Ensemble Connect Presents Audience Engagement Intensive from June 4–11

Mike Lawson • News • May 31, 2019

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After a successful launch of the pilot program in summer 2017, Ensemble Connect will present the week-long Audience Engagement Intensive (AEI) from June 4–11 in Carnegie Hall’s Resnick Education Wing.

Seven pre-formed chamber ensembles selected from across U.S. and Canada—ranging in styles from classical to contemporary to folk music—come together to learn from leaders in the fields of performance and audience engagement. The eight days of tuition-free workshops are modeled after the training that is provided to Ensemble Connect fellows and is aimed at strengthening their ability to connect with all kinds of audiences. The ensembles are The Raritan Trio (New Jersey),Sprig of That (Minnesota), Catharsis Winds (Ohio), Kahlo String Quartet (formed in Mississippi),Trio Gaia (Massachusetts), Front Porch (Michigan), and Genesis Trio (Vancouver, Canada).

This year’s guest speakers and workshop leaders include Clive Gillinson, executive and artistic director of Carnegie Hall; bassoonist Brad Balliett and members of Decoda; author and teaching artist Eric Booth; Rebekah Heller, artistic director and bassoonist in International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE); Dr. Noa Kageyama, performance psychologist at The Juilliard School; violinist Rebecca Fischer and visual artist Anthony Hawley of The Afield; physical therapist Howard Nelson; violinist Pamela Frank; Courtney Burton, senior managing director of The Greatest Works Agency; and Damian Woetzel, president of The Juilliard School. The ensembles also have the opportunity to work closely with current fellows of Ensemble Connect throughout the week.

During the last two days of the AEI, participating ensembles perform in public schools and community venues across New York City, including homeless shelters, organizations that serve special needs populations, and senior centers.

“The Audience Engagement Intensive definitely helped me reset my own track,” said Teagan Faran of the Heart and Sole Trio (AEI 2017). “With the values we talked about during the week, I was inspired to explore more community-based arts movements, and as a result was awarded two different fellowships centered around arts strengthening the community.”

“For my quartet,” said Lily Holgate of the Puck Quartet (AEI 2017), “creating an Interactive Performance presented a completely different way of working together and it challenged our understanding of what music making is – why we do it, how we share it, and even how we rehearse the music itself. It also gave us a chance to focus in on seemingly simple things: public speaking, body language, and group presentation. Since the workshop we have done a handful of outreach concerts and every skill that we gained from writing and performing an Interactive Performance has been used in those performances.”

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