The VCUarts Department of Music regularly hosts workshops, camps and other programs for middle- and high-school students and their families.
Programs happen year-round and include offerings for winds, brass, percussion, voice, piano, strings and more! Select from the menu to learn more about each program.
Select a program
FEBRUARY 17, 2024 SATURDAY 10am-12:30 ON ZOOM
Registration will open soon
Cost $40 per participant ($50 after February 1)
This workshop for violin, viola, cello, bass, and harp helps high school string players prepare for the Virginia All-State audition. Guided by VCU String faculty, participants will hone their skills and build their confidence.
In this online workshop, you will hear us, the faculty, but we won’t hear you as we will keep you muted (unless you are asking a question). You’ll get tips on how to work on the trickiest of spots in your audition material with faculty on your instrument. Workshops on scale readiness and stagefright round out the workshop to allow you to be your best in the All-State Audition.
Schedule of Activities (Draft)
10:00-10:25am Technique/Scale Blitz
10:30-11:15am Etude Workshop
– break –
11:20am-12:05pm Excerpt session
12:05-12:30pm Performance & Stagefright Training
Workshop includes handouts to keep and instruction over zoom. Looking for music? Audition materials for All-State Orchestra can be found at the VBODA.org website under events.
Violin: Professors Susanna Klein, Anna Williams
Viola: Professors Molly Sharp, Stephen Schmidt
Cello: Professors Dana McComb, Mikhail Veselov
Bass: Professor Ayca Kartari
Harp: Professor Anastasia Jellison
VCUarts Music faculty members are professional musicians who currently perform with the Richmond Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Atlantic Chamber Ensemble, Classical Revolution and more. They have countless years of experience playing in professional orchestras and preparing successfully for auditions. Read more about our amazing professional string faculty here.
All cello, all day! Stretch your playing and musicianship with a diverse offering of workshops in technique and creativity with like-minded community cellists. All participants will perform in a cello ensemble concert! Cellopalooza is an ideal experience for cellists age 12 to 99*, both students and teachers.
The Amazing Cellopalooza Faculty for 2023 is:
Emmanual Feldman is this year’s special guest artist.
Registration fee $75 (Early Bird, before January 2) or $90 (after Jan 2)
Registration covers all workshops, rehearsals, T-shirt, boxed lunch.
You can register for Cellopalooza here!
Master Class Audition Fee $20 (Deadline Jan 7)
Cellists interested in playing as a soloist for the Young Artist Masterclass with Mr. Feldman must register an audition by January 7th and pay the audition fee. This is a separate transaction from the cellopalooza main ticket. We will send a google form to all those who purchased an audition, asking for their youtube link by January 8th.
If you want to register to audition for the Master Class, you can do so here!
- We are expecting between 60 and 90 cellists
- Time Frame: 9:00am to 5:15pm
- Boxed lunch ( supplied by VCU and included)
- Cellopalooza T-shirt
Workshops Topics (exact schedule will be published later)
- Practice Strategies for left hand/Sectionals
- Right Hand Technique/Sectional
- Young Artist Masterclass with Emmanuel Feldman
- Emmanuel Feldman mini-recital
- Teacher Roundtable / The Heart Rate in Performance
- Cello Choir Rehearsal & Concert
More Important Details – Please Read:
* Students younger than 12 must be accompanied by their parents or a teacher/guardian
**Cellists will be assigned a cello ensemble part based on their experience. Cello teachers may join any cello choir section. Link to Cellopalooza Ensemble Music will be made available 2 weeks prior to the event via email.
*** Lunch and a T-shirt will be guaranteed for all who register by Friday January 13, 2023. If registering after that date (or walk up), please plan to bring lunch!
**** Final schedule for the day, parking info and directions will be email the week of the event
History of Cellopalooza
Cellopalooza has been running for more than a decade!
Previous special guest artists have been:
Cellopalooza I: Bonnie Hampton, Juilliard
Cellopalooza II: Peter Wispelwey, International Artist
Cellopalooza III: Zuill Bailey, International Artist
Cellopalooza IV: Joel Krosnick, Juilliard Quartet
Cellopalooza V: Clive Greensmith, Tokyo Quartet
Cellopalooza VI: Alisa Weilerstein
Cellopalooza VII: Irene Sharp
Cellopalooza VIII: Paul Watkins
Cellopalooza IX: Sharon Robinson
To be added to our Strings mailing list, please click here.
Questions about Cellopalooza? Contact Dana McComb: email@example.com
Emmanuel Feldman Bio:
Hailed by John Williams as “an outstanding cellist and truly dedicated artist,” Emmanuel Feldman has commissioned over 60 works by composers such as Harbison, Schuller and Kernis. Described by Gramophone as “an artist who combines communicative urgency with tonal splendor,” Feldman’s recent release Our American Roots (Delos) includes the rarely heard George Walker sonata.
Feldman has performed in the U.S. and internationally as a soloist, chamber musician and composer. An enthusiastic collaborator, he has partnered in a wide range of creative projects with Bobby McFerrin, the Mark Morris Dance Group, and Verona String Quartet. Awarded grants from the Argosy and Thomson Foundations, Feldman released two world premiere recordings, one of which earned a Grammy nomination for producer Blanton Alspaugh.
Feldman’s recital credits include performances at Carnegie Hall, Salle Gaveau Paris, and Franz Liszt Academy in Hungary. As a concerto soloist, Mr. Feldman has performed with the Boston Pops, Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Greensboro Festival Orchestra, and Boston Philharmonic. He has also performed with Gilbert Kalish, Elmar Oliveira and Paul Neubauer, in chamber music with the Jupiter and Borromeo String Quartets and as an orchestral player with the Boston Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestras.
Feldman’s own compositions have been heard at venues including the Granoff Music Center, Jordan Hall, and Brown University. His “Enigma #1” written for Duo Cello e Basso was performed on the Boston Celebrity Series to critical acclaim by the Boston Globe. His recent arrangements include works by Debussy for cello and orchestra and Gershwin’s Three Preludes and short pieces from “Porgy and Bess” for cello and piano that can be heard on the Delos label.
With over a dozen CD’s to his credit, his critically acclaimed recordings and performances have featured music by American composers including Steve Mackey, Richard Danielpour and David Diamond. His “Rider on The Plains” CD featuring Virgil Thomson’s Cello Concerto was described as “sounding exhilarating in this bracing and confident performance” (N.Y. Times).
A sought after educator and clinician, Feldman’s cello students have gone on to be accepted to most major music schools and conservatories in the U.S. and abroad and have won competitions including the gold medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition and prizes at the Brahms International Competitions, Irving Kline, and Stulberg Competitions.
A skilled luthier, he is the inventor of the innovative TekPin™ cello endpin. Currently, he is a faculty member at Tufts University. He also teaches at the International Cello Institute, VCU Global Summer Institute of Music, and Heifetz International Music Institute.
Born in New York City to a large musical family, Feldman first studied the violin, piano, and French horn and then chose the cello at age 12, later studying at the Curtis Institute of Music. His teachers include Orlando Cole, David Finckel, Bernard Greenhouse, Amy Camus, and Jonathan Miller.
The VCU Choral Classic is an invitational event for high school choirs to attend.
Each fall choirs from across the state attend a half-day vocal workshop with our voice faculty followed by tours of campus, rehearsals in the concert hall, dinner at Shafer Dining Hall and culminating with Gala Concert featuring each of the guest choirs and the VCU Commonwealth Singers.
For more information, please contact Dr. Christopher Hansen.
VCU DOUBLE BASS DAY
SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 2024
10am to 1pm
James Black Music Center, VCU
1015 Grove Ave Richmond, VA 23220
It’s all about bass at VCU’s double bass workshop with VCU Bass Prof. Kartari and special guest National Symphony bassist Ira Gold. Grow your technique and have a blast with the Double Bass Ensemble.
The Double Bass Workshop is for Middle School and High School Bassists. Double Bass Teachers may also join us for the Double Bass Workshop!
Read more about our Amazing Double Bass Faculty:
$40 (Early Bird, on or before March 13) or
$50 (March 14 and later, including walk-up)
Registration covers all workshops and a snack.
- Bass Ensemble Rehearsal
- Technique Workshop (Pr. Kartari)
- Faculty Recital (Pr. Kartari & Gold)
- Technique Workshop (Pr. Gold)
- Bass Ensemble Rehearsal
- Bass Ensemble Concert (open to the public)
More Important Details – Please Read:
*Bassists will be assigned a bass ensemble part based on their experience, which we ask about in the registration questions. Bass teachers may join any ensemble section. Link to Bass Ensemble Music will be made available 2 weeks prior to the event via email, and we will have all parts on hand.
**Bassist must bring their own stools if they use them, but we supply music stands
*** Parking info, directions, and details will be emailed the week of the event
To be added to our Strings mailing list, please click here.
Questions about Double Bass Workshop? Contact Susanna Klein: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Ayça Kartari Bio
Ayça Kartari was born in Bilecik, Turkey. She began studying the double bass when she was 11 years old. In 2005, she received a full scholarship from the International Yehudi Menuhin Music Academy to study chamber music and completed her graduate studies at the Lausanne Conservatory in Switzerland.
During her studies, she toured around Europe and performed at Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Bozar in Brussels, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Konzerthaus in Vienna, Konzerthaus in Berlin, Smetana Hall in Prague, Casino in Bern, Slovenian Philharmonic Hall in Ljubljana, Palais de Bratislava, George Enescu Festival in Bucharest, Festival Estoril Lisboa, and Menuhin Festival in Gstaad.
Before moving to Richmond, Virginia, she was working with the Izmir State Opera and Ballet, and Istanbul Borusan Philharmonic. She performed for The Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London conducted by Sascha Goetzel in 2015.
She recorded with the Space Bomb artist Trey Pollard on his solo album “Antiphone” as part of a string quintet. She frequently performs with a Richmond-based indie Turkish pop band Yeni Nostalji, Williamsburg Symphony, Opera in Williamsburg, Richmond Symphony, and the Atlantic Chamber Ensemble. She recorded “Rags and Hymns of River City” commissioned by composer Mason Bates in 2019 with Atlantic Chamber Ensemble.
In addition to her roles as a double bass performer and teacher, Ayça has directed Classical Incarnations at Classical Revolution RVA and served as the Artistic Director for the Mozart Festival.
Ira Gold Bio
Ira Gold made his Carnegie Hall solo debut in 2011, performing the Vanhal Bass Concerto with the Catholic University of America Symphony Orchestra.
Prior to joining the National Symphony in 2005, he performed with several American orchestras, as Section Bass with the Minnesota Orchestra and as guest Principal Bassist with the San Francisco Symphony and Detroit Symphony. He has attended festivals such as Grand Teton Music Festival, Domaine Forget Music Academy, Bach Festival Leipzig, Aspen, and Tanglewood. Mr. Gold spent several summers at the International Festival Institute at Round Top both as a student and faculty. He is continually in demand for recitals and masterclasses, including recent visits at The Colburn School, University of Southern California, The Moscow State Conservatory, Boston University, New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, University of Colorado (Boulder), The Juilliard School, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, The International Society of Bassists Convention, and The Manhattan School of Music. Mr. Gold maintains a studio of private students, has taught lessons and coached chamber music in the National Symphony Orchestra Youth Fellowship program, and has been a Double Bass Faculty member of Peabody Conservatory since 2009. He also teaches for Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artist’s Orchestra, DCBass, Bass Works, and Bass Club (UK).
Mr. Gold has been interviewed multiple times by Jason Heath for the podcast Contrabass Conversations, and more recently as a featured guest on The Audition Breakthrough Summit, which launched in March 2017. In 2016 he published an article for the ISB’s journal Bass World, in which he discusses the qualities of teaching that affect the relationship of teacher and student.
An active chamber musician, Mr. Gold has performed with East Coast Chamber Orchestra, the NSO Millenium Stage Prelude Series, Peabody Conservatory Faculty, and the New Orchestra of Washington.
He earned his Bachelor of Music degree at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts, and his Master of Music degree at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he won the strings division of the 2005 Concerto Competition. His primary teachers include Edwin Barker and Paul Ellison, and additional studies with Albert Laszlo, Kenneth Harper, Dennis Whittaker, Mark Shapiro, and Harry Lantz.
“… a jazz ensemble comprised of some of the very best high school jazz musicians
from our metropolitan area. The VCU Greater Richmond High School Jazz Band has
always given outstanding performances and serves as the best ambassadors for this
event that I could imagine.” -“The Titan Jazz & Art Festival: A Model for Others, Part I” by Brian Rollins JAZZed, Vol. 11, No. 6.
“[The] Greater Richmond High School Jazz Band swings and sways with its usual
brilliance.” –“And the Award Goes To…” Richmond Magazine
The Greater Richmond High School Jazz Band is made up of some of the most talented
high school jazz students from the region. Alumni of this ensemble have gone on to
major in music at such programs as VCU, Temple, Miami, The New School, Berklee,
and at other institutions throughout the U.S.
Each year the group is selected through auditions that are held in January. Rehearsals
are held on Sundays from 2-4 p.m. during the spring semester, culminating with two
concerts, one held at Trinity Episcopal School on April 22, 2023, and the second at
VCU’s Sonia Vlahcevic Concert Hall on May 6, 2023.
Auditions will take place January 9th and 10th, 2023 at VCU’s James W. Black Music
Center (Room 1003), 1015 Grove Avenue, Richmond, VA. Rehearsals will be held on
Sundays starting January 22, 2023 from 2-4 p.m.
STEP 1: Fill out the GRHSJB application form .
STEP 2: Toby Whitaker will contact you with available audition times and consent forms.
Contact Toby Whitaker (email@example.com) with any questions.
A non-refundable fee of $225 will be due by the first rehearsal.
Preparing for your Audition
Entry audition content is typically as follows. VCU Jazz faculty usually accompany
auditionees as needed; we welcome an extra copy of your sheet music. Backing tracks
Horns: Unaccompanied performance of the melodies and, if possible, improvised
solos over two tunes of your choice, especially swing, bossa, Afro-Cuban and samba.
Potential accompanied improvised solo over a tune of your or the jurors’ choice.
Possible basic scales to assess range, tone and/or technique.
Piano: Performance of a melody and accompaniment and, if possible, improvised
solo over two tunes of your choice, especially swing, bossa, Afro-Cuban and samba.
Possible basic scales to assess range, tone, and/or technique. Potential comping of a
variety of styles on request, especially swing, bossa and samba.
Guitar and bass: Performance of a melody and, if possible, improvised solo over
two tunes of your choice, especially swing, bossa, Afro-Cuban and samba. Potential
accompanied improvised solo over a tune of your or the jurors’ choice. Possible basic
scales to assess range, tone and/or technique. Potential comping of a variety of styles
on request, especially swing, bossa, Afro-Cuban and samba. VCU will supply guitar and
bass amps; guitarists are required to bring their own quarter-inch cords. Bassists will
Drums: Unaccompanied performance of a variety of styles on request, including
swing, ballad, waltz, bossa, samba and Afro-Cuban, plus possibly trading fours.
Drummers are required to bring their own cymbals, hi-hat clutch, sticks and brushes.
All: Sight reading as provided by the jurors.
Sample tunes might include:
- Swing: “Autumn Leaves,” “Satin Doll,” “Now’s the Time,” “Take the ‘A’ Train” and “Stella by Starlight”
- Bossa: “Blue Bossa,” “Recorda-Me,” “Meditation,” Wave” and “Black Orpheus”
- Samba: Samba versions of the bossas above are acceptable.
- Afro-Cuban: “Mambo Inn” (2-3 clave), “Afro-Blue” (12/8), “Frenesí” (cha-cha),
“Como Fue” (cha-cha) and “A Night in Tunisia” (possible in a variety of settings)
- Ballad: “In a Sentimental Mood,” “Body and Soul,” “My Funny Valentine,” “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” and “Misty”
- Waltz: “Up Jumped Spring,” “Someday My Prince Will Come,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “All Blues” and “Bluesette”
You are not limited to the above choices; these are merely examples. Please note that
improvisation is not a requirement to join this ensemble; however, we are delighted to
hear all levels of improv within your audition.
Richmond’s Bands began in 1995 with the founding of the Greater Richmond Youth Wind Ensemble (GRYWE) for advanced high school musicians. The following year, the Richmond Honors Band was created as an opportunity for advanced middle school and young high school students and in response to popular demand, the Greater Richmond High School Jazz Band was added the following year.
The Richmond’s Bands program is a valuable addition to Richmond’s vibrant instrumental community, offering aspects of a district or all-state band experience within a long-term rehearsal environment.
The program has given Richmond-area students the opportunity to work with some of the finest conductors and teachers in the U.S. Guest conductors for GRYWE have included composer Timothy Mahr, retired United States Marine Band Director Colonel John Bourgeois, band clinician and author Ed Lisk and internationally renowned conductor David Whitwell. Students from Richmond’s Bands have gone on to study in some of the finest music schools in the country.
Connect with GRYWE on Facebook!
After you’ve completed your application, you will receive additional instructions via email about scheduling an audition slot.
Auditions will take place January 19th and 26th from 4:30-6:30pm at the Singleton Center for Performing Arts (922 Park Avenue, Richmond, VA, 23284). Auditions will be five minutes in length.
Students will be asked to perform a prepared piece of their choice. It is recommended that students perform their district etude if possible. Students should also be prepared to play scales and sight-read a short excerpt. Percussionists are only required to audition on one instrument but strong consideration will be given to those who demonstrate proficiency on snare, mallets and timpani. Percussionists must bring their own sticks, mallets, cymbals and clutch; percussion instruments will be provided by VCU.
For more information on GRYWE, contact Duane Coston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 27th Annual VCU Jazz Day is back and in person! This free event is open to intermediate-to-advanced high school jazz musicians, by nomination from their teacher. Selected students will have demonstrated a strong desire and ability to pursue the craft of jazz improvisation and may be considering continuing that pursuit at the college or professional level.
Saturday, January 28, 2023
9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
VCU James Black Music Center
1015 Grove Ave.
Richmond, Virginia 23284
VCU Jazz Day includes:
VCU student and faculty jazz performances,
Master classes for individual instruments
Most importantly, participants will play in VCU faculty-coached combos with other motivated and experienced high school jazz musicians from across the state.
Free lunch provided.
Seven of our VCU faculty members will offer instruction, including:
Horn players must bring instruments. Guitarists and bassists must bring their own cords and amps. Drummers must bring their own cymbals, sticks, brushes, and hi-hat clutch. Drum sets will be provided.
Teachers of interested students should nominate them by emailing Prof. Taylor Barnett at email@example.com by January 6, 2023, or sooner!
Nominated students who accept our invitation to Jazz Day must complete, sign, and return the downloadable VCU Jazz Day 2023 Registration/Consent Form to Dr. Taylor Barnett at firstname.lastname@example.org with the signature of a parent or guardian.
Note that January 28 is also a VCU Music Audition date. Students can participate in Jazz Day and audition for entry into the Fall 2023 class. Notify us at email@example.com if you plan to do both!
VCU Middle School Summer Band Camp.
June 19-22, 2023 on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University.
Description: Middle school students will play in a large ensemble group, attend workshops, experience team building and meet new friends! Students will work directly with VCU Music Department faculty & students.
Topics will include: Tone Production, Technique, Music Theory, Rhythmic Awareness, Equipment, Reed Care, and More!
The camp will end with a group performance in the Sonia Vlahcevic Concert Hall located in the Singleton Center for Performing Arts.
To register use this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeJZ6cQYdl79WVjTqqHwgApOcRB2MYwgFkQa45mB2RsFivkNQ/viewform