The 2020 Chamber Music Retreat will be online!

Icicle Creek Adult Chamber Music RetreatThis year marks the 10th annual Chamber Music Retreat. In past years we have all looked forward to an inspiring weekend at the picturesque Icicle Creek Center for the Arts in Leavenworth, WA. This year is so different. With so much unknown about COVID-19, and with everyone’s health and safety as a prime consideration, we have decided to cancel the in-person retreat.

The love of chamber music unites us, so we’ve designed the Virtual Retreat for the same weekend, September 17-20, 2020, so that this year, we can be inspired in a different way!

We’re really excited about our Virtual Retreat and hope you will be too! REGISTER NOW to attend with your ensemble partners and to connect with other participants. Every member of your ensemble must register by September 1, 2020.

The weekend will include coaching sessions for your ensemble, virtual social hours, a master class, virtual, live interactive classes led by our coaches, a coaches performance, and a virtual participant sharing session. We’ll kick off the retreat with a virtual social hour on Thursday evening. Coaching and Coaches Corner classes begin on Friday morning and the final class will be on Sunday morning. The workshop culminates with a virtual Participants Sharing Session on Sunday. Your friends and family are welcome to watch too! Saturday evening, the coaches will present a program of music, always a treat for us. Your friends and family will be welcome to watch our coaches; donations collected for their performance will be distributed directly to them.

Each ensemble will choose its music selection and will work together. Your group will get coached either Friday and Saturday mornings, or Friday and Saturday afternoons. Registration for pre-formed ensembles of three or more players is preferred, but there are often opportunities to place individual musicians.

This retreat is for adult violin, viola, cello and piano players of intermediate to advanced ability. The Fee includes coaching sessions, classes, and coaches chamber music performance.

Please note that we will continue to monitor Washington state and local county safety guidelines. When we get closer to the September date of the retreat, we may need to modify the offerings of the Virtual Retreat. Participant health and safety will be the guiding factors.

Find out more about the retreat faculty.

Contact Chamber Music Madness by phone or email if you have any questions.

Key dates:

September 1, 2020 Deadline for registration and payment of workshop fee
September 17-20, 2020 Virtual Retreat



Workshop Fee – $200 (includes Coaches Corner classes, 2 coaching sessions for your ensemble, and coaches performance)

Pay online or send a check to Chamber Music Madness, PO Box 27164, Seattle, WA 98165.

Tentative Schedule (subject to change)

Thursday evening
Kick off and virtual social hour

9am Coaches Corner – virtual, live class led by one of the coaches
11am Morning coaching session
1:30pm Coaches Corner
4pm Afternoon coaching session

9am Master class  (we will use one or two videos from the groups)
11am Morning coaching session
1:30pm Coaches Corner
4pm Afternoon coaching session
7:30pm Coaches performance

10am Coaches Corner – fun, interactive fiddling class led by Brandon Vance

Time TBD – Virtual Participant Sharing Session and social session to end the workshop

Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t have an ensemble; can I get help finding a group to join?
We prefer for you to form an ensemble with your friends, but if you need help finding a group or need help finding another musician to complete your ensemble, please let us know and we’ll try to assist you.

How will the virtual coaching sessions work?
It’s preferred that your ensemble members gather in the same location. The coach will be virtual. Your group and the coach will join a Zoom meeting set up for your coaching session. Your group will get 2 coaching sessions during the weekend; either Friday and Saturday morning, or Friday and Saturday afternoon. We will ask you in advance for a recording (video is best) of one of your rehearsals (or portions of several rehearsals )prior to the retreat to help your coach prepare for the coaching sessions and in case you are not able to meet in person on the weekend of the retreat. In that situation, the coaches will need to use the video(s) for your coaching sessions.

How should I prepare for this virtual retreat?
You and your ensemble should choose music you want to work on before the first coaching session. Typically the ensemble chooses a movement of a piece, or something approximately 10 minutes long. We recommend that you get together in advance, with Covid-19 safety precautions, to rehearse at least once. Each player should know their own part. Each ensemble must make a video recording of all or part of their piece before the retreat. The video doesn’t have to be fancy or perfect; stopping and starting will be ok! It’s also OK to make multiple, short videos of 1 – 2 minute sections of your piece. You can use your phone, computer, or video camera to record the video(s). We will provide instructions for uploading the videos and will make them available to your ensemble and your coach as private content on the Chamber Music Madness YouTube channel for a limited period of time.

My group won’t all be in the same place for the coaching sessions; can we still participate?
We believe that your group will have a better experience if you are all in the same location, or are able to provide a video recording of your ensemble playing together prior to the retreat. Having the coach and your ensemble in 2 locations will be challenging enough for the coached sessions!

I would like to minimize the amount of time I spend with others – how will that work?
We have designed the schedule with approximately 1 hour between the Coaches Corner classes and coaching sessions, which we hope will enable you to watch the classes in the location of your choice, and then travel to be with your ensemble during your coaching session. If your group chooses to watch the Coaches Corner class together, you’ll have time to rehearse between the class and coaching session.

How will the Sunday Virtual Participants Sharing Session work?
Each ensemble will be asked to provide us with a video of their “Final Performance” by 9AM Sunday morning. We will present them to the participants during a Zoom meeting Sunday afternoon, somewhat informally, with the opportunity for some added words by the players and coaches about this experience. The Sharing Session will be followed by a virtual social hour for all involved to enjoy the moment and say good-bye.

What do I need to know about using Zoom?
Zoom is a video conferencing application that can be downloaded and installed on your computer at no cost. For the best experience during your group’s coaching session, you should turn on “Original Sound” and have the computer on a wired Ethernet connection to your home network. Click here for instructions on how to turn on “Original Sound.”