Improvisation as an Ensemble

This summer I had the pleasure of working with an extremely talented group of young orchestral musicians through the Chicago Metamorphosis Orchestra Project Summer Music camp. While much of the repertoire focused on well-known orchestral works, I was able to experiment with the ensemble on creating a new piece which challenged the ensemble to better listen to one another and develop improvisational skills as an ensemble.  The piece's main theme was composed by the camp's music theory students and their input can be heard in the resulting "Theme and Variations".  I then arranged the work for the ensemble and we began rehearsing the piece in July.



We publicly performed the work for the first time on September 7 at the Beethoven Festival performance at Merit School of Music. The beauty of the work lives in it's simplicity but even more so in how every time it was rehearsed and then performed the musicians expanded their minds on what their instruments can do. From learning how to "make clarinets screetch" to deciding on when to make various entrances, each performance pushed the boundaries of these young musicians beyond and tested comfort levels. I am extremely proud of the piece and of their performance. I hope that in some small way it inspires these musicians to continue to explore and expand the possibilities of what they and their instruments can do and ultimately how to be creative in any situation.

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Coolest News

Composed and premiered a new work entitled Lost in Translation at the 7th Annual Chicago Calling Festival on October 5 for Nu Directions Chamber Brass!
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Tom Madeja