Chesapeake music—a Virginia native

What is Chesapeake music? Chesapeake music is one that cannot be clearly defined as it is a combination of bluegrass, progressive bluegrass, folk, folk-rock, country, rock and more. It is basically a music about the Chesapeake experience—the waters, bay, its land, musical mimicry of animal antics in its marshes, foot tapping musical moments, and woeful stories of human relations to other lives in this planet. Chesapeake Chamber Music Chesapeake chamber music is a classical music formed by a small group of instruments. It does not include solo performances. It was during the Middle Ages and the Early Renaissance when it started. Due to its intimacy, chamber music has been called the “music of friends”. For more than 200 years, it was played primarily by amateur musicians in the confines of their homes and even today when chamber music has reached concert halls. Chamber music challenges its players to play together. Compositions will often encounter difficulties in coordination, and fast unisons. Coordination of details of technique is the key to blend or create a unified chamber music sound. This involves deciding when to use the vibrato and how much vibrato is needed. Ensembles coordinate their bowing and breathing to guarantee the unity of tone. Since chamber music is much like a conversation, balance is very important. This refers to the relative volume of each instrument. Sometimes the volume of a particular instrument should stand out, sometimes another instrument should. It is not always for the member of the ensemble to determine balance while playing; sometimes they require an outside listener, or a recording to determine if the relations between the instruments are correct. Chesapeake Music History Chesapeake artists believe that “it is possible to change the quality of the story driving us and our culture toward a deeper, more joyful and life-giving relationship with the place in which we live”. They also think that art and songs can help them connect with deep spiritual experience of Chesapeake chapter in the ongoing story of the Universe. Tom Wisner, also known as Chesapeake Bay Bard is one of the contributors to Chesapeake music. He has earned the title by performing for forty years and celebrating the Chesapeake Bay living in stories and songs. His works are all about the culture in the Chesapeake region: the fishermen, Native Americans, farmers and ecologists; he closely observed the crabs and turtles, herons and minnows; and combined all of these elements which he expressed through his art. He bore witness to the Bay and its creatures. He also became the first environmental educator of Chesapeake in the 1960s and did a lovely song in consultation with Martin O’ Malley, a tribute to the Maryland 400. Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival Chesapeake chamber music is a non-profit organization that sponsors the annual Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival. This has been running for 29 years now, and the last was held June 1-15,2014. It started in 1985, when a group of dedicated chamber music lovers of Eastern Shore of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay established the Eastern Shore Chamber Music Festival. Initially, it started with a single concert. Since then, it started to grow to a two-week event held in June, with eleven concert venues done in waterside estates to churches and the Aspen Institute. In 2002, the Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition was established for young chamber ensembles around the world. Then interlude concerts were integrated into the event. Youth Reach programming later on made its way, teaching elementary students to play a string instrument. It is a once a week ten-session program of violin instruction for third or fourth grade classes wherein they are taught on how to hold a violin and a bow, basic rhythm, use fingers of their left hand. An advanced program called the Presto! is also offered to those who have graduated the first program. They are introduced to reading music in this program. In July 2008, Eastern Shore Chamber Music Festival turned into Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival. For 25 years, it has brought world-quality chamber music to its audience of young and old on Maryland’s Eastern Shore while showcasing its Chesapeake music uniqueness to those who attend the Festival and its competition. The competition is open to acoustic instrumental ensembles. Each ensemble should have a group of 3 to 5 members. They must be engaged in a career or study of music. They should not have more than one piano. They are required to fill out an application, which will be submitted by the ensemble and later on will be evaluated to identify the ensembles that will be invited to perform in front of an audience, in a performance competition. They should be prepared to perform a complete program that should contain three works of contrasting style and character. Though it is anticipated that four or five ensembles will be able to perform, it is in the discretion of Chesapeake Chamber Music to decide the number of invitations. There is also awarding of the winners during this Festival. The Gold Medalist will be awarded the total of $10,000, Silver Medalist $5,000. The Gold Medalist was also to perform at the Chesapeake Music Festival on a chosen date during its two-week duration. All prizes shall only be delivered by the Chamber Music upon compliance of the ensemble to the requirements posted. Chesapeake Music Festival also caters to a jazz festival, where they invite great acoustic artists to perform. It is scheduled in a particular day, which can be seen on their event calendar every year. Chesapeake music shares richness for their taste of quality, depicting the Chesapeake way of living through their music, to celebrate lives in this planet and transforming it into art—books, poems and songs. It is noticeable that Chesapeake music deals mostly with marine life, the picture of their lands and waters, and even the animals living in it. This only demonstrates that a genre as unclearly defined as the Chesapeake music can go as specific as their lyrics went. It does not have to be a uniformed sound, it only has to convey the same meaning, and that is to celebrate life here on Earth. It also promotes ecological awareness. The Chesapeake music also encourages its listeners to feel a spiritual connection with the region.