Chamber Music

What is NEC Prep?
Watch to find out more about Chamber Music at NEC Prep!

Laura Blustein, String & Piano Chamber Music Department Chair
Aimee Tsuchiya, String & Piano Chamber Music Department Assistant Chair

The NEC Preparatory School offers chamber ensembles for string, woodwind, brass, and piano players ages 8-18. Chamber music at NEC connects young musicians together based on the common interest of their love of music and is an excellent complement to instrumental education alongside private lessons and large ensembles.

NEC Prep chamber music is a place where students join in learning some of the most powerful pieces in the repertoire. It demands a high level of artistic exploration, creativity, and expression from each member. Students have the opportunity to:

  • Share musical opinions and ways to interpret their scores.  Motivated by their peers, they mature into deeper levels of musicianship.
  • Develop sensitive listening while playing
  • Develop practice and rehearsal techniques
  • Gain independence

Playing chamber music is a great way to meet fellow musicians and make new friends. Some NEC Prep chamber groups play together for years.

Each group is coached by a highly experienced teacher and performer who has a passion for chamber music and loves to work with young musicians. Groups are determined by age, ability, and instrumentation. Each ensemble receives coachings throughout the full academic year, participates in two end-of-semester workshops, and performs in the Chamber Music Festival at the end of each semester. Student groups may also have the opportunity to play in and attend master classes given by distinguished chamber music faculty from the NEC college and outstanding visiting chamber music artists. If you have any questions about our Chamber Music program, please click the button below for our Placement Form or contact the Prep Office.

Chamber Music Intensive Performance Seminar

For students with a strong interest in chamber music, NEC Prep is excited the Chamber Music Intensive Performance Seminar (CHIPS)! CHIPS offers select advanced students an in-depth chamber music immersion experience, with an emphasis on enhancing chamber music skills and performance practice at a high artistic level. Led by faculty member Merry Peckham, accepted students will be placed into a string quartet or piano trio and assigned repertoire to study over the year. The CHIPS program is open to violinists, violists, cellists, and pianists. 

Significant emphasis will be placed on performance; groups will have the opportunity to perform in recitals at NEC and in the community, as well as potential international performance opportunities. During the 2021-2022 year, CHIPS students will meet on Saturdays. The program will also include several special guest artist masterclasses during the year; visiting guests for 2019-2020 include Soovin Kim, Miriam Fried, and Don Weilerstein, among others.  Given the intensity of this program, attendance at all CHIPS events is required.

Interested violinists, violists, cellists, and pianists between the ages of 13 and 18 years old are encouraged to apply. For information on audition requirements and how to apply, please click here.

Additional Chamber Music Offerings

Sonata-Duo Class

Maria Benotti, Instructor

Violinist-pianist partners study specific works from the violin-sonata literature, two duos share a one-hour lesson in workshop format. Each pair performs for their colleagues and in turn observes the others’ instruction, scores in hand. Intensive study of technical as well as interpretive aspects of each sonata is the focus. Performance presence and refinement of ensemble playing, discussion, and hearing of concepts are encouraged. Open to upper-intermediate to advanced players.

Saturday, 1:00-2:00 PM

Honors Woodwind Quintet

Open by audition to advanced wind players. Students must be enrolled in an NEC large ensemble in order to qualify. Auditions will occur online via the Embark system and will be due on Monday, July 26th. Late applications will be considered on a space-available basis. The link to upload solos will be available on this website in Mid-July. 

Honors Brass Quintet

Open by audition to advanced brass players. Students must be enrolled in an NEC large ensemble in order to qualify. Auditions will occur online via the Embark system and will be due on Monday, July 26th. Late applications will be considered on a space-available basis. The link to upload solos will be available on this website in Mid-July. 

Auditions

For the 2021-2022 season, auditions for chamber music ensembles and other chamber music classes will occur online via the Embark system, and the due date has been extended until August 15, 2021. For the audition students will be asked to submit 2 solos in contrasting styles. The link to upload solos will be available on this website in Mid-July. 

In order to be considered for a Chamber Music Ensemble, students must also register for Chamber Music. Families can register by clicking here. The deadline to register for Chamber Music is August 15, 2021.  Students can submit their videos in one of two ways:

  • Students are invited to use their Spring 2021 Orchestra auditions or Evaluation pages and upload them to Embark.
  • Submit a new video on Embark.

All audition videos can be uploaded to Embark by clicking on the button below:

2021-2022 Placement Form

Pre-formed groups are welcome and interested students should email Chamber Music Chair, Laura Blustein, at Laura.Blustein@necmusic.edu directly.

Have more questions about NEC Prep Chamber music? Please contact our Chamber Music Chair, Laura Blustein, at Laura.Blustein@necmusic.edu.