Join us for a selection of seminars open to adults and students. Feel free to invite friends and family from near and far to see our offerings and register! Register here.

Women and the American Sound rescheudled to Jan. 18, 2020. 7pm (Mon.) $20
with Sigrid Karlstrom, DMA
Explore the 20th century’s impact on classical music in the United States with music educator Sigrid Karlstrom, DMA as she describes a time marked by a growing excitement and appetite for classical music. Newspapers and magazines were transfixed by the idea of how to come by a truly American classical tradition, a sound that would rival European musical trends and yet somehow be evocative of the United States. This “American sound” evolved from imitation of a German Romantic style with nationalist elements attached, to a more avante garde and modernist aesthetic. Men dominated the early 20th century music landscape, but women composers were beginning to emerge and take their place in the movement. This lecture will touch on the struggles and triumphs of American women composers, and highlight the important and often overlooked role of women in establishing a classical music tradition in the United States.

Target Audience: Open to anyone who’s interested, but the lecture will be targeted toward high school students and adults.

Dr. Sigrid Karlstrom is a freelance orchestral and chamber musician living in the New Haven area and teaching in

Fairfield and New Haven counties. She played as a tenured member of the New Mexico Philharmonic, as assistant

principal violist of Opera Southwest, and was featured regularly at Chatter contemporary chamber series in New



Practice Techniques for String Players Jan. 10, 2020 2pm (Sunday) $10
NYS Conductor Rafael Videira, DMA will lead a seminar for string students to familiarize them with efficient practice techniques. It will also emphasize the importance of healthy practice habits in order to avoid playing-related injuries. This class will include both a lecture/discussion and a “workshop” with instruments to demonstrate the correct techniques. Through this seminar, string students will gain self-management and instrumental practice techniques that will aid in developing their artistry and skills. A follow-up meeting may be held one to four weeks following the seminar to review and assess the students’ use of the practice techniques.

Target audience: late middle school and high school students string players. Participants will be asked to apply the practice techniques in their daily practice and keep a practice journal.


1000 Years of Music in 60 Minutes! Jan. 13, 2020 7pm (Wed.) $20 

with NYS Conductor Russell Ger

Have you ever wondered what people mean when they talk about Romantic or Baroque music? Did Mozart and Tchaikovsky ever have brunch together? Making sense of music history can sometimes seem as esoteric as paleontology. But with conductor Russell Ger as your guide, you will see and hear the whole past millennium of music unfold before you in mere minutes. And as the musical history unfolds, you will come to understand how this whole intricate puzzle can be traced to what we listen to and enjoy today.

Target Audience: Students in High School & members of Concert and Principal Orchestra.

ART AND MUSIC: The Fascinating Life of Alma Mahler Jan. 21, 2020 8pm (Thurs.) $20

Join our Music Director Jonathan Yates and his sister Carolyn Yates, an art historian for the Arts in Embassies program of the U. S. State Department, as they dissect the life of Alma Mahler, one of the most remarkable figures in the rich artistic scene of early 20th-century Vienna. Widely admired for her charisma, beauty and artistic gifts, and a fine composer in her own right, Alma was either married or romantically involved with a stunning array of the major cultural figures of the time. She was married to composer Gustav Mahler, architect Walter Gropius, and writer Franz Werfel and was in romantic liaisons with the painters Gustav Klimt and Oskar Kokoschka and the composer Alexander Zemlinsky. Jonathan and Carolyn will use Alma as our window into the art and music of this decadent time, and to explore the specific challenges she faced as a woman composer who was primarily defined by the men to whom she was connected.

A Chicago native, Carolyn Yates holds a BA from Brown University and an MA from City College, New York. As a museum

professional, she has held positions at MoMA, El Museo del Barrio, and the Whitney Museum. She is currently a curatorial assistant

at Art in Embassies, U.S. State Department, where she helps select and organize contemporary art for exhibitions at embassies,

ambassador residencies, and consulates around the globe.


Developing Intrinsic Motivation In Your Young Musician Jan. 26, 2020 8pm (Tues.) $20
Led by NYS Conductor Jessica McNamara, this session will help parents move from, "Mom, if I practice for 30 minutes can I have this chocolate?" to "Mom...I'll be in my room practicing for the chamber group that I just formed with my friends!" A conductor, a teacher and a mother, McNamara will share her techniques to nurture and motivate your young musicians to develop productive, enjoyable practice habits.

As parents, we have all used extrinsic motivators to encourage our children to take certain actions, e.g.”If you clean your room, you can have 30 minutes of screen time.” While these motivators certainly have their place in parenting, we can all agree that it would be preferable for our children to be self-motivated, for example, to clean their room on their own. When we signed up our child for music lessons, we envisioned them happily taking out their instrument on their own accord to play for enjoyment or to express themselves. The reality of music practice, however, is often more parent-driven than most of us imagined. Drawing on current research in the fields of motivation, grit, mindset and habits, Jessica’s talk will give parents concrete strategies to help children develop intrinsic motivation in music.


How the Met Uses media* Feb. 1, 2020 7pm (Mon.) Fees from this seminar will be donated to the Met Opera Musicians Fund. $25 class
In this program, you’ll learn how The Metropolitan Opera, one of the world’s most prestigious venues for opera, reaches a wide audience in a talk by Mary Jo Heath, radio host of the
 Metropolitan Opera broadcasts and a former NYS parent. Her talk will cover the history of the Met’s radio and television broadcasts, the Live in HD broadcasts, and the initiatives the Met has initiated to keep opera audiences engaged during the pandemic.


Heath is in her fifth season as the Met’s Radio Host - only the fourth “Voice of the Met” in the history of the venerated house since the broadcasts began in 1931. Prior to that appointment she spent nine seasons as the Met’s Senior Radio Producer, leading almost 1,000 broadcasts from behind the scenes. She has spent more than 30 years in many parts of the music industry from radio stations to record companies to researching and writing to the internet. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music from the University of Oklahoma, located in her hometown, Norman, Oklahoma. She left Oklahoma for Rochester, where she earned a Ph.D. in music theory from the Eastman School of Music. She has received Distinguished Alumni Awards from both schools and was the Commencement speaker at Eastman in May 2016.


ART AND MUSIC: The Roaring Harlem Renaissance Feb. 4, 2020 8pm (Thurs.) $20 

Join our Music Director Jonathan Yates and his sister Carolyn Yates, an art historian for the Arts in Embassies program of the U. S. State Department, as they dive into the thrilling world of Harlem in the 1920s. This explosion of artistic activity represented by the Harlem Renaissance encompassed Black artists and thinkers across all disciplines, including writers such as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston and Claude McKay; musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Ma Rainey; and visual artists such as Aaron Douglas, Richmond Barthé and James Van Der Zee. Jonathan and Carolyn will investigate what led to this most exciting period of cultural and intellectual ferment, its long legacy, and its continuing influence as still reflected the social movements of today.

Fee Schedule

Most seminars are $20 per class*, or you may purchase 5 for $75.

*The February 1st seminar, “How the Met Uses Media”, is a fundraiser, and does not count in the buy 5 for $75 special pricing. This event is $25 and all proceeds go to the Met Opera Musicians Fund.

Link to register

Administrative Office

71 East Avenue, Suite N | Norwalk, CT 06851

Phone 203-866-4100  |  Fax 203-866-0012

Rehearsals and Performances

Norwalk Concert Hall at City Hall | 125 East Avenue | Norwalk, CT 06851

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