Reinvigorating the Magnificent Orchestral Experience

2013 National Orchestral Institute

The classical music world is exploding with change. Each day, we experience new ways to present classical music, hear emerging composers changing the landscape and witness surprising ways to appreciate this sublime art form. It’s vital that young aspiring performers genuinely understand why classical music is changing so they can apply this insight to their own performance and artistry.    

The National Orchestral Institute and Festival (NOI) at University of Maryland’s School of Music immerses its participants in a variety of these experiences to help them to audition successfully and contribute actively as a professional orchestral player. This year, they will focus in particular on engaging with different audiences, performing in a variety of different venues and planning concerts to attract specific types of audiences. The concert halls of Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center will be augmented with such performance spaces as the home of a School of Music donor, a retirement residence and selected public spaces.   

The group will also program and present works for specially-targeted audiences, including a group of young children with Prokofiev’s classic Peter and the Wolf and a special selection of chamber music for a senior audience. 

NOI participants will also experience first-hand another way in which the orchestral musicians’ role is evolving; they are increasingly asked to both perform and speak to their audiences about classical music and their own musicianship. NOI participants will gain experience with this role as they engage with this variety of audience types.

In addition to these performances, NOIPlus, the program’s professional development component will include workshops on how orchestras operate and ways to successfully navigate them.

“My goal as artistic director is to give participants the most authentic, highest caliber experience, to build an understanding of the realities of what it will take to succeed,” said James Undercofler, NOI Artistic Director.  “My dream is that NOI participants will reinvigorate the orchestral world, inspire future generations and transform the magnificent orchestral repertoire.”