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Our Readers Write

January 13, 2011

Open invitation to hear LCHS chamber musicians

Did you know that the La Cañada High School Music Program has a chamber-music program? Our youngsters in the community are blessed with the opportunity of learning to play chamber music. Come and check it out.

School bands are more common than orchestras in the U.S., but few schools have chamber-music programs. Chamber music is a special form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments and played in a palace chamber. It is also called "the music of friends." Many music lovers play chamber music for their own passion in music-making with their friends who share a similar pleasure in playing music at their homes. Small jazz or rock bands can also be seen as a form of chamber music. Nowadays, chamber music is also performed on stage or outdoors at various social gatherings.

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Playing chamber music calls for musical, social and communicative skills that are somewhat different from skills for playing solo or symphonic music. We usually have a few players share the same musical line in an instrumental section when playing in a band or orchestra, but that is not the case in chamber music. Each player will have his or her individual section, and therefore has to learn to take sole responsibility of his or her own musical line. The player can show how the musical phrase is expressed, communicated musically in his or her own unique way among the players in the same group and ultimately, to the audience. As you can see, it is a teamwork playing chamber music. It is exciting that chamber-music playing fits well with what members of the Millennial generation (i.e. people born in the '90s, our current high-school students) like to do — team up for just about anything.

You are welcome to attend the chamber-music concert at LCHS, 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 18, in the auditorium. Our young musicians will perform work by Dvořák, Haydn and Mozart in a piano trio, a string quartet and trio, and also in an oboe quartet. For more information, please visit: http://www.lchsmusic.org.

Shanpin Hwang

La Cañada Flintridge

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