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Chamber Music at Mason Gross consists of a variety of chamber music performance opportunities encompassing jazz and classical styles, for precollege, college and adult participants. These include the Young Artist Program, Adult Chamber Music Program, and Chamber Jazz Program.  

These programs include mixed ensembles (for example – string quartets, piano trios, woodwind quintets, and brass quintets) as well as ensembles consisting of one type of instrument (for example – classical guitar ensemble, flute ensemble, harp ensemble, cello ensemble, and saxophone ensemble).

Hands-on Performance and Academic Instruction

Chamber Music at Mason Gross ensembles – Young Artist, Adult Chamber, and Chamber Jazz – combine the development of rehearsal, ensemble, and performance skills with the study of  music history and music theory.   Music history and theory content specific to each group is prepared when repertoire and coaching assignments are decided. Historical and theoretical areas addressed include performance practice, the study of compositional structure, and harmonic analysis. Listening, written assignments, sight-reading, and rhythm studies will be assigned as appropriate.

Coaching Sessions

Chamber Music at Mason Gross ensembles work with faculty coaches and Mason Gross collegiate interns on Sunday afternoons, for two hours, on a monthly basis (October – May).  Our schedules are created with the Rutgers University calendar in mind to provide college students with the opportunity to participate in this program.

Each session is two (2) hours in duration.  During the first hour-and-a-half, the coach and intern will work with the group.  During the last half hour, the intern works with the ensemble on his/her own to review what has been taught and to prepare the group to practice effectively for the next coaching session.  Interns document ensemble progress, key instructional points, and goals for the next coaching session.  They share this information with participants (and their families, in the case of precollege students) via online folders that participants may access.

Performance Forums

Performance forums occur on three occasions during the chamber music year following Sunday coaching sessions.  They are open to all members of Chamber Music at Mason Gross ensembles and provide an opportunity for ensembles to perform for one another.  Faculty members lead post-performance discussions which encourage constructive, supportive feedback from all program participants.  Guest teaching artists and/or Chamber Music at Mason Gross faculty are engaged to lead these forums and to present or perform for participants as well.

Awards & Performance Opportunities

All groups – precollege and adult – will be given the opportunity to perform during  yearly Extension Division recitals.   Additional opportunities at libraries, residential facilities, and other venues will be arranged.

Eligible ensembles will have the opportunity to be sponsored for the 2017 National Young Artists Chamber Music and Ensemble Competition operated by the National League of Performing Arts, Inc.

Certificates of Merit will be provided at year’s end to precollege participants in the Young Artist Program, and Chamber Jazz Program. Certificates are awarded based upon attendance, improvement made throughout the year, and participation in workshops and performances.