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Brevard Music Center

Posted by on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 in Academics, Blair School of Music, General Information, Music, Summer.

It’s rather idyllic here at the Brevard Music Center, which is located in a mountainous region of North Carolina.  This festival invites musicians from all over the country and the world to engage with each other for seven weeks in making music. Much like the National Music Festival, the community here loves to support the Center, and the 1,800-seat outdoor Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium where we perform is usually filled on concert days.
I thought it was funny how you had to cross a stream to reach a practice room. Oh, the hard life of a musician.
Though the only daily scheduled event is a two-and-a-half hour orchestra rehearsal, somehow the days are always packed.  Each day might add a private lesson, a cello sectional, or a chamber rehearsal.  There are concerts to attend, cute kids to run around with outside, and have I mentioned the practicing yet?  There is a glorious amount of practicing here; usually I can squeeze in between three and five hours, which is a luxury that the school year doesn’t always permit.
The Dohnanyi Piano Quintet is one incredible work. Also, that's my professor on the right; he's awesome.
The primary focus here is orchestra.  There are two divisions here at the BMC: the High School and the College, which is actually comprised of college and post-college students.  Students audition the first day here, are ranked, and rotate between orchestras and seats throughout the summer.  In the College Division, we have two orchestras: the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, where students sit alongside faculty, and the Brevard Sinfonia, which is completely composed of students.  The wonderful thing about this festival is that people enjoy orchestra, seriously practice the music, and fully engage themselves during rehearsal.  Because everyone knows their parts, it’s that much more fun and easier to create something wonderful.
This is a pre-performance picture of the Brevard Sinfonia.
Also, the BMC invites pretty incredible guest artists.  For instance, I sat perhaps five feet away from Joshua Bell when he came and performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with us.  And you have no idea how incredibly excited I am that one of my favorite cellists Johannes Moser is coming to play one of my all-time favorite concertos, the Elgar Cello Concerto.   That final concert is going to be awesome.
Casual weekend hike with our friend, Joshua Bell.
All the faculty are extraordinarily nice and really stellar musicians.  They have a wealth of knowledge that they cannot wait to share with those who have willing ears.  We have the opportunity to take lessons from them, perform with them in orchestra, avidly watch them in their recitals, and even eat meals with them!  All in all, we are forming connections with these musicians, of whom we might become colleagues within a few years, though that whole concept is a little scary to think about.  But to end on a good note (pun fully intended), I am really enjoying this festival and I know that the next five weeks are going to fly by!  Off to practice!

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