Vanderbilt Music Académie Inaugurated in France
A new interdisciplinary music and French residency offered jointly by the Blair School and the Vanderbilt-in-France program took flight this summer. Located in Aix-en-Provence, the new venture, called the Vanderbilt Music Académie, is centered around the weeks of the Festival d’Aix (June 25 through July 12) and included a variety of master classes with open rehearsals and a concert performance at the end of each week. According to Thomas Verrier, artistic director of the program and associate professor and director of wind studies at Blair, “the goal is to empower students to experience music from the inside out, nurturing the creativity and inspiration of each participant’s ‘inner artist’ alongside the skill development of his or her ‘performer shell.’ Our focus is on developing each, all the while strengthening the bond between them.”
The Vanderbilt Music Académie was offered along with other summer programs in conjunction with theVanderbiltin- France Center inAix-en-Provence. In addition to themusical experiences, participants were offered French classes, organized excursions and activities to explore the natural beauty of Provence.
The Blair School sent a string quartet and a woodwind quintet toAix-en-Provence for the inaugural residency.The string quartet included: Ben Hart, first violin; EstherMcMahon, second violin;DeanWhiteside, viola; andGareth Briscoe, cello. The woodwind quintet included: Jamie Kellndorfer, flute; Brittany Croley, oboe; Lauren Henry, clarinet;Daniel Ibarra-Scurr, bassoon; and Devri DePriest, horn.Along with Prof.Verrier as artistic director,MaitéMonchal, director of Vanderbilt-in-France since 2003, served as executive director of the académie.