.

"For me, personally, playing in a string quartet was the thing that turned me on to a passion for classical music," Steffen Greenlee said. "I've very excited for the kids to have this opportunity."

-- To reach Autumn Phillips, call 871-4210 or e-mail aphillips@steamboatpilot.com

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