The sixth annual Summer Chamber Music Festival, sponsored by the USD’s College of Arts and Sciences and the FanFaire Foundation, is under the direction of Angela Yeung, PhD, an associate professor of music at USD.
“USD is the perfect setting,” said Yeung, who directs USD’s music program, including its symphony orchestra and chamber music ensembles. “The festival is a great way for us to reach out to the community and bring them in. It is beautiful that we get to bring together young and old participants and musicians. And the younger participants get to see that classical music is not boring at all.”
Nearly 60 participants, ranging in age from 7 to “over 66” years old, have taken part in this year’s festival. The FanFaire Foundation’s involvement stems from its dedication to developing music among today’s youth.
Veronika Diederichs, 10, participated in the festival along with her father. Diederichs, who plays cello, said meeting new friends has been a highlight for her.
Bass player Soren Hansen, 14, agrees. “Playing with new people and connecting through music is what I have really enjoyed here. There is a girl from France here, and even though we don’t speak the same language, we can understand each other through music.”
Jacob Celnicker, 15, said he was attracted to the festival for the chance to play with accomplished musicians. The festival allows musicians to closely work with coaches from the San Diego Symphony and USD Music Program faculty. The USD coaches are Rebekah Campbell (violin), Glen Campbell (cello), Kay Etheridge (piano), Alyze Drieling (violin), Linda Scott (piano), Margaret Johnston (bass), Frank Renk (clarinet), Ryan Simmons (bassoon), Edmund Stein (violin), Sarah Tuck (flute), Lisa Terry (viola de gamba) and Yeung (cello).
“Playing in a big group of like-minded people has been most rewarding for me,” said Leila Benadyk. Picking a college is also on the 16-year-old’s mind, and being on USD’s campus has given her a glimpse into her future. She said USD has set the standard high as she considers her college options.
Yeung said two USD students — one current student and an incoming freshman — are past festival participants and it serves to acclimate potential students to the university’s music department.
The campus community and visitors to USD have enjoyed a sampling of the music this week. Festival participants (pictured) delivered a free, lunchtime concert July 5-7 at USD’s La Gran Terraza restaurant.
Those interested in listening to a full concert by festival musicians can do so by attending one of three upcoming shows. The French Parlor in USD’s Founders Hall hosts tonight’s (Thursday, July 7) 7:30 concert. Two afternoon concerts on Saturday, July 9, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at USD’s Shiley Theatre, conclude the festival. Tickets for each show, ranging in price between $5 and $12 can be purchased at the door.
— Ellie Faulkner ’11