Ensemble-in-Residence Program Brings Professional Musicians Into Class

Nov 27, 2007 — The study of music at Yeshiva University hits a high note this fall with the creation of the YU Ensemble-in-Residence Program at the undergraduate schools. The Momenta String Quartet, which has collaborated with Dr. David Glaser, assistant professor of music at Stern College for Women and has performed on campus before, will spend a year each at both the Beren and Wilf campuses.

“Momenta comprises four young energetic women, who share their vibrancy and love for music with our students,” Glaser says.

“Individual members of the quartet will visit our ‘Sense of Music’ classes to give brief performances of solo pieces and answer students’ questions,” say Glaser. “Students will get to hear about and understand the life of a performer.”

The group will give their first public concert at the Center for Jewish History (the home of the YU Museum) in April 2008, focusing on 20th-century works by Jewish composers and premiering a piece written by Glaser.

In addition, quartet members will give readings of works composed by music majors in the schools’ composition classes.

“Having professional musicians look at and discuss students’ music with them is an invaluable experience,” says Glaser, adding that the students’ final project may be to write a movement for the string quartet, which they will then hear performed. “It’s a great inducement for them to work even harder,” he adds.

The music department is hopeful that the YU Ensemble-in-Residence Program will attract students from a variety of disciplines and will help establish a vibrant connection between the university and the local arts community. The program’s coordinators also envision collaboration with Yeshiva College’s Writer-in-Residence Program.

Ensemble-in-residence programs are an integral part of the arts and cultural programming of many educational institutions. “It provides a different perspective on the art of music,” says Glaser. “It’s like bringing professional actors into a theater class.”

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