The Playground ensemble promotes the music of our time through performance, new music commissions, education, and community outreach. Our goal is to provide stimulating performances, expand common perceptions of both contemporary music and the chamber ensemble, and nurture a community around this music that we love.
The Playground Ensemble, in Residence at Metropolitan State University of Denver, is the Rocky Mountain Region's premier new music group. We are professional musicians, composers and fans dedicated to presenting chamber music as a living art form.
The Playground was formed in 2001, by a group of Lamont School of Music graduates, with the purpose of performing their own compositions. By 2005, the ensemble broadened its artistic mission to encompass all modern chamber music, with an emphasis on rarely performed masterpieces and the creation of new works by emerging local composers.
Currently, there is no other ensemble in Colorado whose sole focus is modern music. This places The Playground in a unique and important position when it comes to programming, educational outreach, and the mutually beneficial relationship with area composers.
The Playground now holds approximately 100 events each season, including performances of music by Colorado composers and music creation programs for students in K-12 schools and regional colleges.
The group has been recognized by national music organizations like the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Chamber Music America, The Amphion Fund, The American Music Center, and Meet the Composer, as well as numerous regional foundations and institutions.
"Thank you for sharing the performance by the 5th grade class at Doull Elementary. They put a lot of thought and practice into the play. The coordination and the writing of both the music and script is awesome. The artwork used for the background brought the play alive. Writing, producing and performing this concert with the help of accomplished artists is a once in a lifetime experience for these students. Thank you to Playground for providing these experiences for "kids"!"
- D. Roth
"My son Jose loves going to music because they are always doing something fun and different, he really loved and enjoyed composing his own music and lyrics, he was really proud of himself, he felt very important when he would sing it to me."
- Parent at Doull Elementary
"Young Composers has been an amazing opportunity for our students here at Doull. Young Composers made it possible for our students to express their creativity and work alongside real musicians who made their ideas and stories come to life through beautiful music. Throughout the process, our students discovered different types of instruments and sounds for their stories. We are so incredibly grateful that our students have had this unforgettable experience!"
- Jo Carrigan, principal, Doull Elementary
"Thank YOU and your wonderful ensemble! It was such a joy to have you at Cory! The kids kept raving about throughout the day!"
Amy Polete, Music Teacher, Cory Elementary
"The Playground Ensemble does student readings at our university every year, and every year it is a highlight for our students. Not only do students get to hear their musical ideas made real by excellent performers, they get great feedback from professionals with experience in working out tough musical problems. The learning that happens when they interact with The Playground Ensemble is the sort of thing that traditional classroom experiences just can't recreate."
- David E. Farrell, Metropolitan State University of Denver
"Working with Playground Ensemble has been invaluable for my own compositional career--they have continually provided amazing performances of my music and helped me connect to new marketing and outreach opportunities. Receiving a commission from them has been a pleasure to work on from start to finish, and the performers skills are superb. I'm excited to see where we can take our collaborative efforts into the future and hope to give back to the ensemble in turn to help grow the new music scene in Colorado."
- Nathan Hall, composer