For tickets, contact the College of Liberal ArtsBox Office at (937) 775-2500 or go to the box office located in the Commons of the Ceative Arts Center.
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Monday, December 3, 2012
Chamber music is not always easy to define. "It's classical music that uses one player per part." "It's meant for performance in chamber, i.e. small salons or similar settings." "It's music for small ensemble that generally does not use conductor." "It includes jazz."
It's tempting to paraphrase the famous line from Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, and simply say "We know it when we hear it." But the favorite definition of chamber music from our friend, James Tocco, speaks more directly to the philosophy of Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings: "It is an intimate dialogue among musical friends."
Indeed, the 1982 birth of the organization was spawned by just such a dialogue. Four young friends aspired to relive and build upon some of their best musical experiences from college, where the abundance of available talent and lack of rehearsal costs made just about any musical undertaking possible. One could think big, talk to friends, set out a plan, and make great music happen.
So Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings was born. The founders turned to their musical colleagues to join them in bringing this music to life, and they called upon their friends and families to organize a Board of Trustees.
From that simple beginning, a complex arts institution has emerged. For nearly 30 years, DCWS has presented outstanding performances of mixed works for winds, brass and strings. Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings has established a national reputation for artistic excellence. Some 30 new works have been premiered. Five compact discs have been released. Tours have stretched throughout the United States and as far as Switzerland.
The collaborative, entrepreneurial spirit that formed DCWS remains at the center of the institution. DCWS' commitment to collaboration extends well beyond its music making. DCWS shares its staff with the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble. Each organization maintains its individual identity, along with its own board of directors and institutional mission. But they share almost everything else that goes into administering successful arts organizations: office space, accounting, technology, and staff.
DCWS extends these administrative services to other institutions that benefit from sharing expertise and resources on a more limited basis. Relationships are maintained with the Motor City Brass Band, the Cultural Alliance of Southeastern Michigan, and the Peking University School of Transnational Law. These partnerships are undertaken with a goal of serving DCWS' core mission of providing great concerts and arts education services.
Its commitment to collaboration has brought considerable recognition to DCWS. Recent awards have come from the Hudson Webber Foundation, the McGregor Fund, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Crain's Detroit Business, the DTE Energy Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and others. All in the name of an intimate dialogue between musical friends.