Ovations Summer Strings Academy, for High School and Middle School rising Grades 7-12, offers a unique blend of string orchestra and chamber ensemble experiences, with an emphasis on musicianship and friendship. Violin, viola, cello, and bass students will enjoy a challenging week of rehearsals, clinics, two performances and so much more, June 23-28, 2019.
Directed by George Mason University Professor Glenn Dewey, the Ovations program takes place in Mason’s School of Music on the Mason Fairfax Campus (in Fairfax, VA, part of the Washington DC Metro area). The university has a strong Strings program, and several Strings faculty members are involved in Ovations, alongside an impressive cast of local string educators/ teaching artists – plus two Guest Conductors, Glenn Quader and J.D. Anderson from American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras.
We are thrilled to welcome back to Ovations this summer the string duo Bridging the Gap. This exciting duo featuring Peter Wilson on violin and Aaron Clay on double bass perform everything from traditional classical string arrangements to swing, funk, rock and pop. With lauded stage presence and musicianship, this duo is one of the most sought after groups in the metropolitan area.
“Students attending Ovations will develop a new level of confidence as musicians,” explained Professor Dewey. “They will also develop friendships with other student musicians that they will cross paths with for years to come. Most importantly, Ovations participants are instilled with a renewed passion and love for their instrument and music that will continue for a lifetime!”
As a special bonus, string repairman and luthier Aaron Reilly will join us from Grand Rapids, Michigan. This is a great opportunity for our students to try out professional quality string instruments and bows, as well as to learn how instruments are made/ maintained. Furthermore, students will be able to have minor repairs and adjustments made to their instrument on site for a small fee.
“Witnessing our young musicians playing chamber music for the first time in their life is incredibly gratifying,” stated Mr. Dewey. “To watch these young artists receive a piece of music for the first time on Monday morning, and on Thursday evening watch them walk out on stage without a conductor in front of them and present a work to a full audience is an amazing experience. To work on a piece of music and develop communication skills, problem-solving skills and be responsible for the success of a performance helps in goal setting and confidence. It is without a doubt the most gratifying experience ever to watch our students grow so substantially in a matter of one week!”
“My favorite memory every year is watching the students high-five and congratulate each other after their chamber music performance,” recalls Mr. Dewey. “Many times these are some of the same musicians that four days earlier did not think they would be able to achieve this goal in such a short amount of time. To see the joy they derive from attaining this goal is priceless.”
Ovations Summer Strings provides the students with an environment to inspire a renewed passion about music, to develop lasting friendships, and to interact with a teaching artist faculty who are caring, nurturing and passionate about music and string education.
Placement seating auditions will take place on-site on the first day to determine best orchestra and chamber assignments. Specific audition excerpts will be provided in advance.
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