Columbia Festival Orchestra’s Take a Seat…in the Orchestra was a mentoring program for serious-minded music students to intern and perform with members of the CFO.
Each participant was assigned a mentor with whom the student rehearsed and performed in various situations. Students had the opportunity to interview their mentors, socialize with them, and learn what it is like to be a professional musician.
Our inaugural program took place during the CFO’s residency at PS21 (Performance Spaces for the 21st Century – www.ps21chatham.org) in Chatham, New York, July 25-27, 2008. Student interns performed with the Columbia Festival Orchestra in the world premiere of Overture to a New Theater by Chatham High School alumnus, David Grunberg.
Tuition was free*. The application procedure was straightforward: a short form, a brief statement about why the student would like to participate; and a recommendation letter from the student’s teacher. Players of all orchestral woodwinds, strings, and trumpet, horn, and percussion were invited to apply.
CFO’s Take a Seat program continued into the fall of 2008 with two opportunities for students (both taking place at St. James Church in Chatham, NY):
- October 19 – flute reading session with the 4 members of Flute Force
- December 19 – Community Sing of Handel’s Messiah
*CFO received generous contributions towards this program from area foundations and individuals.