Next Generation on the Road

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next generation

Rising to
New Levels

Four Seasons
'Next Gen' program engages musicians at home and on the road.

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Feb. 5, 2013

By Azusa Chapman                         Photography by Jay Clark

Musicians across the region are performing on a higher scale thanks to a new outreach initiative offered through the East Carolina University School of Music Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival.

The new Next Gen on the Road program spurs students to sharpen their performance skills through a collaboration with ECU faculty, alumni and music majors, high school students and professional performing guest artists.

“At its core, the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival exists to serve our communities and to showcase exceptional music and musicians,” said Ara Gregorian, Four Seasons artistic director. “Next Gen on the Road is an opportunity for us to not only develop leadership and professionalism with our current students at ECU, it also allows us to take these opportunities to even younger musicians, exposing them to excellence and providing them with important learning tools for their future.”

Four Seasons hosts two Next Generation residencies and concerts each year in Greenville. Through this program, ECU students work in collaboration with chamber music greats to prepare, rehearse and present public concerts.

Taking it on the road

Next Gen on the Road takes the residencies on tour throughout North Carolina and beyond. This November, Next Gen travelled to Winston-Salem and Norfolk, Va. The concerts and residencies there featured guest artist and world-renowned cellist Raman Ramakrishnan; ECU alumna Meredith Harris, viola; and ECU faculty and students.

During the two-day residency in Norfolk, the project collaborated with the Virginia Governor’s School of the Arts to have master classes, combined side-by-side rehearsals and a concert for the public. More than 100 musicians from ECU, the Governor’s School and the community worked together in intensive settings to put together an additional concert.

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“You raise your level.... It’s a good experience because you play at a level you didn’t necessary know that you had.”


- Cameron Collins, ECU cello student

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ECU violin student Katherine Dennis practices for a Next Gen on the Road concert.

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“The learning curve is so much steeper than just getting told what to do in a lesson or asked to practice...Students actually have to produce on the level that the professionals are playing on.”

- Ara Gregorian, Four Seasons artistic director

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Video at left by Kyle Walker
Courtesy of ECU School of Music
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