Contemporaneous takes pride in the diverse and exciting educational programs the organization offers to communities close to home and throughout the United States. Through presentations of new music, the ensemble inspires students of all ages and skill levels to connect with the music reflecting their world. Our workshops and residencies offer the opportunity for performers and composers to unlock their creative potential. For students wishing to pursue a career in music, we impart career knowledge by the members of our ensemble embedded in the ever-changing field. Contemporaneous designs its programs to instill a passion for new music and to convey the power of careful listening and meaningful expression through music.

Below are program offerings for both university and K-12 students, which are customized by our dedicated education team to foster musical appreciation and artistic growth. See where we have presented these programs in our past events. Please contact Fanny Wyrick-Flax, our Educational Coordinator, with any questions or inquiries.


University Residencies

Contemporaneous offers residencies for colleges and universities that are tailor-made to meet the musical needs of participating students. With each residency, the ensemble supports students in the development of their artistic voice, provides participating composers with high quality performances of their works, and establishes long-lasting partnerships with students as they continue to pursue their career goals. Contemporaneous’ college and university residencies provide the academic community with thoughtful, committed performances and workshops encompassing a wide range of topics. The ensemble has presented these programs at Bard College, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, the University of New Orleans, and Williams College.


Each residency performance is a unique collaboration with student composers, student performers, and faculty members. Performances often feature new works by student composers and may include works from the ensemble’s own repertoire as well as works by visiting composers and/or faculty members. Contemporaneous can also perform alongside student performers in side-by-side performances, particularly in the ensemble’s repertoire of open-instrumentation scores. Recordings of student works performed in concert can be made using equipment and recording engineers provided by the school.


Workshops may be given by Contemporaneous artists as well as visiting composers, and can cover a wide variety of topics, including but not limited to the following examples:

Reading of student works: Contemporaneous artists provide students the opportunity to hear their in-progress or completed works played by the ensemble in a classroom setting.

Instrumentation workshop for composers: Members of Contemporaneous give insight into the instruments’ strengths and weaknesses, their roles within a larger ensemble, extended techniques, and resource recommendations.

Improvisation workshop: Contemporaneous presents an introduction to improvisation in contemporary music. Students are given the tools needed to integrate elements of composition into their playing in real time, with active discussion on the broad world of improvised playing.

Masterclasses: Contemporaneous artists and/or visiting composers offer masterclasses for student performers (of any orchestral instrument as well as voice, guitar, and saxophone), conductors, and composers.

Professional development workshop: Students join Contemporaneous artists in a discussion of what it means to be a professional musician and are invited to reflect on their career goals both large and small. Topics include entrepreneurial musicianship, networking, competitions, commissions, and education.

Open rehearsal and meet the composers: Join the ensemble at a rehearsal open to the public as they prepare for the closing concert. Student performers are invited to sit in their section as they follow along with the score. The rehearsal is followed by a discussion and Q&A with the composers.


School-Day Residencies

For K-12 students, Contemporaneous offers engaging, interactive workshops centered around the creation and performance of new music. In tailor-made programs, Contemporaneous instills a passion for the music of our time by demonstrating its exciting and unique expressive power. Workshops inspire creativity and appreciation with live performances, guided discussions, and composition activities. The following workshops are flexible models that can be offered to small or large groups.

The Composer in You: Everybody can write music! This workshop empowers students to express themselves in a new way through original compositions. Students will use images, words, and stories as notation for their new pieces to be performed by the musicians of Contemporaneous.

No Time Like the Present: Introducing the thrill of new music, this workshop features live performances of works by today's most exciting composers. The musicians guide in-depth discussions that reveal the design and inspirations of the compositions.

Perform with Contemporaneous! This workshop immerses students with some performance background (instrumental or vocal) in the rehearsal and performance of new music. Contemporaneous will guide students through a work by a living composer that is designed to be performed by any combination of instruments and voices on minimal preparation time.

Premiere Time! For students writing music, the experience of hearing it performed by professional musicians is both inspiring and enlightening. Contemporaneous offers performances, readings, and recordings of student works, treating them with the same kind of passion and devotion with which it approaches its core repertoire. The musicians also offer constructive feedback and demonstrate the possibilities of their instruments.

Past Events

October 2016-January 2017 - Bard High School Early College Queens Composition Workshop
May 27, 2016 - Girls Preparatory Bronx Middle School
May 15, 2016 - Face the Music
May 9, 2016 - Primary School 142
April 16-May 12, 2016 - City University of New York Graduate Center Residency
March 30, 2016 - Bronx Community College
March-June, 2016 - Bard High School Early College Queens Composition Workshop
October 7, 2015 - Bronx Community College
August 17, 2015 - Bard College Learning and Thinking Bakkhai Seminar
August 14, 2015 - Bard Music Festival Meet the Composers
August 13, 2015 - Bard College Learning and Thinking Film Score Workshop
August 12, 2015 - Bard Music Festival Open Rehearsal
May 19, 2015 - Bard Early College Academy
April 8-12, 2015 - UNO Residency
March 9, 2015 - Primary School 142
February 20-22, 2015 - Bard College at Simon’s Rock Residency
October 2014-January 2015 - Bard High School Early College Queens Composition Workshop
June 6, 2014 - Brooklyn Charter School
March 26, 2014 - Bard High School Early College New Orleans
March 22-27, 2014 - University of New Orleans Residency
November 13, 2013 - Primary School 142
April 27, 2013 - New Music Immersion with Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra
February 11, 2013 - Primary School 142
January 10-12, 2013 - Williams College Residency
November 29, 2012 - Primary School 142
October 13, 2012 - Brown University
November 9, 2011 - Poughkeepsie Day School



Fanny Wyrick-Flax
Educational Coordinator