Thinking critically about the role of orchestras in today's changing musical landscape.
The curriculum of The Orchestra Now involves intensive practical and academic study. Orchestra rehearsals are held 4–5 days a week and courses 2–3 days a week. Courses in orchestral and curatorial studies, taught by Bard College faculty, guest scholars, and performing artists, provide a historical and critical understanding of the orchestra’s past and present roles in society and its responsibility to remain responsive to a changing musical landscape. A Teaching Artist Program deepens orchestra musicians’ understanding of their responsibility to new audiences and provides the members of The Orchestra Now with opportunities to engage in community outreach projects with mid-Hudson schools, regional concert series, and community music education programs. The graduate curriculum culminates in self-designed independent study projects, involving such activities as forming and managing a performing ensemble, curating a program of solo and chamber works to explore a topic of social importance, participating in transcribing a masterwork for new or unusual instruments, or working with community members to explore and express their life experience in words and music.