Usdan Summer Camp For The Arts Heats Up Its Music Offerings For Summer 2017 -- Special Collaborations With Lisa Bielawa and International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)

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Enrollment Now Open For Upcoming Summer Camp Season

Our goal is to develop expressive and creative youth who have the potential to impact their communities now and in the future...We also hope to give adults the chance to engage with that future NOW through those voices and ideas of young people.

Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts—the nation’s preeminent arts day camp—today announced high profile music collaborations with International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) for Junior Chorus and Lisa Bielawa for Senior Orchestra programs. Both partnerships, kicking off with Summer 2017, will set the stage for potential longer-term collaborations between faculty and students to create original work.

Composer-performer Levy Lorenzo will team with his colleagues at the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) to collaborate with the Usdan Junior Chorus to explore myriad methods for creative, sonic exploration in an open environment. This risk-taking and team-oriented generative process is designed to spark innovation and interaction. The initial fruits of this program will be presented as a work-in-progress in student concerts at camp in late July.

Also on hand to ideate and experiment: Internationally acclaimed composer/performer Lisa Bielawa will be guest conducting the Senior Orchestra for two weeks this summer. Bielawa –whose work has been described by Gramophone magazine as “impeccably groomed…that at once evoke the layered precision of Vermeer and the conscious recklessness of Jackson Pollock” – will be spending time in the community, identifying ways to make work and enhance the creative conversation.

“I knew from the very beginning that this opportunity with Usdan would be something different, yet aligned with my own belief that working with young people can be an experience of high artistic integrity as well as of top creative and production values,” says Bielawa. “We see this summer as an experiment – the beginning of what will hopefully be a long-term collaboration, with the ultimate goal of creating of original work.”

“Usdan continues to look for new ways of educating youth in the arts – including these exciting Artist-in-Residence collaborations with ICE and Lisa Bielawa as well as visual artist Pedro Lasch,” says Lauren Brandt Schloss, Executive Director of Usdan. “Our goal is to develop expressive and creative youth who have the potential to impact their communities now and in the future. Using the conduit of contemporary art, we also hope to give adults the chance to engage with that future NOW through those voices, concerns and ideas of young people.”

Composer-vocalist Lisa Bielawa is a 2009 Rome Prize winner in Musical Composition, and the recipient of the 2017 Music Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. Born in San Francisco into a musical family, Lisa Bielawa played the violin and piano, sang, and wrote music from early childhood. She began touring as the vocalist with the Philip Glass Ensemble in 1992, and in 1997 she co-founded the MATA Festival, which celebrates the work of young composers. Bielawa was appointed Artistic Director of the San Francisco Girls Chorus in 2013 and is an artist-in-residence at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California. Her music is frequently performed throughout the US and abroad, with recent highlights including two world premieres at the 2016 NY PHIL BIENNIAL, featured works at the Kennedy Center’s KC Jukebox series and SHIFT Festival, and a concert of her works at National Sawdust. Bielawa’s latest works for performance in public places include Chance Encounter, which was premiered by soprano Susan Narucki and The Knights in Lower Manhattan's Seward Park, and Airfield Broadcasts, a 60-minute work for hundreds of musicians that premiered on the tarmac of the former Tempelhof Airport in Berlin in May 2013 and at Crissy Field in San Francisco in October 2013. She is currently at work on Vireo, a new made-for-film episodic opera which will be released by KCET for free, on-demand streaming in May 2017.

The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is an artist collective committed to transforming the way music is created and experienced. As performer, curator, and educator, ICE explores how new music intersects with communities across the world. The ensemble’s 35 members are featured as soloists, chamber musicians, commissioners, and collaborators with the foremost musical artists of our time. Works by emerging composers have anchored ICE’s programming since its founding in 2001, and the group’s recordings and digital platforms highlight the many voices that weave music’s present.

The nation’s preeminent not-for-profit day camp for the arts, Usdan has been declared a “Best Of” camp by TimeOutNY/Kids, and by NY Metro Parents. Diverse and playfully rigorous from the start, for nearly 50 years, Usdan has brought world-class teachers and visiting artists – actors, directors, playwrights, painters, sculptors, musicians, composers, dancers, poets and novelists – to teach and collaborate with Usdan campers ages 4 to 18. Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts ignites each child’s artistic spirit in a fun, welcoming environment, focusing on the central idea that art making is brave making, friend making, freedom making, and future making.

Usdan is an agency of the UJA-Federation of New York. All programs will take place at the camp’s magnificent 140-acre woodland campus, located at 185 Colonial Springs Road in Wheatley Heights, NY 11798.

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Meryl Cooper
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