Arts, Culture & Humanities
Young Adults (20-25 years)
Since 1954, Friends of Chamber Music has been the premier presenter of chamber music in the Denver area. Friends of Chamber Music fills a unique niche in Denver's cultural landscape as the only organization consistently presenting a season of chamber music performances annually, offering a series of concerts including string quartets, piano trios, soloists, and mixed chamber ensembles. Artists and ensembles are the best available on the international concert scene.
Since 2007, Friends of Chamber Music has also offered a 3-concert piano series, bringing Denver audiences some of the world's best pianists. This series was added in response to persistent requests for more piano performances.
For the last 15 years our Chamber Series has been sold-out or nearly sold-out through subscriptions and single ticket sales (hall capacity is 977). Our Piano Series maintains a strong subscription base, with over 100 single tickets sold on average to each Piano Series recital, bringing these programs to a nearly sold-out status.
FCM's outreach and audience development programming
now includes chamber music recitals in the acoustically brilliant galleries of the Clyfford Still Museum and a free weeknight concert series at Broadway Roxy.
FCM is proud of its fiscal responsibility and stewardship, ending with a surplus for the last 15 years. We have continued to add to our endowment (formed in 2011 with $250,000), which has now grown to over $900,000 as a result of additional contributions, market forces, and professional management by the Denver Foundation and the Community First Foundation. As we grow our endowment FCM is working to ensure continued financial stability for the organization well into the future.
Arts, Culture & Humanities
Children ages 5 to 21
Friends of Chamber Music offers in-school music programs in order to enrich current school music programs. Over the years, school budget cuts have impacted music programming, and the board of Friends of Chamber Music feels that all children should have an opportunity to experience professionally performed music; for many, it is their first exposure to classical instruments. The language of music transcends racial and socio-economic boundaries. Students gain a sense of community, participate in experiences that foster creativity, and are encouraged to learn different and deeper ways to express thoughts and emotions.
Friends of Chamber Music provides professional chamber music presentations within schools, primarily DPS elementary schools. In 45-minute programs, ensembles introduce students to chamber music through demonstrations of instruments, short performance segments, and question and answer periods. The emphasis is on classical music, but occasional bits of music from Looney Tunes or The Simpsons let the students experience familiar music and recognize how music impacts our everyday lives.
Chamber music involves small ensembles, making it easily transportable and perfect for classrooms, gymnasiums, and small auditoriums. The intimacy between audience and musicians is one of the principal charms of chamber music; it encourages interaction between students and musicians. Administrators and teachers welcome in-school chamber performances as a logistically simple way to enrich the arts curriculum, with performances less time consuming, less disruptive, and less expensive than busing students to off-premise performances. The following educational programs are offered annually:
In-school performances: Each year FCM sponsors 10-12 school assembly performances presented by professional chamber music ensembles, free of charge to all participating schools. Each program features fun and interactive classical music programs, introducing students to chamber music through demonstrations of instruments, short performance segments, and question and answer periods.
Teaching residencies: FCM has a longstanding commitment to support orchestra and band teachers and their students, many of whom cannot afford private instruction outside of school. FCM plans to fund in-school teaching residencies at five Denver area schools next season.
Master classes: Master classes provide in-depth instruction and interaction with world-class artists for high school and college students pursuing a career in music. In our 2019-20 season master classes will be offered by the Danish String Quartet, cellist Alicia Weilerstein, pianist Inon Barnatan, and the Spectral Quartet.
Free Family Concert: For a sixth year FCM will offer a free, family-friendly concert on October 6, 2019.
In 2018/2019, our education program provided various creative opportunities for over 4,000 students. Assembly programs receive high marks for musical content, introduction of new concepts, and appropriateness of material for participating grade levels. Chamber ensembles are rated highly for their quality of performance, ability to relate to students, and overall musical knowledge.
High demand for our school education programs and feedback from teachers are the primary ways we measure the impact of our education programs. Schools continue to seek out our services based on recommendations from other teachers in the district.
In addition, we have engaged a dedicated group of local music professionals and teaching artists, some of them for years, who are eager to continue working with local orchestra students in residency programs as well as larger student groups through school assemblies. They are committed to our mission and report that each hour they spend with students is productive, with outcomes including improved instrumental performance as well as a greater appreciation for the performing arts.