For a young music student learning their craft, the value of exposure to professional musicians cannot be overemphasized. That’s why the Merit faculty and administrators proactively foster partnerships that provide students with the most meaningful music education experiences possible. So when Collins Trier, principal bass player of Music of the Baroque approached Kurt Gildow, Dean and Vice President for Educational Affairs with the idea that Music of the Baroque principal players collaborate with Merit students, we were thrilled to team up with this premiere performing arts organization.
This amazing experience was captured in a short documentary, released last month as part of Music of the Baroque’s MOB in the Community initiative. Long recognized as one of the region’s top classical groups, Music of the Baroque’s professional chorus and orchestra is one of the leading ensembles in the country devoted to the performance of early eighteenth-century works. Music of the Baroque draws audiences from across the Chicago metropolitan area, and the ensemble’s Principal Guest Conductor, Nicholas Kraemer is world-renowned for his expertise in Baroque music. It was Maestro Kraemer who worked with Merit Philharmonic students in a series of masterclasses and workshops to hone their skills in this exacting compositional style known for its emphasis on precision-perfect time signatures and strict attention to compositional detail. Music of the Baroque principal string players, most of whom also play in the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra, participated in these working sessions and then performed along with our students one of the twelve movements from the mammoth Concerto Grosso in G Minor, op. 6, no. 6, by George Frederic Handel. This experience for our students was an extraordinary learning opportunity.