Holiday Greetings from the Nebraska Chamber Players

We've had a busy year!

Between changing our name (including a new logo and all the legal registrations), preparing for the 15th-anniversary season, and all the other projects on the calendar for 2012, the fall season swept by very quickly and the holidays seem to have arrived earlier than ever.

There are many reasons to be grateful, and this time of year friends and family come to the forefront. Your friendship and passion for chamber music is dear to all of us.

From Becky, Ed, Graham, Joyce, Jeff, Donna, Clark, Tracy, Sheri, Joe, Katie, and our Board of Directors, Bill Smith, Joan Reist, Katie Sands, Darrell Podany, Kasia Bradley, John Cutler, and Gail McNair, best wishes for this holiday season!


The Nebraska Chamber Players are going
back to the schools

After a six-year break, NCP is bringing back Music in Your Space, a project which brings professional musicians into fourth-grade classrooms to interact directly with the students. Many thanks to the Cooper Foundation and the Woods Charitable Fund for funding this project!

Here's a quick overview of Music in Your Space: Four NCP musicians visit a fourth-grade class in a selected school. They introduce themselves and their instruments and then proceed to play a piece of music. It is obviously a mess—no one is playing together or starting together and it barely sounds like they have the right music! Through a program of directed questions the students straighten out the players and learn how a piece can be interpreted. Students' suggestions are tried and the final decision is arrived at collaboratively. The final version of the work is then performed...the students have learned musical language; worked with rhythm, dynamics and articulation; and have created a final product ready for public performance.

Later the same day, the Nebraska Chamber Players perform a free 45-minute concert at the selected school for students, families, neighbors and teachers.

The Nebraska Chamber Players will also present this project as part of the Lincoln Music Teachers Association’s Chamber Music Festival on March 17 at Grace Lutheran Church. Our musicians will coach chamber music groups as part of the day-long activities.


2012 Max and Lillie Larsen Young Artist Award

The Nebraska Chamber Players are honored to host the Max and Lillie Larsen Young Artist Award for 2012. This is a competition for high-school-age string players who attend school in Nebraska. First prize is $1,000 and the opportunity to perform in concert with the Nebraska Chamber Players.

In the words of the Larsens, "The award was created to recognize outstanding talent and performance on strings and to provide an opportunity for gifted string players to compete and demonstrate their ability to perform. It is intended to recognize the hard work and commitment of students, parents and teachers who study string instruments."

Application forms are available on our website. Application deadline is February 6, 2012. The competition will take place March 17 at First-Plymouth Church in Lincoln. For more information, please call Joan Reist, 402.488.0718.


January's OLLI event: Things You Hit and Bang

Joe Holmquist

Joe Holmquist

If you missed the first two OLLI “Musically Speaking” classes, you'll definitely want to catch the next one. “Things You Hit and Bang” is sure to chase away the mid-winter blues! Back by popular demand, this session will take place Tuesday, January 17, 2:00-3:30 pm at NET Studios (1800 N. 33rd St., Lincoln).

Nebraska Chamber Players percussionist and composer Joe Holmquist will lead participants in an Indonesian-style percussion ensemble and entertain them with historical anecdotes about the origins of each instrument. No musical training required.

“Musically Speaking” classes are free and open to the public. Classes are also streamed live on the OLLI website.

The OLLI classes are the result of a partnership between the Nebraska Chamber Players, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), and NET Radio, and are funded in part by the Nebraska Humanities Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.

Seating for the class is limited. Register by calling OLLI at 402.472.6265 or emailing Guests should arrive 15 minutes before the class start time. For more detailed information about each of the classes, visit


January concerts feature harp and voice

On January 27 and 29 we welcome back harpist Katie Wychulis and mezzo-soprano Vena Alesio. Helen Dowd, the second-place winner in the 2011 Max and Lillie Larsen Young Artist Competition, will join the NCP strings for Puccini's "Crisantemi" quartet and Samuel Barber's Dover Beach with Alesio. A special treat for the evening will be the premiere of a new work for voice and prepared sounds—Tyrranus Nix?—by one of our favorite composers, Tristan Fuentes.

Concerts are at 8:00 pm Friday and 3:00 pm Sunday at NET Studios (1800 N. 33rd, Lincoln). Reserve your tickets online, or call us at 402.429.8227.

Special Offer for Season Pass holders—Bring a friend to either January concert and their admission is free!


Coming in February

• On February 6 the Nebraska Chamber Players will be the guest performing ensemble for the New Music Festival at the University of Nebraska Kearney. Our friend and composer Darleen Mitchell (she composed the score for The Train, our 2008 theatrical collaboration) has once again invited us to perform at the festival. The concert is at 7:30 pm in the Fine Arts building on the Kearney campus. All are welcome.

• Spend Valentine’s Day afternoon with NCP in OLLI's fourth Musically Speaking class. A tour through the amazing years now known as the Avant Garde will sweeten your intellect! This talk will be presented by Becky Van de Bogart and Joe Holmquist, and there will not be a dull moment! For more details, visit

A personal note from Creative Director Becky Van de Bogart

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our patrons who have become friends over the past 15 years. Many have passed through and new ones have come in; all are appreciated and recalled with great fondness. I am grateful for all the support, loyalty and conversations.

Please have a joyous and safe holiday season! —Becky


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