We teach students of all ages how to be better musicians, stressing performance skills such as musical interpretation, individual discipline and teamwork. Prelude Chamber Music, Inc., is a charitable organization of seasoned professional symphony and chamber musicians who instruct at a summer camp and music festival for talented youth and adults in Northeast Florida and offer local performance experiences and mentoring programs in our communities throughout the year. Our founders and instructors are often members of the Jacksonville Symphony or are in other similar music professions who want to give back to the community and share the love of fine music making.
Our mission is to cultivate new opportunities for music education through our chamber ensemble work in Northeast Florida. We offer enriching programs that allow students to share in the special joy of small ensembles and gain access to qualified professional musicians and community venues.
We give musicians at every level an opportunity to experience chamber music in a positive and non-competitive way, and to enjoy chamber music now as students, and throughout their lives. We encourage our students to be life-long learners and to pursue their passions for music with community involvement.
Our main event is the Prelude Chamber Music Festival each summer in Jacksonville, Florida.
Now in our 17th season, we continue to provide outstanding music education and community service, and are working to raise funds to support our community outreach events and chamber music education programs.
The next Prelude Chamber Music Festival is scheduled for June 3rd – 10th, 2018, in Jacksonville, Florida. This is an incredible opportunity for students to learn from some of the area’s leading music teachers. Many of the instructors are also members of the Jacksonville Symphony. Special guests and instructors teach master classes on intensive topics such as interpretation, theory and ensemble performance. Music camp is for everyone, all levels of musicians from beginners to professionals, and is geared for small ensemble study and performances. In order to organize students into tracks and levels that fit his/her current needs and abilities, each student auditions for placement only. The festival is a main attraction for talented youth in the Northeast Florida area. Each year funds are raised to foster outreach programs and to bring in more students who otherwise would not have had the means or the opportunity to experience music education in this inviting and well-organized environment that encourages students to move beyond current abilities and demonstrate their best.
In addition to our summer camp/festival, we send ensembles to perform outreach programs in community gatherings, retirement centers, nursing homes, and other public venues. We also organize mentoring programs with adults and youngsters playing chamber music together. And we help to publicize concerts of interest presented by the Beaches & Riverside Fine Arts Series, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, the Friday Musicale, Ritz Chamber Music Society, The Florida Chamber Music Project, St. Augustine Chamber Music Festival, Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival and by all our community schools and universities – just to name a few.
Prelude Chamber Music, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501c3 charitable organization and was founded in 2002 by three colleagues from the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra: Christopher Chappell, Violinist; Vernon Humbert, Cellist; and Jeanne Majors, Violinist.
Prelude Chamber Music Festival provides engaging experiences for small and large ensembles; opportunities for students to try out new instruments such as bass, viola, hand bells, guitar, percussion; theory classes; and master classes. Our organization brings in guest faculty and chamber groups to put on special events and present notable soloists. Aside from performing traditional and classical chamber music, you will hear our campers working with unusual or original chamber combinations and involving local jazz musicians. During camp and throughout the year, we showcase concerts with performances by the students that are open to the public. You will also find us teaching Weekend Workshops for students and adult chamber music players; coaching various ensembles; teaching master classes; creating opportunities to perform in informal recitals; and assisting in the promotion of music programs presented by other community organizations.
Listen to Summer Music composed by Piotr Szewczyk for Prelude Chamber Music, performed by Prelude Chamber Music Faculty.
“My son has gone to Prelude Chamber Music Camp every summer since he was 8 years old. He is now 14. It has always been a wonderful experience for him. He has made lasting friendships and recieved excellent instruction. He looks forward to attending prelude every summer,” Mom, Thrift (January 2014).
“We’ve been fans of Prelude Chamber Music Camp for 6 years! The camp has been a staple of our summer activities. They have something for everyone, from my 7 year-old beginning violinist to my 14 year-old advanced violist. Beginners grow beautifully as musicians in a supportive and encouraging environment while advanced players enjoy challenging repertoire and are expertly guided by some of the best professionals in the area. There’s plenty of time for friends and fun with enriching elective activities such as guitar, chorus, and fiddling. We’re incredibly fortunate to have such a valuable resource in our own backyard!,” Mom, Remmer (January 2014).
“Theory and composition are an important part of the camp. All musicians need to know theory and Prelude offers all levels of theory from the fundamentals to advanced. When they have reached this level they can move on up to the composition class taught by Dr. Peter MacDonald. He is an innovative teacher and has helped students to go beyond their regular ways of thinking about music and composition. He uses all styles of music and encourages personal expression within given parameters. It is very fulfilling to hear your original composition played at the end-of-the-week concert. These performances are fresh and help the kids to stay abreast of new music.” Ria Falkner, Staff, October 2013
“The Prelude Chamber Music camp was an important part of my musical upbringing. It introduced me and many other young students to the wonderful world of summer music festivals.
Summer music festivals are some of the most interesting and exciting times in an advanced musician’s life. They offer the musician a chance to meet and make music with new friends and to receive intense instruction from many different master musicians. They bring an international cast of students and faculty together to play in orchestras and perform chamber music together in small groups. Even though the students that attend Prelude Chamber Music camp are for the most part too young to be able to experience these kinds of international music festivals they still deserve to enjoy music in the same manner. Prelude Chamber Music provides the perfect setting for young musicians and is the only organization in Jacksonville that can offer this kind of intense musical summer experience.
I remember my many years at Prelude Chamber Music very fondly. I made many new friends in the ensembles at Prelude Chamber Music, and the faculty of great local musicians were incredibly helpful and friendly. I played in many chamber groups and also played in the string orchestra, but I never felt pressured from competitiveness.
I am now just about to obtain my master’s degree in violin performance and am traveling to England and Japan this summer to play music in wonderful international music festivals, but I will always remember Prelude Chamber Music as being my first stepping stone,”
John Henry Kruer, Violinist (May 2013).