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Chamber Camp Faculty Q & A

Summer Chamber Camp at the Naperville Suzuki School boasts a faculty of avid chamber musicians with a deep love for the art form. Get to know them better in this Faculty FAQ!

What is unique about the chamber music experience?

Vicki Szczepaniak: Chamber music is my favorite way to make music. It's like a whole new world that has yet to be discovered for a student that has never played chamber music before. And every time you play in a quartet, or trio etc., with different people, it is truly a unique experience. I love the collaboration, and learning to work together to create something beautiful. For a new student, this is a perfect opportunity to experience making music in a small group for the first time.

Ryan Caparella: For me, the two greatest things about music are the opportunity to express myself, and the opportunity to collaborate in artistic expression with others. Chamber music—by far the most egalitarian form of music making—is the form that balances these two ideals perfectly.

Patrick Connolly: Chamber music is the perfect hybrid between solo playing and ensemble playing. You get to be a soloist at the same time try your best to make the rest of your colleagues sound their best. You work as a team and get to share your musical ideas to make the best product possible in the end performance.

What is your favorite thing about teaching at chamber camp?

Alex Revoal: My favorite thing about teaching at chamber camp is seeing the students develop a higher level of musical independence, identifying the areas where they can improve as a group, and discovering together how to go about making those improvements.

Vicki: I love playing in a small chamber orchestra, working on collaborating, and communicating without a conductor.

Patrick: My favorite part about teaching at the chamber camp has been seeing the growth of friendships at our program. I see students who go to different schools become really close through their similar interests. So close that they want to practice and play together after the camp! During group class you do not have much time to socialize with each other, but at the chamber camp you have time to know your colleagues and use that to help make more beautiful music.

Ryan: Absolutely everything about it! Chamber Camp is without-a-doubt my favorite week of the entire year. Chamber music is such a deeply important part of my own musical life, that it is a true gift to share this incredible experience with our students!

What advice would you give to a student considering chamber camp for the first time?

Maeve O'Hara: In the words of Nike: Just do it! Making chamber music is one of the most incredible experiences you'll ever have as a musician-- not only musically, but it's so much fun. And you end up making wonderful friendships, whether it's in the chamber group, camaraderie in orchestra, or in your sectionals, or even during the lunch hours. In my own musical upbringing, I liked playing my violin always, but it wasn't until I played chamber music that I just fell absolutely in love with making music. You'll be playing incredible music while having the most fun with your instrument. What's better than that?

Patrick: Don't be scared! It is a new experience in your musical career but it will really help you grow. The faculty are patient and helpful and they make sure everyone's experience is enjoyable.

What are your favorite works of Chamber Music?

Alex: Schubert's String Quintet in C Major, D. 956, Beethoven Op. 131; Brahms Piano Quintet in F minor.

Patrick: My favorite chamber pieces are probably the Mendelssohn Octet, Brahms Clarinet Quintet, or Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence.

Maeve: My desert island chamber music is overwhelmingly the middle/late Beethoven quartets: Rasumovskys, Serioso, Op. 131! My teacher gave me a CD of this when I graduated high school-- I completely wore it out.

Ryan: I could list hundreds, but if I had to pick one piece—Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht.

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