Newswise — SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY (February 9, 2017) – Skidmore College celebrates the 10th Anniversary of Ensemble Connect, a graduate fellowship program for the finest young professional classical musicians in the world.

Formerly known as Ensemble ACJW, the program was established in 2007 as a graduate fellowship program linking Carnegie Hall with the Juilliard School and the Weill Music Institute. The program is designed to prepare young musicians for professional careers in classical music, while fostering community engagement, advocacy, entrepreneurship and leadership.

“Skidmore College has been a highly valued partner of Ensemble Connect since the fellowship program was launched in January 2007,” said Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall.   “For the past decade, the group has enjoyed presenting a range of musical experiences for Saratoga Springs audiences, including performances of commissioned works, workshops with leading composers, and interactive concerts at area schools. It’s been terrific to see the fellows and alumni of the program apply skills developed through Ensemble Connect, engaging with college students, audience members, and the broader community through music.  We look forward to many more years of collaboration.”   Every two years, up to twenty of the world’s finest young professional musicians are selected to participate in the Ensemble Connect program as fellows. Students from some of the finest music schools in the country – including The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory and the Yale School of Music – submit an application and audition to qualify, and are selected for the program based on musicianship, dedication to their musical studies, commitment to education, and leadership qualities. Each semester, fellowship participants travel to the Skidmore Campus from New York City to learn, teach, perform, and to practice the art of civic engagement. Aside from musical studies and interaction with students and faculty on campus, Ensemble fellows also work with school children, civic groups and local public service agencies throughout the Capital Region community to foster engagement with music. This month, Skidmore welcomes 10 new fellows, two Ensemble Connect alumni performers, and one guest musician, Caroline Shaw, to celebrate the momentous 10th Anniversary occasion.

“I think I speak for the entire Skidmore community in saying that the twice-yearly residency of Ensemble Connect has become one of the jewels in our arts crown,” says Paul Calhoun, Dean of Special Programs, Skidmore College.  “The Ensemble performances at Skidmore are the high points of our music events calendar every semester. Their contributions to our students’ musicianship are eagerly sought and highly valued, and their impact on area schools, and other off-campus institutions where they perform significantly enhances our community relations.  These 10 years have gone by quickly, and we hope to continue this relationship for many years to come.”

Over the past 10 years, the program has had a significant effect within the Capital Region. A total of 19,379 individuals have experienced Ensemble Connect through the fellowship program at Skidmore:• 790 people at community human service organizations (assisted living centers, nursing homes, and Saratoga Bridges) have been enriched by Ensemble Connect performances• 2,760 students (elementary, middle school and high school) in surrounding communities have participated in interactive Ensemble Connect performances • 3,275 Skidmore students have experienced individual contact with Ensemble fellows through classes and lessons• 12,554 Skidmore students, staff and college community members have experienced Ensemble Connect at on-campus events

While visiting Saratoga Springs, Ensemble Connect fellows dedicate their time to Skidmore students and faculty, participating in classes and student composition readings, providing interactive performances, coaching, lessons, master classes, and interactions with community members and students at local elementary, middle and high schools.

Special events scheduled to celebrate the Ensemble’s 10th Anniversary residency at Skidmore:

Thursday, February 16, 10:00 am, Zankel Music Center (Ladd Hall) Students from Milton Terrace Elementary School in Ballston Spa will attend a special performance at Zankel Music Center, in which the musicians of Ensemble Connect will lead students on a musical journey focusing on active listening, improvisation, reflection and musical composition.

Thursday, February 16, 7:00 pm, Tang Teaching Museum (Payne Room) Words Without Songs Without Words is an unconventional performance which slithers along the promiscuous boundary between language and sound. Ensemble Connect fellow Nicolee Kuester creates musical poetry through performances that range from abstract to memoiristic. Participants in the Skidmore Creative Writing in German course will recite sound poems inspired by the Tang Museum's collection. Ensemble Connect brass players will pay tribute to Pauline Oliveros, a giant of electronic and experimental music who passed in 2016, by performing her pieces that consist of text instructions. Together, these performances ask when does word become sound, and when can music communicate like language?

Friday, February 17, 7:00 pm, Zankel Music Center (Ladd Hall)Carnegie Hall presents Ensemble Connect 10th Anniversary Performance, with featured guest composer Caroline Shaw

Caroline Shaw is a New York-based musician, Grammy-winning singer in Roomful of Teeth and a violinist in ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble). In 2013, Caroline became the youngest person ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music for her enigmatic composition Partita for 8 Voices. She was the inaugural musician in residence at Dumbarton Oaks (2014-15) and a resident performer at Vancouver’s Music on Main. Recent projects include commissions for the Cincinnati Symphony, the Guggenheim Museum Works & Process Series, and the Folger Library, as well as collaborations with Kanye West.

Performances feature Caroline Shaw, Violin; Mika Sasaki, Harpsichord; ToniMarie Marchioni, Oboe (Ensemble Connect Alumni); Rebecca Anderson, Violin; Adelya Nartadjieva, Violin; Andrew Gonzalez, Viola; Maren Rothfritz, Viola; Julia Yang, Cello; Elizabeth Burns, Double Bass; as well as additional artists to be announced. GUAMI/GABRIELI/CHILESE Three Venetian Canzoni (arr. Raymond Mase)ROSENMÜLLER Sonata No. 4 in C MajorMARCELLO Oboe Concerto in C MinorCAROLINE SHAW Stucco & Brocatelle (World Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)VIVALDI Sinfonia al Santo SepolcroVIVALDI Concerto in G Major, RV 151, "Alla rustica"ANDREW RINDFLEISCH In the ZonePost-concert reception following the performanceTickets: $8 adults, $5 seniors and Skidmore community, free for students and children

Ensemble Connect's campus residencies are presented by the Department of Music andthe Office of the Dean of Special Programs. Spring residency made possible by generous support from Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation.