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Blair School of Music: Adult Summer Chamber Music Institute 2019

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Adult Summer Chamber Music Institute 2018, Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University, Nashville


For the third year in a row Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music will host the  Adult Summer Chamber Music Institute in July. The only program of its kind in our area, this four-day celebration of chamber music brings together adult amateur string players with some of the finest string music educators in Nashville. It’s an exciting opportunity for chamber music enthusiasts that continues to grow in popularity and program offerings each year:

Adult Summer Chamber Music Institute
July 11 – 14, 2019
Blair School of Music
Vanderbilt University, Nashville

This program is for string players (violin, viola, and cello) and *new* this year: pianists!

Cost: $475 for four days of music-making in chamber groups. Daily events will include plenary sessions on technique, reading sessions, and master classes along with coaching and chamber group rehearsal sessions. There will also be a faculty recital, and final celebratory concert. (Food and lodging not included.)

Apply here on the Vanderbilt website. The application deadline is June 1, 2019.

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Stephen Miahky

Coaching and instruction at the Adult Summer Chamber Music Institute will be provided by Blair School of Music string faculty Stephen Miahky (violin), Jessica Blackwell (violin), Christina McGann (viola), Kirsten Cassel Greer (cello), and Amy Dorfman (piano) – all veteran chamber players in addition to their activities as teachers and performers.

Violinist Stephen Miahky is the Joseph Joachim Professor of Violin at Blair and first violin of the Blair String Quartet. Stephen has performed as a recitalist and chamber musician throughout North America and Europe, and spends much of the summer as a resident artist at the Walla Walla (Washington) Chamber Music Festival, as well as teaching at the Montecito International Music Festival in Riverside, California.

“At its core, Vanderbilt’s ACMI is about the joy of chamber music—really taking time to study incredible repertoire, build ensemble skills, and develop a unique musical voice with other players.” says Stephen. “Chamber music can bring out one’s best: the ability to be sensitive to others while maintaining your own musical independence.  I am once again looking forward to this summer’s ACMI.”

The Blair ACMI establishes no pre-established criteria or expectations for a particular level of accomplishment for participants – the application includes an opportunity for the applicant to indicate their their repertoire, experience, and other details, and participants will be placed in appropriate ensembles according to ability and inclination.


Amy Dorfman


Blair Professor of Piano Amy Dorfman joins the ACMI faculty this year, opening attendance to ACMI by pianists for the first time. Amy is co-founder of The Blakemore Trio, with whom she tours nationally has several recordings on the Blue Griffin and Albany labels. She enjoys collaborative performing with a variety of artists around the country.




Jessica Blackwell

Jessica Blackwell, who will also be teaching violin and coaching ensembles at the ACMI Institute, is well-known to Nashville music-lovers. Jessica plays violin in the Nashville Symphony, is concertmaster of both the Nashville Philharmonic and Gateway Chamber Orchestra, and teaches both at Blair and in the Nashville Symphony’s Accelerando program.


Christina McGann

Christina McGann returns to join the Institute’s faculty this summer coaching viola. Christina is adjunct artist teacher of violin at Blair and concertmaster of the Nashville Opera, and has been a featured performer at the Kennedy Center and various venues throughout the U.S, Europe, Asia and South America. An avid educator, McGann began her teaching career as a Juilliard Morse Fellow, a program that takes Juilliard student educators into public school classrooms on a weekly basis.

“I am looking forward to teaching at ACMI again this summer!” says Christina. “Last year’s participants were very committed to the program, and I enjoyed working on music, technique and performance goals with them. By the end of the weekend, we all felt like a part of a new community that continues to develop each year.”


Kirsten Cassel Greer


Kirsten Cassel Greer returns again this summer to coach cellists at ACMI. Kirsten teaches Suzuki and precollege cello at Blair. She performs regularly with The Atlantic Ensemble both nationally and internationally, and frequently with the Nashville Symphony. Committed to teaching the next generation of musicians, Kirsten has completed extensive Suzuki pedagogy studies with the finest educators in the field.



Pam Schneller, Senior Associate Dean of Precollege and Adult Programs at Blair School of Music, has nurtured this program since its inception. Pam describes last summer’s ACMI experience with enthusiasm:

“Watching the ACMI participants and the faculty members work together is a treat. The students blossomed under the encouragement and gentle teaching of the incredible musical leaders. With each day of the institute, energy and excitement grew among the participants as they grew in confidence and skill. New friendships were made and the music grew more beautiful. The final concert was a triumph and joy for all!”

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