Creating a Great In-School Ensemble Program

Recently I attended a presentation by Mitchell Korn, who conducted an in-depth analysis of my orchestra’s educational programs. He had many critically interesting ideas to convey to us musicians, and kept coming back to “professional development.” I think, for most of my colleagues, this conjurs up a vision of a truly boring session with some consultant who knows very little about what happens during one of our in-school ensemble presentations.

I immediately thought of the three-part series that Gary Race wrote for Polyphonic over two decades ago, based on an intensive arrangement he had with the National Symphony. He explains how to put together a great in-school performance, from the beginning planning/brain-storming phase, through the rehearsing and blocking it out phase, to the final polishing and getting it ready for the road phase.

If you’re involved with performing in a small group for young children, you need to take a look at these three articles!

Getting the Show on the Road, Part 1: Ideas

Getting the Show on the Road, Part 2: Preparati0n and Scripting

Getting the Show on the Road, Part 3: Rehearsal and Performance


About the author

Ann Drinan
Ann Drinan

Ann Drinan, Senior Editor, has been a member of the Hartford Symphony viola section for over 30 years. She is a former Chair of the Orchestra Committee, former member of the HSO Board, and has served on many HSO committees. She is also the Executive Director of CONCORA (CT Choral Artists), a professional chorus based in Hartford and New Britain, founded by Artistic Director Richard Coffey. Ann was a member of the Advisory Board of the Symphony Orchestra Institute (SOI), and was the HSO ROPA delegate for 14 years, serving as both Vice President and President of ROPA. In addition to playing the viola and running CONCORA, Ann is a professional writer and editor, and has worked as a consultant and technical writer for software companies in a wide variety of industries for over 3 decades. (She worked for the Yale Computer Science Department in the late 70s, and thus has been on the Internet, then called the DARPAnet, since 1977!) She is married to Algis Kaupas, a sound recordist, and lives a block from Long Island Sound in Branford CT. Together they create websites for musicians:

Ann holds a BA in Music from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an MA in International Relations from Yale University.

Read Ann Drinan's blog here.

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