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image stent hall

Festival Performances occur in Stent Hall's historic Ballroom, in a warm acoustic which brass players enjoy.

FAQs about "The Art of Sound" Summer Brass Institute

--What is the Summer Brass Institute?

It's an intensive workshop and festival, with days full of learning opportunities for advanced brass players who want to hone their playing skills by rehearsing and performing with top professional brass players from the best orchestras in the San Francisco Bay Area. SBI is not a sightreading camp, nor a band camp. Each day contains a full schedule from 9-5 pm of rehearsals, coachings and lessons. Each evening features a different master class, trip, performance opportunity or chance to hear professionals in action.

--Who are the Bay Brass?

Symphonic professionals from the San Francisco Bay Area's best performing ensembles: San Francisco Symphony, Symphony Silicon Valley, San Francisco Opera and Ballet Orchestras. You can see photos by following the Info link on our main page. The Bay Brass performed with the San Francisco Symphony on recordings which won Grammy Awards:

for Best Classical Album (2004): Mahler 3
for Orchestral Recording of the Year (2003): Mahler 6
for Best Classical Album, Best Orchestral Performance (2000): Stravinsky Rite of Spring, Firebird and Persephone
for Best Orchestral Performance (1997): Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet

--What kind of music will we play?

Participants rehearse and perform: symphonic brass ensemble pieces, for 13 or more players; brass chamber music quintets; symphonic literature in section classes; solo works and concerti in some master classes and lessons. Section class will focus on a Mahler symphony or other major work from the repertoire. Chamber and Ensembles play music by composers including Bach, Shostakovich, Wagner, Tomasi, Gershwin, Howarth and Arnold, and newly arranged music including works by Bay Brass members. Repertoire over the past summers has included the Bernstein Dances, Ewazen trio, the Plog Octet, Hindemith for large brass ensemble, large ensemble music by Copland, Howarth, Ewazen, Strauss, Arnold and others; an assortment of quintets ranging from standards like Dahl and Ewald to more unusual offerings by new composers and arrangers.

--Who should attend?

Musically mature brass players who play at an advanced level, and ambitious intermediate players with a strong drive to improve their skills.

--How old are participants?

Participants tend to be in college and postgraduate work, joined by a few ambitious high school players. The majority of players are 18 or over. Some musically mature players as young as 15 have thrived at SBI, because they were willing to listen and learn and work hard. Ideal SBI participants are motivated and focused; no one has to tell them to go practice.

--How many hours a day do participants play?

Some participants play all day, from 9 to 5 and then some. Others play less, if their embouchure is developing or undergoing change. Participants are encouraged to follow the system of breaks that will allow them to avoid harmful fatigue. The most highly-skilled players have the most scheduled rehearsal time, but opportunities open for younger, developing performers who are motivated and who take initiative.

--What are the dorms like?

The dorm rooms are spartan but comfortable, and separate by gender. Participants are assigned two, three or four to a room, with someone of similar age whenever possible.

--What is the food like?

It's plentiful and varied, including vegetarian options; mostly, participants eat in the dining hall which offers the usual collegiate dining hall fare. Occasionally participants eat pizza or sandwiches, or go out for a meal in San Francisco or locally.

--How do I find out more about the Bay Brass faculty?

Visit the Bay Brass homepage and follow the links: http://baybrass.org

--Why does SBI cost so much for tuition and room and board? Some places charge half what we do.

Plenty of personal attention from faculty requires a higher tuition. SBI students are not left to rehearse on their own for 8 hours at a time; they are coached, conducted, and given lessons in addition to having individual rehearsal. Also, SBI is located in one of the most vibrant and thriving metropolitan areas of the USA, where the cost of living is high. If SBI were in a rural setting, costs would be significantly lower.

--How do I qualify for a scholarship or a fellowship?

Visit the Fellowship page for more information. Scholarships are offered to selected students on the basis of need; contact Director Vicky Greenbaum for information.

--What do participants say is the best thing about their SBI experience?

"The coaches are awesome" "I loved my horn lesson with Jonathan Ring" "I came here to decide whether I wanted to be a professional and I have decided that's what I want to try for" "Playing in Glenn Fischthal's master class was one of the highlights of my life" "This is a great bunch of people, great music and alot of fun--I want to come back next year" "Jim Dooley helped me improve my sound and now I am first chair in my orchestra" " Mark Lawrence inspired me on my use of air and changed my playing" "The Mahler 2 workshop we had made me able to handle the section playing in my first professional audition" "I learned so much from talking to the other players, some of whom are doctoral students and people taking auditions" "Dave Burkhart gives me the best lessons" "Everyone needs this program before they go out for an audition or to someplace like Aspen or Tanglewood" "The coffeecake is the best"

Address questions to :
Vicky Greenbaum, Director
Summer Brass Institute at Menlo
50 Valparaiso Ave.
Atherton CA 94027