New Music Coaching and Workshop, plus more CSO-Connect: Reflecting on April 10 – 23, 2018.

After a successful Civic Concert performing Beethoven Symphony No. 4 and Rachmaninov Symphony No. 2, led by CSO Solti Conducting Apprentice Erina Yashima, the Civic Fellows pushed ahead with ongoing school visits in preparation for the CSO-Connect culminating event and chamber ensemble performances. However, during the middle of April the fellows had an opportunity to engage with something totally new, the New Music Workshop!

The third annual New Music Workshop, formerly known as the Composer’s Project, featured seven pieces of original compositions selected from a highly competitive pool of talented composers – there were over 200 applicants from across the nation. The Civic Fellows’ Pei-yeh Tsai, Nicholas Swett, and Joe Bauer took part in selecting the music and were advised by the CSO’s Mead Composer-in-Residence Sam Adams.

This season’s winners were Shiuan Chang, Christopher Dietz, Binna Kim, Jiyoung Ko, Charlie Peck, Peter S. Shin, and Octavio Vazquez. Bravo!

During this journey, the fellows had the privilege to be coached by International Contemporary Ensemble – a contemporary classical music ensemble based in New York City and Chicago.

Due to ICE’s years of experiences as contemporary classical musicians, we received helpful comments and recommendations through coaching sessions and were able to get a clearer idea of the new music.

However, just three days removed from performing classical and post-romantic music (Beethoven, Rachmaninov), the New Music Workshop repertoire first came across as difficult and demanding because we had to prepare ourselves to be in a totally opposite mindset, followed by new techniques and electronic sound elements which many of us had never experienced before.

But, as musicians often do, the fellows were drawn together to give full effort and passion to every piece we performed and we let the workshop shine through us and we finished the New Music Workshop performances successfully!

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By Civic Fellow and oboe Alice Siyoon Park


TOP: Civic Fellows perform with lighting and audio effects during Peter Shin’s Screaming Shapes (2017). | Todd Rosenberg Photography 2018