What People Are Saying About Us
About Calumet Chamber Musicians
IT IS THE MISSION OF THE CALUMET CHAMBER MUSICIANS TO:
• present public performances of a broad range of chamber music;
• promote an appreciation of the live concert experience;
• educate through lecture/demonstrations and pre-concert talks;
• collaborate with artists of other disciplines in presenting special events;
• foster the understanding and appreciation of music and other art forms;
• contribute to the quality of life in the Calumet Region;
• convey a positive image of the Calumet Region during our tours.
A look at what we've accomplished during our fifth season demonstrates CCM's high level of committment to that mission.
At the heart of our work this season were the 18 formal concerts of chamber music we presented. This being the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth, we chose to include one work by the master on each major concert. We are the only regional ensemble in this anniversary year to have presented such works as his Quintet for Piano and Winds, a soprano aria with winds and piano from an early operatic masterpiece, and the Andante, K. 314 for flute and piano. Further, instead of hushed reverence on his birthday itself (January 27th), we celebrated the irrepressible Mozart's impish side with nearly 100 guests at "Eine Kleine NaughtyMusik," our party at which we performed some of his silly, even naughty, songs.
But this season wasn't all about Mozart. The variety of our programming is what continues to impress our audiences. For example, our collaboration with Northern Indiana Arts Association (now called South Shore Arts) yielded "A Musical Portrait of America," coinciding with their exhibit of Norman Rockwell's work. That concert included works by American composers from Scott Joplin and Benny Goodman, to Aaron Copland and Eric Ewazen, to Robert Muczynski and John Cage. As was the case with our previous season's South Shore Arts collaboration (WWII-era music and photo exhibit of the Warsaw uprising of 1944), audience members benefitted greatly from the juxtaposition of music and the visual arts, each enhancing the other. (Plans are now underway for the next collaboration with South Shore Arts on January 14, 2007, when we will present a concert alongside their "Bilbao and Basque Artists" exhibit.)
Similar synergy occurred in our joint program with Calumet Region Writers and the Prairie Writer Guild. "Rural Spaces/Urban Places" alternated original literary works by regional authors with chamber music. This music again offered depth and breadth of expression (Debussy, Copland, Irish folksong, a new work by Martin Amlin), plus included a world premiere of a piece written specifically for CCM by Hollywood film composer and orchestrator Gregory Jamrok.
CCM was also proud to collaborate again with the Castillon Trio, with whom we presented Bach's complete "A Musical Offering" in 2004. This time we joined them at their Stamford (UK) International Music Festival for a concert of music for voice, strings, winds, and piano. From England, we travelled to Paris, France for a trio concert at the American Cathedral on the right bank. A few days later found us in the Auvergne region of France to participate in Les Nuits Musicales de Menet, a week-long festival of concerts by international chamber music groups.
Chicago's Polish Museum of America was the scene of another joint effort, this time with author Wesley Adamczyk ("When God Looked the Other Way," 2004, University of Chicago Press). A fully-staged dramatic reading combined with our chamber music (including our own arrangement of the Polish folk group Mazowsze's "Polonez Warszawski") again yielded artistic fruit through collaboration. This shared committment to cooperate in developing our region's artistic life led to two other invitations. CCM participated both in the kick-off celebrations for the "County Seats" public art project and the Quality of Life Council's celebration of our region's B+ grade for vibrancy in the area of the Arts.
In fact, we look at all of our worknot just our concerts and collaborationsas a quality of life issue. For example, we were pleased to accept an invitation to speak to Munster High School parents about the personal and artistic challenges and rewards to be had by including chamber music in their children's study. And, our pre-concert lectures and lecture/demonstrations at public libraries aim to enhance the concert-going experience and the appreciation of music generally.
The old and the young are of course included in our view of quality of life. Senior residence audiences loved this year's visit. Children loved and learned from our concerts for them at Hammond's Towle Theater, Kaleidoscope Music School in Orland Park, and Prairie State College's child care. College students at Prairie State College and Calumet College of St. Joseph also heard us perform and teach.
In our opinion, our work contributes not only to our local quality of life, but to the image of our region as well. Whether we're performing in France or England, or in Chicago or Northbrook as we have this past season, we consider ourselves cultural ambassadors. Our benefit performances for Hurricane Katrina victims and for the South Suburban Youth Orchestra served this function as well.
Besides all of this work we do as a group, each member of CCM is a free lance musician. All of us teach (colleges, universities, privately). All of us are available to play individually. Click on our services offered page for ideas on how we might be of service to you or your organization.
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