Fremd Orchestra celebrates yet another successful Chamber Festival


Gabriel Sutanto, Staff Writer

Fremd Orchestra hosted its annual Chamber Performance Night featuring its Philharmonic and Concert Orchestras earlier this March. 

The Chamber Night has been a long standing tradition of the Fremd Music Association, spanning decades of its history.

The performance is an opportunity for the two orchestras to showcase the culmination of their efforts over the course of several weeks. As part of the in-class chamber unit, students split into several smaller ensembles or chamber groups. Typically, these groups will be trios or quartets with only one student for each part and instrument. This part of the chamber unit makes it unique from regular orchestra practice. It challenges students who are used to performing with several peers to build up an individual part by themselves.  

Marla Caballero, the Fremd Orchestra Director and organizer of the chamber program, describes the experience from the student’s perspective. 

“It’s really new for a lot of the students, especially the freshmen who’ve never experienced playing in a small chamber ensemble before. There’s definitely a vulnerability that happens, but with that comes a great deal of responsibility and I’ve seen students really step it up,” Caballero said. 

And while the students do rehearse among themselves, they are still provided direction. Each year, with the help of the Fremd Music Association, coaches are assigned to guide the groups 

This year, the coaches included several professional musicians, including members of the local Elgin, Lyric Opera, and Chicago symphonies. 

The actual performance took place simultaneously between two rooms. In each, judges provided feedback, worked with the groups, and gave them valuable advice for the future.

Caballero ends off by fondly describing her favorite part of the unit. 

“The highlight is seeing how they started, and students being nervous and not having a whole lot of confidence – but then also at the end gaining confidence and working together and encouraging one another. That’s such a great thing,” Caballero said.