Ensemble Mélange held a music workshop for students at Enterprise State Community College on Jan. 17.
The New York based sextet performed later that night at Enterprise High School as part of a concert organized by the Coffee County Arts Alliance and Center Drugs Home & Health, and decided to stop by ESCC to perform and talk to students.
“The group began in 2010 and the idea was basically, ‘Why can’t concerts be more fun?’” clarinetist Moran Katz said. “’Why can’t we look at our audience, talk to our audience, see what they want, have them ask us questions and break that wall?’ Also, for us, since most of our concerts we know what we’re going to play, it’s not necessarily bad, but it is predictable. Here, we have a concept where we show up as prepared as we can be but we have no idea what we’re about to play.”
During workshop each member would tell the audience a little bit about as life as a musician and how they became part of the group. After that, the audience would vote on two different compositions to see which could be played.
This was a slightly different take on the “menu” that the ensemble uses during their performances where picked audience members are allowed to choose any piece off the “menu.”
At the end of the performances, the group asked the audience members to introduce themselves and tell what they wanted their careers to be. The different members provided career advice to every member they could before opening up the floor for questions.
Ensemble Mélange’s soprano vocalist Ariadne Grief said that she hopes the workshop will help motivate students to start on their own dreams.
“It seems like a lot of people were worried that—as they said—they’re somewhere rural so they can’t get started on something if they have big or medium dreams,” Grief said. “I really just hope people will take action and start things themselves. All of our institutions that we care about and that we think are big and important were all started as a dream by somebody, somewhere. I just hope it felt possible after this.”