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Orchestra & Chamber Music

Large Ensemble Membership: Students may audition for Face the Music's Large Ensemble Membership on any instrument or multiple instruments. This Membership is the core Face the Music experience. Students participate in a large ensemble throughout the school year, perform works by living artists, and have opportunities to meet and learn from guest artist performers and composers. Face the Music ensembles range from big band to chamber orchestra, and ensemble placement depends upon instrument, interest, and skill. Most students participate in a single ensemble, though some may participate in more than one at no additional cost. Large ensembles meet weekly for 1.5-hour to 2-hour rehearsals on Face the Music days. Year-Long tuition is $700. Students who are Special Music School High School Students will receive a 25% discount.

Thanks to generous supporters, Face the Music Memberships are highly subsidized for all students. We are grateful to our individual, foundation, and public partners for helping us offer tuition costs that are significantly lower than comparable youth music programs.

Chamber orchestra

The chamber orchestra is a fundamental ensemble of Face the Music, undertaking large-scale works and headlining performances for Face the Music’s concert series in acclaimed modern music venues across New York City. Students in the 30-person chamber orchestra learn music at rapid pace as pieces are composed or arranged specifically for the ensemble. Performing works solely by living composers, the orchestra is joined frequently by guest artists in rehearsals and on-stage in concert. The group’s first performance of 2020 featured Grammy-nominated Haitian-American flutist, composer, and vocalist Nathalie Joachim performing selections from her Fanm d’Ayiti. Other recent performances include long-time NYC-based guitarist-composer John King’s String Vectors, Los Angeles composer Sean Friar’s “junk car percussion concerto” Clunker Concerto, and 2019 Rome Prize winning composer Courtney Bryan’s Yet Unheard featuring guest artist Helga Davis. The chamber orchestra is led by conductor David Bloom, founding Co-Artistic Director of Contemporaneous, a 22-member New York-based new music ensemble, and Co-Artistic Director Present Music, Milwaukee’s long-running new music ensemble.


In addition to large ensembles, Face the Music sometimes offers opportunities for students to participate in chamber groups of a variety of sizes and instrumentations. This is an opportunity for students to work in a more intimate setting, collaborating in a small group of peers for special projects and pieces. In the chamber music setting, students have additional flexibility and potential to experiment and create as composer-performers.



Face the Music is Kaufman Music Center's contemporary music program for teens ages 12-18. Interested students are invited to apply to audition beginning May 10, 2021 Online Here. For info, email or call 929 265 8412. Do you know teen musicians who may be interested? Download a flyer HERE.