This fall, for the second time in three years, music students at CU-Boulder will spend three days with some of the best orchestra musicians in the country.
Fifteen members of the Cleveland Orchestra will be in residence at the College of Music September 14-16. It’s a partnership first organized in 2013 by Dean Emeritus Dan Sher and principal second violinist of the orchestra, Stephen Rose.
The week of master classes, sectionals and individual lessons will also include side-by-side orchestra rehearsals, which Dean Robert Shay says is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“Connecting our students with the leading professionals in the field to get hands-on training will inspire new levels of commitment, excellence and accomplishments at the College of Music,” he says.
When Sher began planning the first residency, he wanted to include as many students as possible in this opportunity. “I looked at the Bravo! Vail music festival. They bring in the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Dallas Symphony every year. But that’s in the summer when our students aren’t around.”
So he began looking at fall opportunities, and Steve Rose’s name popped into his head. “He’s an old friend, and since the Cleveland Orchestra is experienced in doing residencies like this, he was open to starting a conversation on his end.”
Rose was able to get most of the principal players on board, despite hectic schedules. This year, many of them return for this second stint. “We’re happy to return,” says Rose. “The first time, everyone made us feel welcome, and people were happy to have us there… that made it so enjoyable.”
Part of what made the musicians eager to return, Rose explains, is the opportunity to share what they’ve learned as part of a large group with the musicians of tomorrow. “The students receive wonderful instruction throughout the year,” he says, “But this is a chance for them to learn from musicians who are all in the same group. They get an idea of not only what it takes to become a member of the orchestra, but – more importantly – what the job is like, and how we work together.”
As musicians, the members of the orchestra are learning, too. “Boulder is a really positive place with a lot going on. I’m excited to meet some new colleagues, people I know by name but have never seen or heard play,” Rose says.
Meanwhile, in addition to being a learning experience, Sher says the week will be inspirational for the students. “They get to work with some of the most accomplished musicians in the world in every sub-discipline.”
The residency not only brings benefits on an individual level, but speaks volumes about what’s happening at the College of Music, Sher explains. “It’s a real validation of our high standing nationally as a program. These musicians come from national programs themselves, so they know what’s out there. So for them to be positive and enthusiastic about coming back here is a compliment to the program.”
Both the residencies were made possible by several donations, chief among them being from The Clinton Family Fund. Bruce Clinton is a longtime philanthropist and supporter of orchestras nationwide.
The public is invited to watch members of the orchestra work with students during master classes on Tuesday, Sept. 15, and a side-by-side rehearsal on Wednesday, Sept. 16. There will also be a panel discussion with the members of the orchestra that evening. Further event details are below.
Master classes with members of the Cleveland Orchestra
Tuesday, Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m.
Brass and percussion: Grusin Music Hall
Side-by-side open rehearsal
Wednesday, Sept. 16, Noon
Wednesday, Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m.
Grusin Music Hall