CMS Receives New York State Council on the Arts Grant for CMS Improvisers Orchestra Performances
WOODSTOCK, NY, December 6, 2016 - The Creative Music Studio™ has received a grant from the New York State Council for the Arts (NYSCA) with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The $5,000 grant will support repertoire development and performances in 2017 by the CMS™ Improvisers Orchestra conducted by Karl Berger.
"We look forward to applying these funds to our 2017 programs’ musician fees," says CMS Executive Director Rob Saffer. "The support of NYSCA and our other funders is vital to growing CMS' public performance activities and providing working New York musicians with both creative and financial opportunities.”
The CMS™ Improvisers Orchestra, conducted in artistic director Karl Berger’s inimitable style developed over decades, is comprised of 20 or more professional string, horn, reed and percussionists. It explores original compositions by Berger as well as melodies from the world's folk traditions, and themes written by visionaries such as Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman, creating a platform for musical ideas to arise spontaneously among the orchestra’s musicians. Berger’s conducting blends and harmonizes improvised sounds and rhythms in constantly shifting instrumentations and dynamics. One of the orchestra’s trademarks is Ingrid Sertso's unique vocalizations and poetry.
CMS™ Improvisers Orchestra takes the principles of the CMS™ Workshops to a professional level, with extraordinary results. Through an open “rehearsal” that precedes each performance, audiences can listen and watch as Berger transmits the “Music Mind” concepts he developed at CMS. Audiences can see how Berger shapes the sound and feel of the orchestra and how he gets the musicians to harmonize and blend orchestral sounds in an improvisational setting.
The CMS™ Improvisers Orchestra has received numerous critical reviews. The Wall Street Journal said the orchestra’s sound “draws on lush harmonies and a well-defined relationship between foreground soloists and background.” Lucid Culture has remarked that “the camaraderie and warmth of the repartee between the orchestra and conductor – and among the orchestra itself – was visceral,” and noted jazz critic Howard Mandel wrote that the orchestra “can expand on simple themes paying utmost attention to dynamics and each other through ‘intuited communication.’”