Educational Outreach

High Desert Chamber Music’s goal is to expose young children to the highest levels of music performance, and cultivate an interest that can lead to a lifelong appreciation and enjoyment of the performing arts. All our programs are provided at no cost to students, teachers, or schools in Central Oregon. Our Educational Outreach efforts have three areas of focus:

1) Visits to Local Schools
2) Master Class
3) Spotlight Chamber Players 

Visits to Local Schools

We provide students of local schools with direct contact to our guest musicians through performances and Q&A sessions at string orchestra classes. This has been a great and rare opportunity for students to interact with visiting professional musicians in an informal setting. In addition, we provide complimentary tickets to our performances for the string orchestra programs of Summit High School, Mountain View High School, Bend Senior High School, Pacific Crest Middle School, High Desert Middle School, Sky View Middle School, Cascade Middle School, and Pilot Butte Middle School.

Complimentary tickets to performances are arranged through instructors. If you attend a school in Central Oregon, please ask your teacher to request your tickets!

Master Class 

Master Class (noun) definition: A class given by an expert, especially a musician, for highly talented students, usually presented in public.

Master Classes are beneficial and exciting for all those involved – they can provide artistic stimulation for the guest artist, the student musician receives valuable insight and customized teaching that they can apply to their studies, and the audience can learn and experience how the master’s advice improved or affected the student’s performance. For students, there is incredible leverage and support created by the situation. Not only are they face to face with a prominent expert, but there’s a whole audience rooting for their success!

Master Class with the Calder Quartet

Thursday, February 13, 2020, 5:00pm

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Oregon


Free admission, open to the public

This event is presented in partnership with the American String Teachers Association of Oregon.

High Desert Chamber Music is proud to present a Master Class featuring Avery Fisher Career Grant Winners, the Calder Quartet. The quartet regularly conducts master classes and has taught at the Colburn School, the Oberlin School the Juilliard School, Cleveland Institute of Music, University of Cincinnati College Conservatory and USC Thornton School of Music.

Top: Katie Liu, Kristen Kim, Claire Youn, Emily Whitney, Jacob Youn
Bottom: PDX Girls Quartet – Yoojin Kang, Ellie Liu, Emily Rhew, Naima Atay

Students and teachers do not have to be a member of ASTA, but there are many benefits to being a member of the American String Teachers Association – professional development, affordable instrument insurance, and access to string-related job openings, just to name a few. Please click below to get more information!

American String Teachers Association

Spotlight Chamber Players

Established chamber musicians are leaders, responders, collaborators, and cooperators. The Spotlight Chamber Players program was developed to provide a high level of chamber music instruction and is offered at no cost to the students selected. This program is devoted exclusively to the study and performance of chamber music skills and techniques. An emphasis is placed on listening to colleagues, and the intricacies of learning how your individual part fits with others. The students accepted into the program are expected to prepare individual parts outside of rehearsals, commit to all scheduled performance opportunities, and attend all High Desert Chamber Music events, which is provided complimentary. 

The members receive weekly chamber group instruction with Isabelle LaForet Senger, as well as individual and group instruction with select visiting artists from the HDCM Concert Series, in conjunction with their appearance in Central Oregon. The groups perform prior to many events in the HDCM Concert Series, and there are several compensated performance opportunities featuring the students in the community, including our Annual Gala and at locations such as Whispering Winds and the Franklin Crossing First Friday Art Walk.

Auditions are held in the fall and are open to string players in grades 6-12 with at least three years of private instruction and intermediate to advanced levels of playing. A one season commitment is required, and placement and type of ensemble will be determined after the application/audition process.  

Congratulations to our 2019-20 Spotlight Chamber Players!

Stephen Platt (cello), Nicolas Oncken (violin), Ezra Oncken (violin),  Emily Whitney (viola)


Isabelle LaForet Senger
Founder & Executive Director

Janet Smith
Event Coordinator

Board of Directors

Ethan Gray, President
David Gilmore, Secretary
Richard Samco, Treasurer
Durlin HickokDirector
Phil MachonisDirector
Patricia Rogers, Director
Betsy Warriner, Director
Charlie Wintch, Director

HDCM Board Members

Board of Advisors

Mark L. Mintz, Member
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Phillip Ruder, Member
Retired, Concertmaster Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Francis SengerMember
Mission Building & Renovation

Proud member of the
Arts & Culture Alliance

Support HDCM

We are the premier chamber music organization in the region presenting our thirteenth season in Bend. We are proud to be a local organization presenting a national level of excellence. Click below to learn how YOU can be a part of HDCM!

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