Summer Chamber Music Festival (Ages 7-18)

"By far Winchester Community Music School stands out above the rest. You have gone above and beyond your responsibility as teachers and instructors, reaching to the heart. Thank you." - Parent of second-year participant, age 17, and member of 2014 Ensemble-In-Residence

Program Director: Sarah Tocco
Associate Director: Anne Bennett

Dates: Monday, July 17 - Saturday, July 29, 2017 (Monday-Friday, two weeks, plus Saturday, July 29)
Two final concerts for family, friends, and the public will be held on Friday, July 28 at 7:00 PM and Saturday, July 29 at 11:00 AM at Melrose Memorial Hall.

Time: 8:30 AM- 4:00 PM, Monday-Friday. The schedule on Friday, July 28 may be adjusted to accommodate the evening concert.

  • For ages 7-18; placement based on audition
  • All orchestral instruments, pianists, and classical guitarists are welcome to participate
  • Audition requirements: Two contrasting works (or one larger work with contrasting sections), and sight reading.

Program Features:

  • Participation in two different small Chamber Ensembles with daily rehearsals
  • Master Classes
  • Individual and group practice time
  • Lunch break and recreation time
  • Chamber Orchestra
  • Music Theory/Appreciation
  • Three 45-minute private lessons - to be scheduled before and during the Festival
  • Arts & crafts
  • Morning Yoga/Qigong
  • Final concerts on Friday, July 28 at 7:00 PM and Saturday, July 29 at 11:00 AM at historic Melrose Memorial Hall

Ensemble-in-Residence (EIR) program:  Open to advanced students and pre-formed groups. This more advanced training program allows a chamber group to concentrate on standard repertoire and refine their skills as an ensemble. EIR members will have flexibility to rehearse and coach more intensively, and the opportunity to present their own concert at an outside venue during the Chamber Festival. The EIR will also gain experience in coaching other chamber groups, playing principal in orchestra, and leading sectional rehearsals. Please contact the program director, Sarah Tocco, for more information and EIR tuition rate.

New this year!  Concerto Competition: Advanced students who are participating in the 2017 Summer Chamber Music Festival can compete in our Concerto Competition to be held on April 8, 2-5 PM. One winner will be selected to perform as a soloist with the SCMF senior orchestra during the final concert on Saturday, July 29, at 11:00 AM. The competition entry fee is $25.

Festival Tuition: $1300 (plus $15 materials fee, and a $15 summer registration fee for non-WCMS students). Three private lessons are included in the tuition. Financial aid is available. Ask about sibling/friend discount!

Payment Options: Pay in full at time of acceptance into program, or choose split payment (50% tuition + registration fee upon acceptance, with balance due by June 1, 2017).

Auditions:  A placement audition is mandatory for everyone. Current WCMS chamber ensemble participants and ChamberFest alumni may register any time prior to their scheduled audition date. If you have any questions, please contact the program director, Sarah Tocco. Be sure to download and fill out the 2017 Audition Form to bring with you, and arrive early in order to  unpack your instrument and warm up. Warm-up rooms will be available.

  on one of the following dates:

  • Sunday, March 19, 2-5 PM
  • Saturday, March 25, 2-5 PM
  • Saturday, April 1, 2-5 PM
  • Sunday, April 9, 2-5 PM
  • Friday, April 14, 3:30-6:30 PM

    Registration Deadline: April 11, 2017
* to register, participants must be age 7-18 as of June 1, 2017

Testimonials:

I improved A LOT! It was a great experience and very challenging. – Chamber Festival participant, age 10

It was a really fun experience, and I learned a lot. It was really great to meet other people my age, also others older and younger, and it was just a blast! - Chamber Festival participant, age 13

I wish it was more like 4 weeks. - Chamber Festival participant, age 7

This was [our daughter's] first experience playing in a chamber group. It was very rewarding and motivating for her. She practiced so much every day when she came home! This was a perfect experience for her. Thank you! – Parent of a Chamber Festival participant, age 10

I would definitely recommend this program to others. I was impressed by the professionalism of the staff. They were attentive and responsive to any questions/concerns I had from the get go. I am a great fan of high expectations and was glad to see that in the staff. [My daughter] was challenged and she really improved. She's even more certain that cello is something she wants to pursue long term. - Parent of a Chamber Festival participant, age 10

We were delighted with the increased maturity [our son and daughter] brought toward their practice. They both practiced without prompting and were enthusiastic about all they were learning. We were especially happy to see [our daughter's] confidence increase exponentially. Because of the program, they have grown as musicians in a very short time. The diverse and experienced faculty were excellent and the Ensemble-in-Residence was a great inspiration. Thank you for the fantastic experience. - Parent of two Chamber Festival participants, ages 13 and 15

Listen below to a live recording of the
2015 Chamber Festival Performance
at Melrose Memorial Hall!