HMP students experience dramatic progress as performers, every year. Our multi-faceted Performance Curriculum and team approach to instruction creates successful, versatile performers. We develop every student, not just the “star” students, and all performance majors perform in master classes and concerts. HMP ‘s Performance Curriculum includes solo training, public performance, and small ensemble study.
Solo Performance Training
HMP offers a unique choice for private study
Private study is the foundation of a musician’s education and a thriving, successful student/teacher relationship is priceless. Most HMP students study with a member of Westminster Conservatory’s superb faculty. HMP is also proud to work in partnership with excellent teachers in the tri-state area who send their students to us. While other pre-college institutions require private study with their faculty, HMP students have a choice to study with the teacher who best meets their needs.
HMP Performance Evaluation
Throughout the year, performance majors prepare for their spring Performance Evaluation. Students perform solo repertoire for a faculty panel and receive written feedback on their work. Repertoire is prepared by the student with his or her private teacher. Young Musician students perform two contrasting pieces and an etude. The Young Artist Evaluation is more intensive and is based on the progressive repertoire guidelines of The Young Artist Performance Curriculum. Available for each instrument, these repertoire guidelines outline a progressive path from the first year in Young Artist through to graduation. Young Artists receive scores and comments on their performance of two pieces at spring Evaluations. They also receive Pass/Fail on their performance each semester in the Young Artist Solo Recitals.
Four times each year HMP Instrumental Performance Majors perform a solo piece in Performance Class. Each class is a 90-minute master class lead by a visiting artist. Students receive feedback on their performance and build confidence with repertoire in these supportive, working sessions. Students record their performances and view them at home to maximize the experience. Under the guidance of their private teacher, students prepare a different solo piece for each of the four classes. Performance Classes assist in preparation for Evaluations, outside competitions, auditions, and festivals. YMS and YA Vocalists do not participate, and parents do not attend.
The Honors Music Program Chamber Concerts are gala events presenting our superb chamber ensembles twice each year.
The Young Artist Solo Recitals feature YA students performing solo repertoire at the conclusion of each semester.
The Young Artist Jazz Showcase presents YA students performing alongside members of the HMP Jazz faculty.
HMP concerts and recitals are held in performance halls on the campuses of Westminster Choir College and Rider University.
Weekly Performance Courses
Chamber Music class is the cornerstone of performance studies for instrumental majors. Students are placed by the director with fellow students into chamber ensembles which meet weekly with an instructor. Ensembles remain together for at least one year studying chamber repertoire and developing their artistry. Outside of class, students rehearse at the Conservatory or at one another’s homes. The culmination of their efforts each semester is their performance in the HMP Chamber Music Concerts.
The focus of performance study for singers is Vocal Repertoire class, where students work song repertoire vocally, musically and dramatically. In this weekly performance class, performance practice and stage presence are addressed along with musical and textual considerations. The Vocal Instructor works in communication with each student’s private teacher to select appropriate solo repertoire. Students work in class with a vocal accompanist and benefit from this hands-on approach to style and literature. Upon the Vocal Instructor’s recommendation, voice majors perform in the Young Artist Solo Recitals each semester.
Voice students also prepare vocal chamber music repertoire in Repertoire class. Students enjoy working in small ensembles with their fellow singers, and rehearsals take place in class. Selected chamber music repertoire is performed in the HMP Chamber Music Concerts.
HMP’s Jazz Studies are a signature offering for our Young Artist students. Weekly jazz classes teach jazz skills and the basics of improvisation, while they inform and enrich classical students’ musicianship. Students play jazz with their teachers and classmates at every level. The curriculum begins with Musicianship Skills, progresses through Jazz 1 and 2, and continues with work in jazz combos. Jazz class provides a hands-on experience with chord progressions, jazz forms, techniques, and styles. Students are expected to improvise daily and complete weekly listening assignments.
Workshops and Special Events
Enrichment activities including workshops, master classes with visiting artists, field trips, and concerts are scheduled throughout the year. These events often offer chances for students and families to socialize. Additional fees may be required.