Fontana in the Community

Building curiosity and a lifelong interest in the world of chamber music defines our educational outreach and community engagement programs. In addition, young music students have the opportunity to be coached by world-class musicians.

Activities throughout the year introduce the artistically and ethnically diverse world of chamber music to individuals ranging from elementary to high school age, as well as college and beyond. Many of these cultural programs are easily accessible to individuals and families that would not otherwise have such opportunities – and they are always FREE!

Jordan Hamilton

Jordan Hamilton performing at the October 2022 Art Hop.

We Reach Thousands

School and community visits by our guest artists provide chamber music experiences in personal and interactive settings. Daytime concerts for youth provide opportunities to experience our artists at work in a real-time performance setting. Master classes, workshops and coaching sessions give aspiring young musicians the opportunity to work alongside the shining stars of today’s music world.

In addition to their work in area schools and colleges, many of our guest artists make presentations in spaces such as a public library, downtown Kalamazoo’s Epic Center for the Arts or at a neighborhood community building.

Immanuel Wilkins 2023 presentation taken at the Douglass Community Building

2023 presentation by Immanuel Wilkins at the Douglass Community Building

BRAVO! Competition

Established in 2001, the BRAVO! Competition was incorporated into Fontana’s outreach program in 2015 as an annual spring event. Similar in format to NPR’s “From the Top,” the competition culminates in a free public recital that celebrates the talents of area high school musicians who audition for spots on the program in front of a panel of professional musicians.

BRAVO! Competition

Winners of the 2023 BRAVO! Competition

NEW: Collaborative Piano Program

The program aims to develop collaborative techniques in intermediate and advanced pianists through private coaching sessions. The students acquire skills to respectfully work with peers and adults in various musical settings like choirs, performances, theater productions, and more.

These techniques include efficient sight-reading, non-verbal communication, rehearsal preparation, and open score reading. The program coordinates performing opportunities for students within their schools and music community. It broadens musical development, enhances collaboration skills beyond music, and fosters awareness, clear communication, time management, and accountability.

In 2022-23, the program:

  • Established partnerships with Kalamazoo Public Schools and the Kalamazoo Area Music Teachers Association.
  • Connected middle and high school pianists with instrumentalists for festivals and vocal lessons.
  • Arranged for student pianists to assist choir rehearsals and performances in their schools for 2023-24.
  • Provided collaborative piano lessons to local students at no charge to families or schools.

The Fontana Experience

These programs affirm our belief that chamber music is powerful – that it has the ability to move, inspire and enrich the human spirit. Community outreach events associated with each concert are part of the Fontana experience.

For more information about upcoming events, or if you have an outreach program suggestion, please call (269) 382-7774.