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The Chamber Music Academy (CMA) provides students a range of opportunities to study, rehearse, and perform in a setting that balances structure with flexibility, guidance with independence, and discipline with inspiration. CMA ensembles provide an intimate setting for young musicians and their coaches to share the joys of chamber music.

Each chamber music ensemble meets weekly (with breaks for the holidays) between mid-October and mid-April on a schedule that works for its participants. Violinist Cynthia Baehr-Williams and flutist Kathleen Purcell share coaching duties. Additional coaches may be brought in as needed. Performance opportunities include two concerts, one in January and one in April. The ensembles also enter the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival’s Youth Chamber Music Competition in March and the Talent Bank Competition in April. They may be asked to perform after one or both of those competitions. One ensemble will have the opportunity to perform at the Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony’s Fall Concert in November. Visit our Concerts page for more information.

Please complete the 2023–24 Application Form no later than Monday, October 2, 2023. Once all applications are in, Cynthia and Kathleen will place students in trios or quartets, and we’ll contact you with more information.

Tuition for the Chamber Music Academy covers 20 meetings for each ensemble from mid-October to mid-April (50% coached, 50% self-directed), as well as costs for sheet music, prep-time for the coaches, and CMA concerts in January and April. Please do not make a payment until you learn whether or not you are placed in an ensemble. Financial aid is available for families that need assistance. Visit our tuition page to learn more.

The photos on this page were taken by Kevin Monahan at the Chamber Music Academy’s Winter 2019 Concert.

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