Educational and community engagement is a core element of The Westerlies' mission. Each season, the ensemble reaches thousands of students around the country with their innovative and inspiring assemblies and masterclasses.
The Westerlies has given masterclasses at Yale, The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, NYU, University of Maryland, University of Southern Alabama, UNR Reno, Delta State University, CSU Chico, and dozens of public schools across the country.
LECTURE / DEMONSTRATION
An audience development presentation geared towards musicians and nonmusicians alike, including musical performance, in-depth historical review, and Q&A throughout. Sample programs include:
A Common Language: Development of The American Song
Breaking Barriers: Exploring the Intersection of Jazz & Classical Music
Musical Translation: Adapting Music from Diverse Sources for Chamber Ensemble
The Westerlies will engage community members through a public rehearsal of the ensemble’s current repertoire. Questions from the audience are welcome throughout the process.
The Westerlies will listen to solo, small, or large ensemble performances and offer technical and creative feedback. Groups of any instrumentation, genre, or experience level are welcome.
EXTENDED ENSEMBLE COACHING
The Westerlies will work with student ensembles on selected repertoire over a period of several days, allowing the student ensembles time to rehearse between coaching sessions. This enables students to implement the concepts discussed in previous sessions, and receive further feedback after implementing such concepts.
BRASS BOOT CAMP
The Westerlies’ Brass Bootcamp is designed to help students engage with the fundamental techniques of brass playing and creatively explore the full sonic possibilities of their instruments. The workshop includes individual and ensemble demonstrations, extensive student participation, and practice materials.
The Westerlies strongly believe in improvisation as a universal means of personal expression and communication. Their improvisation workshops can be tailored to engage participants of all instruments, genres or experience levels. Topics may include ear training, music theory, practice techniques, how to listen, transcription, free improvisation, game pieces, and developing musical compassion.
THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC
The Westerlies will discuss all the aspects of running a chamber ensemble beyond performing the music. Discussion topics can include, but are not limited to, the history of the ensemble, booking performances, managing finances, maintaining working relationships, and reaching consensus in a democratically operated business.
As avid composer-performers, The Westerlies can speak in great detail about the compositional process, commissioning new work from other composers, writing for brass instruments, and various compositional techniques and approaches.
COLLEGE AUDITION WORKSHOP
The Westerlies will discuss the college audition process, including repertoire selection, audition etiquette, and selecting the proper school for oneself. The workshop will include mock auditions, and a timeline of audition preparation leading up to audition day.
The Westerlies will rehearse and perform music alongside partnering musicians/ensemble. The option to commission a new piece or arrangement from the Westerlies is available.
The Westerlies select seminal recordings and discuss their importance in the context of music history. The listening repertoire can be catered to various themes, including, but not limited to:
Bridging the Gap: Exploring the Intersection of Jazz, Classical, and Folk Traditions
Westerly Pedigree: Tracing the Westerlies’ Musical Lineage
“The Westerlies are a charismatic quartet and they are a joy to present to any audience! Their creative programming and energetic personalities make them accessible to students of all ages. Their ability to connect with young people and share their talents of performance, composition and teaching make them true ambassadors of world-class music making!” - Emily Werne, The Juilliard School
“The Westerlies took our summer program to a whole new level. These four musicians, accessible and down to earth with a strong communication style and good sense of fun, helped our students take their improvising from the theoretical to the practical, pushing them to think out of the box and not be afraid to do so. They were so popular with our students that we are bringing them back this year to do two more master classes.” - Britt Madsen, Seattle JazzEd