Summer Strings Camp Highlights Chamber Music

String students in chamber ensemble

Posted on April 05, 2017 by Matt Geske

Chamber music is the special focus of Ovations Summer Strings Academy at Mason. High School and Middle School violin, viola, cello and bass students have a unique opportunity to play in small ensembles, as well as a conducted full string orchestra.

This full week of small and large group rehearsals, masterclasses and performances will take place June 25-30, 2017 (Sunday-Friday). On Thursday evening, students will have the opportunity to perform and lead their chamber group in Mason’s Harris Theatre. On Friday evening, everyone takes the stage for the full string orchestra concert, conducted by two Guest Conductors: Veronica Jackson and Erin Eberly.



“The chamber group performance is always a highlight for our participants,” explained Program Co-Director and Mason School of Music professor Glenn Dewey. “They receive outstanding one-on-one guidance throughout the week from our roster of professional teaching artist coaches, then they get to perform without a conductor with the other members of their small ensemble on a professional stage.”

The Ovations program also provides an opportunity for the talented young artists to play a solo piece in a master class featuring our world class George Mason University string faculty, where they have the incredible chance to receive excellent guidance and suggestions from these higher education professors and musicians!


Summer strings camp students at Mason campus


“This year, Ovations will include a performance by members of our outstanding faculty,” said Program Co-Director Alex Morrison. “This provides our students the chance to see that we are not only their teachers, but accomplished performers as well!” Many of the faculty teaching artists are school orchestra program directors and members of professional orchestras.


Aaron Reiley with instruments


Ovations 2017 will once again feature master Luthier Aaron Reiley from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mr. Reiley will arrive with a truck load of string instruments and bows for purchase, and he will present a fascinating master class on how instruments are built. Aaron will also be doing minor repairs on the site for a small fee. There will be an “instrument petting zoo” for students to try out some world-class professional instruments – a standard favorite of all the attendees!

“And there’s food! Who doesn’t like food?!” exclaimed Mr. Dewey. “Ovations week always starts with a pizza party and a meet & greet, and we always finish out the week with a wonderful catered meal. What will it be this year? A Mexican buffet? An all you can eat smorgasbord at Southside eatery? You will have to sign up to find out!”