Teaching. Education is central to the Valley of the Moon Music Festival and a crucial part of any musician’s development. Each year the TANK Laureate Program selects four graduates of past summers’ Apprenticeship Programs and challenges them to set their own goals as musicians, entrepreneurs, and cultural ambassadors. In this program, we give our Laureates the chance to hone their leadership skills as coaches at Sonoma’s Valley Vibes Orchestra - a youth orchestra on the El Sistema model - during the year, and as musical and professional mentors to the incoming Apprentices during the summer festival. At the summer festival, they coach the Apprentice string ensembles, rehearse and perform with Apprentices in mixed ensembles, and share their experience and insights.
Artistry. The truest test of an artist’s vision comes when they have finished their musical education and are faced with the responsibility of making their own musical and stylistic choices. As featured performers at the Valley of the Moon Music Festival, the Laureates are encouraged to experiment with their choice of repertoire and interpretation, taking the kinds of risk that we embrace and encourage at the Festival, as they develop into fully formed creative artists.
Necessary Skills. From public speaking and connecting with audiences during and after performances, to remagnetizing an ensemble that has lost its cohesion, we encourage our Laureates to develop their interpersonal skills. They have the opportunity to be ambassadors of chamber music and hone their communication skills on and off stage. The idea is for our Laureates to learn to build community and share vision - skills that are rarely acquired in the academic environment of music conservatories. Connecting through music is a core value at the Valley of the Moon Music Festival, as we develop chamber musicians grounded in the community and deeply invested in creating organic and rewarding experiences for their listeners.
Knowledge. Laureates are completely fluent on their instruments and have full knowledge of historical performance practice, but street-smart performers know that some of the best discoveries come from programming concerts and learning how to interact in rehearsals. We encourage our Laureates to pose new questions and reset aesthetic agendas in unheard-of ways. Passing knowledge from one generation to the next is the heart and soul of the Festival. The exchange of ideas is constant - from faculty to Laureate to Apprentice and vice versa, with musicians of all ages and levels of experience inspiring and learning from each other. The TANK Laureate Program adds an essential component to our mission of mentoring the next generation of chamber musicians on historical instruments.