Event - Face the Music Concert Series

Face the Music Concert Series

11.08.15, 1:00 pm

Face the Music, the only youth ensemble in the country dedicated to the creation and performance of music by living composers, kicks off its four-concert series at Queens Museum with a performance by its improvisation ensemble, the Soundbite Orchestra. SBO’s current musical adventure is Walter Thompson’s Sound Painting. This gestural language employs an array of signs used to sculpt group improvisation. A director or “painter” stands in front of an ensemble and signs musical events such as long tones, pointillism, and “play a solo.” As the painter and ensemble respond to each other the audience will confront the unexpected and discover ethereal soundscapes throughout the sonic journey. The result is a musical experience that is at once spectral, colorful, and occasionally humorous.


The only youth ensemble in the U.S. dedicated to the creation and performance of music by living composers, the 200+ member Face the Music has taken its place as a full-fledged player in New York City’s vibrant contemporary classical scene, rapidly becoming what Allan Kozinn of the New York Times has called “a force in the New York new-music world.” In the space of ten years Face the Music has grown from an after-school club of eight kids to a massive group of over 135 students from all over the tri-state area who convene every week to write, rehearse, and perform music together. The ensemble advances Kaufman Music Center’s commitment to contemporary music and provides unparalleled performance and education experiences for the next generation of musical leaders.

Under the direction of Dr. Jenny Undercofler, Face the Music performs nearly 35 concerts each season in venues around the city ranging from schools to museums to concert halls. Highlights from recent seasons include performances at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, the Bang On A Can Marathon, the Ecstatic Music Festival, and the River to River Festival, where Face the Music opened for the Philip Glass Ensemble. Face the Music has collaborated with many professional artists, including the JACK Quartet, with whom they performed Steve Reich’s Triple Quartet at the Baryshnikov Arts Center last spring. Recently, Face the Music launched “Kronos at Kaufman,” a major collaboration with the Kronos Quartet for the 2013-14 season.