About Green Mountain

Green Mountain Online 2020

Framed by sweeping views of the Green Mountains and by the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival has taken place on the campus of the University of Vermont each summer from 2005 to 2019. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot hold public concerts in Burlington and it will not be possible to host our students and faculty for the usual four week program.

Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival has completed the development of its 2020 online program, and is preparing to welcome more than 250 students who have registered to participate. The program will include as many of the elements of our residential program as can be incorporated into this year’s online format. While we regret that the experience of being together in Vermont will not be possible this summer, we look forward to creating a sense of musical community for our students and faculty through this online framework.

Technology
During the weeks before the program begins, students and faculty will be offered a packet of information on the technology available to ensure the best possible quality of remote lessons and recordings. On Thursday, June 25th, from 2:00 to 3:30 pm EDT, a class on self-recording will be offered by Michael Rothkopf, who teaches composition and recording techniques at UNCSA. This class will help students for preparation of recordings for online performance at Green Mountain and elsewhere. Private consultation on recording may be arranged with Dr. Rothkopf for an additional fee. As in the residential program, there are six hour-long lessons in the four-week period from June 29 - July 24; teachers will also give weekly studio classes to their students, which are open to all.

Student performances
Each Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30 pm EDT, student performances will be streamed through the festival web site. Additional student concerts will be scheduled on Wednesday evenings as needed.

Guest master classes
Chad Hoopes, violin on Friday, July 3 at 11 am EDT
Philip Setzer, violin on Friday, July 10 at 11 am EDT
Lawrence Dutton, viola on Friday, July 17 at 11 am EDT
Clive Greensmith, cello on Wednesday, July 22 at 4 pm EDT

Classes on orchestral excerpts will include:

Lembi Veskimets, viola on Thursday, July 2 at 11 am EDT
Kari Docter, cello on Thursday, July 9 at 11 am EDT
Bruno Eicher, violin on Thursday, July 16 at 11 am EDT
These classes will be open to all; performance in the classes and private instruction on orchestral excerpts may be arranged with these faculty for an additional fee.

Practice app
An app has been designed for Green Mountain students to help foster a sense of accountability for practicing. This app, which will be sent to all students, can generate a practice log they may share with their teacher. We’ve named the app Long Trail, a reference both to the Vermont portion of the Appalachian Trail, and also to the observation of Ivan Galamian that “the road to mastery [of our instrument] is a long and arduous one.”

Faculty presentations on Mondays at 11 AM, Tuesdays at 4PM, and Wednesdays at 4 PM, will include:

Mozart Made Simple…and Joyous—Lila Brown
Mozart doesn’t have to be difficult—playing this music can be fun and filled with joy. Participants will learn a bow stroke called schwung or swing stroke, which allows notes to ring and release. We’ll also take your Mozart concerto or chamber music parts and apply a very simple and remarkably effective formula for figuring out the character, articulation and bow strokes for any phrase.

The Physicality of Sound Production for Violists (and Others Too)—Sheila Browne
Sound does not lie! Our body is our most important resonating chamber when playing a musical instrument. We will explore how to keep the body in better biomechanical balance and how this affects sound production: volume, warmth, variation of colors, intensity, and even intonation.

Things My Teacher Never Taught Me: Life Beyond the Practice Room—Caroline Coade
You know how to practice, but how savvy are you about the non-playing aspects of your musical life? This nuts and bolts talk will cover topics such as how to write an email to a prospective teacher, how to sharpen your interpersonal skills and gauge your social IQ, how to leave a wonderful first impression, to greet and thank donors, to plan for your “diversified portfolio” career as a musician, plan for an “attitude of gratitude,” and many other essential topics that are not necessarily part of your lesson experience.

Making Daily Practice Count—Stefan Kartman
What benefits do we see from our daily technique regimen? How can we practice most effectively to improve the performance of our concertos and chamber music parts? Most musicians spend a portion of their practice on scales, arpeggios, and other general techniques. There are ways to use these general methods to address specific challenges in our pieces by designing or adapting our general technique practice to passages within our repertoire. This workshop will explore how we can adapt our daily technical exercises to conquer our own personal challenges within our repertoire.

Skill, Will, Thrill: Inspired Learning through Productivity, Mindset, and Motivation—Sarah Kim
Oftentimes in the practice room, students and performers alike can run into roadblocks such as lagging motivation, tedium, and low morale. Hours can be spent with the feeling that nothing has been achieved, leading to exasperation and declining productivity. Without proper goal setting and management it is easy to get ‘into a rut’. How can we get the most out of all those hours in the practice room? In this presentation you are  invited to learn strategies for building SKILLS for goal setting and efficient practice, maintaining the WILL to engage in inspired practice, and attaining the THRILL of artistic comprehension. 

You Are Your Teacher: Preparing for Musical Adulthood—Kevin Lawrence
As music students, our work is structured by a pattern of weekly lessons and performances that are usually arranged for us. In our professional lives, we will have to adjust to a very different situation—it will be up to us to decide what to play, how to practice, how to make decisions about musical interpretation, how to find performance opportunities. This discussion will consider how we can balance openness to our teachers’ insights with development of the independence needed by adult musicians.

Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics—Larry Medsker
This session explores how stringed instruments produce beautiful music. We will discuss length and diameter of strings, how a bow makes a string vibrate, the relative size of the string instruments, how a little violin can produce a mighty sound, how harmonics work and how musical ideas travel from the musician's brain to the minds of the audience. Bring your instruments for some experimenting! Dr. Medsker is a GMCMF board member and Professor of Physics at George Washington University.

Meditation for Musicians—Steven Pologe
Regularly practicing meditation can ultimately affect every aspect of a person’s life, including the quality of one’s instrumental performance. This class will focus on basic meditation skills, help develop a regular practice extending beyond the four-week session, and noticing how our enhanced awareness can be applied to all aspects of our life as musiciains including intonation, technique, phrasing, tone color and musical understanding.

The View From the Other Side: How an Audition Panel Listens—Alan Rafferty
A presentation on auditions in general, with an emphasis on orchestra auditions in particular. This talk will help students better understand how their auditions will come across to the panel hearing them, what committee members appreciate, dislike and hope to hear.

Beethoven’s String Quartet Opus 95, “Serioso''—Rhonda Rider
A comparison of three very different recordings, from period instruments to contemporary. What goes into an interpretation? How do we, as recreative artists, bring music to life? Concerns of notation, form, style, tone color will be discussed. Bring your strong opinions!

Practicing to Sing, and Singing to Practice: Musicians Using Their Voices Every Day—Dmitri Shteinberg
Articulation and diction, agogic and rhetoric, phrase and sentence—musicians of all stripes use these words daily. Our music, Western instrumental music, has grown out of vocal music, as we all know, but how many of us use our voices to enhance our learning? This workshop will help you take the first steps.