Chamber Festival


Mary Martin

Students travelled to Timberlane Regional High School to attend the Chamber Festival. “I hope to gain experience playing in a type of ensemble that I’ve never played in before,” said Jack Sinclair ‘19, who participated in the event.

Mary Martin, Assistant Editor

On Saturday, January 13, seven Hollis Brookline High School students attended the All State Chamber Music Festival at Timberlane Regional High School in Plaistow, NH.

All State auditions were held in November and required student musicians to play scales and prepared pieces, as well as a sight reading component (where musicians play a piece they have never seen before). “The audition process takes a lot of preparation, and is quite competitive,” said Jack Sinclair ‘19, who participated in the Chamber Festival. Many students practice for months to prepare for the audition, and musicians often work with private teachers to help them perfect the audition material. Amy Norton ‘19, who received the top score in the state for french horn, said she had been looking at the material since the summer, practicing every day.

The top scorers were accepted into the program, and invited to participate in the Chamber Festival. Revathi Nithipalan ‘19 (flute), Amy Norton ‘19 (french horn), Jacob Ponders ‘19 (cello), Jack Sinclair ‘19 (trombone), Steven Szczeszynski ‘20 (french horn), Isaac Wimmer ‘18 (guitar), and Felix Yang ‘19 (oboe), were all invited to participate in the festival. Other high scorers were invited to perform in the All-State Music Festival in the spring.

Clinicians from a variety of schools, including the University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of New Hampshire, Boston University, and the University of Rhode Island, worked with the musicians throughout the day to perfect pieces as an ensemble. An evening performance culminated the festival, and the musicians were able to show off their hard work.

A variety of songs were played by the different ensembles, including an arrangement of Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph,” Mozart’s “Impresario Overture,” and Charles Gounod’s “Petite Symphonie,” which can be found in the audio link below. Sinclair, who played trombone in the Brass Choir, said, “The pieces we are playing are much, much harder than what we normally play in our school band.” He added that he hopes to learn from playing in this different kind of ensemble. Norton, who played french horn in the Woodwind Quintet, said, “I really like being able to play a different kind of music; we don’t get to play chamber stuff here [at Hollis Brookline].” Szczeszynski, who played french horn for the Chamber Winds ensemble and performed “Petite Symphonie,” said that “the ensemble aspect is much harder.”

Norton, Sinclair, and Szczeszynski all noted that they hope to learn from working with new people and new ensembles. They all agreed that performing with other high caliber musicians will be very beneficial. “This is the top of the top, so it’s amazing; it’s humbling,” said Norton of being able to work with other musicians at the festival.

An audio file of “Petite Symphonie”