I’m just about to start loading my car to move out to Greenwood for the next five weeks. Greenwood is a music camp in Cummington, in Western Massachusetts, mainly devoted to chamber music (although all the kids play in the orchestra and they all sing in the chorus, both of which perform every week on the Saturday night concerts along with all the chamber music groups.) It’s hard to say exactly what it is about the piece that makes it as wonderful and magical as it is, but it is. Even though it’s sort or trite to say so, people who have been there as kids (or as faculty) feel some kind of common bond, and they tend to stay in touch with each other throughout their lives. I was there first for a week in 1992, or 1991, I think… I wrote a ‘cello quintet which was played; I’m still in contact with four of the five kids who played the piece. The Chiara Quartet has been in residence since last summer; two of them are former campers.
This summer is Greenwood’s 75th anniversary, and there are various celebratory things happening, including a concert on July 6 by the Chiara and Joel Krosnick (another alum) featuring the Schubert Quintet. Peter Westergaard, also a former camper, from the 40’s, has written a flute quartet which will be played by students sometime during the summer. There’s a piece commissioned for the orchestra every year; this year the composer is Geoff Hudson. I’m not sure what else might be done. (I’ve been thinking maybe Irving Fine Quartet, maybe Shostakovich 7th, maybe Copland Sextet, but who knows…In a way it doesn’t matter.)
The concerts start a week from tomorrow. They start at 7:30 and go on for a long time. They’re pretty wonderful. The kids are incredibly good, and I don’t think I’ve ever experienced an audience anywhere else that listens so intently, with such concentration and interest. If anybody’s going to be in the neighborhood, they’re worth going to hear.