Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival —17 July 2019 on Rocket Shop Radio Hour
On Wednesday, June 17, four members of the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival granted Rocket Shop the pleasure of a private concert. Mitra (violin), Sarah (violin), Rebecca (viola), and Julia (cello) graced interviewer Tom and the crew with a rendition of Dvorak’s Quartet 10 in F Minor. This now annual tradition of a Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival performance on Rocket Shop always brings a smile to Tom’s face, as he delights in the notion of his own personal symphony.
Tom wasn’t the only one having fun, of course. For the four artists in the room, music brings its own joy.
When asked what makes music and the GMCMF so much fun for all of the musicians, Rebecca answered, “It’s the process of putting it together.” It’s the combination of learning, interpreting, and performing all of the nuances of a piece, as well as getting to work with other talented musicians, that makes the Festival’s experience so fantastic.
For four weeks, the University of Vermont hosts over 200 high school and college musicians from around the country for a concentrated music experience. The artists learn from and play alongside UVM faculty and guest artists. Musicians engage with music for hours on end: musicians practise alone in the morning, with their chamber group in the afternoon, and they listen to concerts in the evening.
Although it may seem like a spirit stifling amount of work, the musicians can find solace in it. As Julia mentioned offhand, “I come here to focus.” For Julia and others, the Festival serves a means to silencing distractions. Rather than suffering through four weeks of rigorous training, they see it as an opportunity to distill life down to the necessities: food, shelter, and music. Music sessions are broken up with meals and lakeside views, which leaves little else for musicians to want.
They love what they do, and, for four weeks, they get to do what they love.
Music isn’t the only draw of the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival. Sarah, Rebecca, Mitra, and Julia all echoed the value of the friendships they’ve created here. The ability to collaborate with like-minded people who equally love music leads to staunch relationships. As Mitra said, you get to “work with strangers who become extended family.” The bonds created listening, practicing, and (on rare occasions) relaxing together would seem almost never-ending. But when the music stops, and the musicians depart in a great diaspora across the country, and Sarah and Mitra return to North Carolina, and Julia leaves for Oklahoma, and Rebecca to the far off land of Texas, the finality of the event will become apparent.
Perhaps one day, these musicians will cross paths again in some concert hall in some serendipitous corner of the world. Or maybe they’ll just see each other at next year’s Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival!
Either way, the music was fantastic, and we can’t wait for next year!
Text by Luke Vidic.
Photo by James Lockridge.