ACMP Members’ Holiday Music Gatherings

ACMP members gathered and shared music across the globe during the holiday season. Here are three reports for activities in Germany, Japan and Canada. Send your report to so we can add it to this post.

HALLELUJAH FROM THAILAND by Marjorie Modell (Vc, Excelsior, MN)

“Searching the ACMP Directory for people to make up a quartet or trio in a foreign country can sometimes be frustrating, especially for a cellist who has to find an instrument as well as players. Every now and then a new name appears in a place where I have been before who makes the whole experience very special when I get in contact. About 3 years ago, this happened in Bangkok, Thailand, where I have traveled nearly every December for many years. The name Surachai Chivaphansri, a violinist and violist, suddenly appeared, and when I contacted him I was thrilled to discover that he owns a nice cello. Since then I have visited him at his home, met his family and had delightful sessions with him and other Thai musicians. 

A year ago, Surachai mentioned that he had just played Handel’s Messiah in three performances at three different large churches in Bangkok. He said that they were short on cellists and that perhaps I should come to Thailand in November next year to play in these concerts. Without having to think about it for a second, I replied, “If you are serious, I’ll do it!.” So, this November, there I was at several rehearsals for over 150 singers and an orchestra of 59. This Messiah series of concerts was the 65th anniversary of the Bangkok Combined Choir singing the Messiah, which was joined by the Bangkok International Community Orchestra 10 years ago. It was a spectacular performance. 

In honor of the anniversary, the evening began with Veeraphan Vawklang, who has been the conductor of the Royal Navy Thai Orchestra, doing Handel’s Royal Fireworks, followed by Charunee Hongcharu, conductor of the Bangkok Combined Choir since 2001, conducting the Messiah performances. We performed nearly the whole oratorio each time. At one performance, the parking situation was so difficult that musicians were transported from the Sky Train to the church by tuk tuk, which added to the fun! 

The whole experience of being an obvious minority in a sea of very kind and welcoming Asians playing Handel’s magnificent music endeared by all, was akin to Alice in Wonderland falling into the rabbit hole and ending up in a wonderful unexpected place! This led to invitations to play chamber music and to playing in an orchestra at a wonderful Christmas Eve service at the Maitrichit Chinese Baptist Church in Bangkok Chinatown. The service was bilingual – in Chinese and Thai. I didn’t understand a word, but it was hugely inspirational never the less.

Never in my wildest dreams, as I was playing the Messiah as a teenager in Minneapolis, could I have imagined doing the same thing as a retiree someday on the opposite side of the world, thanks to the ACMP Directory!”

Pictured are ACMP members Surachai Chivaphansri (Va) and Marjorie Modell (Vc)

WELCOMING THE NEW YEAR by Jane Wilson (Vn, Va, Vc, Cb, Nanaimo, BC, Canada)

“I’m well into my 70s now, and every year since I was a young teenager I have started the year making music – usually playing but occasionally singing – in Boston, Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec, Melbourne, Australia, and for the past few years in Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island. This year will be no exception. We will have a small chamber orchestra (including 3 gambas and keyboard) and will play Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, No. 5, and No. 6 and lots of concerti grossi. Joining us this year will be a nyckelharpa player to add even more fun to our festivities. As the year rolls over, we will be playing Purcell Fantasia Upon One Note, with all those who think that they don’t play any instrument playing the “one note” (middle C) on violas and cellos that are made available to them. We will ALL be playing when the New Year begins.

Come and join us next year,”

ADVENT MUSIC by Michael Knoch (Fl, Berlin, Germany)

“On the second Sunday of Advent, 28 friends came to our traditional “Advent Music” event. We played J. S. Bach, Hirtensinfonie – No. 10 from the Christmas Oratorio – framed by two chorales No. 9 and No. 23; Corelli, Concerto grosso fatto per la notte di natale; Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 6; two of the Telemann concertos for four violins without bass; Pachelbel’s famous canon; and additional (smaller) pieces. We opened the afternoon with the first movement of Bach’s Triple Concerto BWV 1044 in our own version for piano, two flutes and string quartet. Throughout the afternoon, there were lots of cookies, cake, and stollen, and at the end of the evening – as a savory counterpoint – a bowl of squash soup was offered.”

MUSIC GATHERING IN PORTLAND, OR, by Martha Pressler (Vc, Portland, OR)

On Dec. 23, there was a chamber music gathering here in Portland…there were just four of us, but the onus for the event was the holiday visit of the mother of the host violinist. She has been an accomplished chamber pianist and the initiator of several chamber music programs in universities where she lived along the way (she is in her 80’s at present). What really got us together was the fact that she can’t have music in the home where she lives currently. Besides the joy that those of us playing had, what we did meant so much to this dear lady whose life has had such a musical focus

More Articles

GO FOR BAROQUE……an early music workshop in NYC

Read More ↗

How to hold a Play-In: January 28, 2023, 2pm ET on Zoom

Read More ↗

Announcing the 2022 Holiday Caption Contest Winners!

The winners of ACMP's 2022 Holiday Caption Contest are Hsing-ay Hsu, Victoria Bryan and Christopher Minarich. Check out their fun captions and read about our winners!

Read More ↗

 Chamber Music for Novice level players by Jill Schultz

Violinist and educator Jill Schultz shares tips on how to find satisfying chamber music repertoire for novice-level players.

Read More ↗

Just Play Concert: ACMP Members in California perform Beethoven and Gabriela Lena Frank

California ACMP members Sue Soong, Kevin Jim, Angus Davol and Julie Park perform an ambitious program of Beethoven and Gabriela Lena Frank at their concert in Albany, California, supported in part by ACMP.

Read More ↗

Watch the Kronos Quartet Master Class on YouTube

ACMP's first online master class with the Kronos Quartet on Saturday, November 12, 2022 was a success! Congratulations to the three groups from Idaho State University, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and SUNY New Paltz who performed so beautifully. Watch the November class and sign up now to play on April 15.

Read More ↗

Featured ACMP Member Michael Knoch

Meet flutist Michael Knoch, ACMP's IAC Ambassador in Berlin, Germa

Read More ↗

Kronos Quartet Master Class Repertoire Reveal:

Three string quartets from Pocatello, Idaho; San Francisco, California; and New Paltz, New York will play works by Missy Mazzoli, Ken Benshoof and Charlton Singleton for members of the Kronos Quartet on Saturday, November 12 at 2pm Eastern on Zoom and YouTube.

Read More ↗

Featured ACMP Member: Virginia Feldman

Celeste Chau interviews Virginia Feldman, ACMP's Portland, Oregon representative on its North American Outreach Council.

Read More ↗

A Wonderful Day of Chamber Music at MCW!

Read More ↗

Tickets now available for the Kronos Quartet Masterclass on November 12

Reserve your free ticket now to watch the Kronos Quartet 50 for the Future Online Masterclass on Saturday, November 12 at 2pm Eastern on Zoom.

Read More ↗

“Fall Worldwide Play-In” grant cycle now open!

Read More ↗

Location search: By proximity? Or in a specific location?

An easy guide to searching the ACMP directories by location.

Read More ↗

A Tribute to Candice Chin (1976 – 2022)

Read More ↗

ACMP member adventures in Ecuador

ACMP members Tom Cappaert and Art Malm returned to Ecuador to pick up a newly commissioned viola, coach with Alejandro Jiménez and donate more instruments to the conservatory in Riobamba.

Read More ↗

A new website and free membership for all 

In celebration of its 75th anniversary, ACMP is returning to its roots by dropping its membership dues. Read all about it, and about some of the new features of this new website (including helpful tips on how to renew your membership and tweak your personal profile.)

Read More ↗

Dutch Treat: ACMP to the Rescue!

Read More ↗

Kronos Quartet “50 for the Future” Online Masterclasses: Saturday, November 12, 2022 and Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 2pm Eastern on Zoom

Read More ↗

2022 Worldwide Play-In: U.S. Highlights

Read More ↗

2022 Susan McIntosh Lloyd Award: The Music Conservatory of Westchester

ACMP honors The Music Conservatory of Westchester with the 2022 Susan McIntosh Lloyd Award for Excellence and Diversity in Chamber Music Education

Read More ↗


All Articles By