Starting to plan next season


This is by Hannah, violinist and one of the newest members of Chamber Project:

First of all, congrats to everybody on a wonderful concert Saturday afternoon at Forest Park Community College.  I was happy not to be playing for once, so I could sit and enjoy the awesome music!  It was a great program and a great crowd, and Adrianne, Melissa, Jen, Dana, and Nina outdid themselves.

Can you believe it's already 2012?  We have several more concerts scheduled, all the way into June, BUT what you may not know is that we are already starting to plan the 2012-2013 season.  This is my first year being involved in the planning and I wanted to share with you a bit of how this gets started.  After all, with (now) eight musicians and virtually endless repertoire possibilities, how on earth can we narrow it down to approximately six different programs?

Well, honestly, I can't answer that question.  It seems like a truly daunting task!

What I can do is tell you a little about our meeting last Monday.  We got together for lunch and brainstorming about next season's repertoire.  Everybody was instructed to make a list of pieces they wanted to play, along with the timing and instrumentation (meaning, is it for violin, saxophone, piano?  Or what?) of each piece.


You can see somebody's notes in the background, if you squint, but most importantly you can see brownies!  I personally had a hard time focusing on the meeting due to the presence of the brownies, but that's just me.

After we ate lunch, we went around the table and talked about various pieces we each wanted to perform. 

This is all a new process for me, but I was told it works best to come up with the longest work or most involved work and then plan the program around that.  Having a theme (for instance this year we had concerts called  "Combinatorics" and "Folk Freedom") helps too, as then we can choose repertoire based on that them for the concert.

We brainstormed a few concert themes, and talked about some larger pieces that would be the bread and butter of those concerts.  Another thing we have to keep in mind is that not all of our venues have a piano, so we need a few programs without piano. 

Everybody had a chance to put in their input and we took many notes.  I personally was shocked by how knowledgeable everybody is about various composers—many that I had never heard of! 


You can see Dana getting very animated about something!  You can also see that the other end of the table hadn't finished all of their brownies, and again, this was distracting to me.  How can they be talking when there are BROWNIES in front of them?

After about two or three hours we had to wrap up the meeting.  We probably ended up with five or six concert themes and numerous pieces suggested for each one. It was a very successful meeting!

The next step is narrowing it down to a series of programs that is a good length, interesting for the audience, and not too challenging for any one musician, and Laura and Adrianne will be doing most of the work on that, I think.  It helps to have eight people, but sometimes it's better just to have a couple people working together.

Did you think I would tell you anything we have decided?  I can't do that!  I am sworn to secrecy not to give anything away (okay, and we really haven't finalized anything yet!).  I do know that next season is going to be even better than this season, and that's a tough act to follow, in my opinion.

So, what do you want to hear?  If you have attended concerts this year, what has been your favorite piece so far?  We'd love to hear from you in the comments!