You already know that UC San Diego students take classes with faculty members who are renowned experts in their fields. But did you know that outside of class, students also have opportunities to learn from internationally recognized artists, like the St. Lawrence String Quartet?
Through UC San Diego ArtPower!’s Concerts in Close Quarters series, students experience intimate and interactive chamber music performances from the comfort of their residence halls. In support of this program, the Parents Fund recently awarded $3,500 to help sustain the series and bring about its next event: the St. Lawrence String Quartet. The quartet will perform February 9 at 5 p.m. at The Lodge in Sixth College.
“Concerts in Close Quarters provides an outstanding opportunity for students to experience the vibrancy of chamber music in an environment that is comfortable and familiar,” said Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Penny Rue. “It is this type of distinctive encounter that Student Affairs provides, where valuable learning experiences can take place outside of the classroom.”
Concerts in Close Quarters attracts students from all academic disciplines—not just music majors—because of the casual, intimate and interactive format of the program. Part performance, part demonstration and part conversation, the visiting ensemble will play excerpts of chamber music pieces and interweave the selections with discussions with the students. Students are encouraged to ask questions, and the artists often share tidbits of the history of chamber music or specific instruments.
“This program is a unique opportunity for students who are not necessarily music students to have an informal concert experience and conversation with internationally renowned artists,” said Elizabeth Yang-Hellewell, program and audience development manager for ArtPower! “The interdisciplinary engagement that is at the core of this series makes it valuable to a diverse group of students.”
Past performances include So Percussion, Portland Cello Project, Tin Alley String Quartet and most recently, the Hugo Wolf Quartett. “We’ve presented standing-room only Concerts in Close Quarters, where students line up after the concert to have our artists sign autographs,” said Martin Wollesen, artistic director for ArtPower! “The musicians are treated like rock stars.”
During the fall 2011 quarter, the Hugo Wolf Quartett came to Sixth College’s multi-purpose community space, The Dogg House. Founded in Vienna in 1993, the Hugo Wolf Quartett has been a fixture on the international chamber music scene and has entertained audiences around the globe. “The composition is like a sketch,” violinist Régis Bringolf told students during the performance. “You have to add a lot.”
Concerts in Close Quarters began as a partnership between UC San Diego’s ArtPower! and Sixth College as a way to engage students in classical music. “A formal performance in a concert hall setting may be intimidating for some students,” said Elaine Scott, student life officer at Sixth College. “So we’ve removed it as a barrier by bringing the artists into Sixth College community spaces. The cost of admission to concerts and performances can also be a hurdle, and thus our events are always free to students.”
The series is partially underwritten by a gift from Murray and Elaine Galinson, yet additional funding is needed to grow the program and ensure its continuation into the future. “The support from the Parents Fund will enable us to create higher visibility for the program and will help us to expand the series,” said Yang-Hellewell. “We hope to partner with more of the colleges in the future so that we can offer the event at more locations on campus.”
Parents and families can help support educational enrichment programs, like Concerts in Close Quarters, by giving to the Parents Fund. The Parents Fund strengthens academic enrichment and Student Affairs programming by providing a flexible pool of dollars to each of the six colleges, as well as funding for campus-wide academic enrichment initiatives.To learn more about how your support can make a difference, and to make your gift, please visit our new Parent and Family Giving webpage. For questions or further information, please contact Director of Parent and Family Giving Suzanne McClain, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (858) 822-3867.