Originally posted 1 Aug 2007. I think about things I learned at Idyllwild every single day. I hope I have not spent my last summer up among the dusty cedars and A-frame cabins.

San Jacinto looming over Hemet

On Friday, I drove up Mt. San Jacinto to the lovely mountain town of Idyllwild, where I went for pretty much all of the formative summers of my life to what was then called ISOMATA. (Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts) I visited with Steve Fraider, the head of the summer program, and Bill Lowman, president ofย Idyllwild Arts, and it was so good to see that a new generation of arts students is benefiting from the same people who took such good care of me when I was there. After lunch, I got to watch Rick Giangiulio conduct an orchestra rehearsal at old Bowman auditorium, where I was introduced to some of the major orchestral repertoire at an early age. Off the top of my head, I can remember playing: Bartok Concerto for Orchestra, Sibelius 2nd, Mahler 1, Mahler 2, Pictures at an Exhibition and Lt. Kije Suite. All before going to college. This, and programs like it, give students such a fabulous introduction to the realities of orchestral playing and interpersonal dynamics. I grew up in Riverside, and though I had a terrific teacher in Cathy Graff, the music scene for the serious student was pretty sparse. She insisted that I take part in the ISOMATA summer program, and I can safely say that it is because I did so that I am a professional musician today. If you are a serious student, or the parent or teacher of one, please consider this program. It manages to be a fun summer camp, an earnest introduction to large repertoire and an experience that can motivate year-round, all in one.

Idyllwild town
Festival orchestra cellos rehearsing in Bowman auditorium

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5 Responses

  1. I started cello as an adult…and I’m always envious of the summer camps available to students. I have found some that welcome adults, but then there’s the issue of work. Oh to be a kid again!!!

    Next year, I will try to attend at least one summer camp. Do you know of a good one which includes adults as well?

  2. Well, I didn’t find anything for strings in GA, but I know the people at Interlochen are fantastic. (interlochen.org). Go check these out, too:
    summertrios.org, rockyridge.org. All have meaningful programs for adults.

    From your blog, you sound very advanced! I have a few adult students just like you, and it is so rewarding to teach people who are so inspired. I’ll keep looking for opportunities and I’ll post them in a proper blog entry in the next month or two. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Thanks Emily! I will check these out! I am really enjoying my lessons but I would love to find a quartet who would like to go to regular coaching with me. I really enjoy the quartet stuff and would like to do those in addition to my lessons. Oh…if only I could find a way to make a living from learning how to play the cello ๐Ÿ˜‰

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