Columbus Connections in side-by-side event
Performing with professional musicians in a masterclass is quite the opportunity, one that Denison string students had during the fall of 2021 with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra String Quartet in a “side-by-side” event. Across two days, students had a chance to rehearse on the “other side” of the event with ProMusica - in a live mini-concert of a live audience after receiving coaching on their individual pieces.
Assistant Professor and Coordinator of String Studies Hanna Hurwitz, said this event “afforded the students an opportunity to experience what it is like to have a public, professional dress rehearsal [and] a unique learning experience where students are able to feel and hear what is musically possible on stage.”
The collaboration is part of a broader effort to connect Denison with the arts scene in Columbus. Many Denison faculty members bring those connections with them to campus. Margot Singer, director of the Eisner Center, said, “we are so fortunate that Cora Kuyvenhoven, who has taught cello and directed the chamber music program at Denison for many years, is also the assistant principal cellist with ProMusica Chamber Orchestra and performs with the ProMusica String Quartet.”
Seizing these opportunities to create dynamic experiences for students is part of what makes the arts community here at Denison unique. The ProMusica quartet worked with three Denison string ensembles on “bowing styles, dynamics and musical intentions for phrases,” said Kuyvenhoven.
With connections established outside Denison, chamber music students are able to perform in academic and non-academic settings. Kuyvenhoven continued, saying “a fun continuing aspect of the collaboration is that now, when I refer to my professional colleagues, the students smile and nod because of the personal connection.”