Class #1

Chamber Music For Strings

Katherine Decker & M. Brent Williams

July 4 - July 10, 2021


instructor imageThis class was first offered at The Clearing in 1970, making this its 51st year! The program welcomes back Katherine Decker and introduces Brent Williams as instructors. Quartet sessions, with rotating personnel, are scheduled each morning and afternoon, with coaching on assigned repertoire: Mendelssohn’s Quartet No. 3 in D, Op. 44, No. 1 and Mozart’s Quartet No. 15 in D minor, K. 421. In addition, the entire group will meet during the week for string orchestra rehearsals. Master classes and individual coaching will also be offered, and an informal performance, open to the public, is scheduled for Friday evening, where participants each perform one quartet movement as well as all together as a string orchestra. There will be ample time to form groups to rehearse additional music which could be chosen from our library collection.

Those interested in this class will receive an application form that lists the repertoire and includes an information slip that MUST be returned before registrations can be confirmed. You will be expected to acquire and prepare your parts, including measure numbers for the string quartets, in advance of the class. Music for the string orchestra will be introduced and learned during the week.


Cellist Katherine Decker enthralls audiences with her “positively delightful” performances and “intense concentration and confidence” (Fanfare). She is an avid chamber musician and performs across the world as a member of the contemporary classical mixed quartet, enhake, which gives voice to new composers through commissions and premiere performances. With enhake, she recently released Preparense: A Piazzolla Project on the MSR Classical CD Label which was reviewed in Gramaphone magazine as one of the best chamber music CDs of the year. She is currently contracted to create the premiere recordings of the cello works of Georg Goltermann and tours the country performing his works. She is currently the Assistant Professor of Cello and Head of the Strings Area at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. She has also served as faculty or Performing Artist at the Chapel Hill International Chamber Music Festival, OK! Mozart Festival and the Music in the Mountains Conservatory & Festival.

M. Brent Williams, www.mbrentwilliams.com, was Assistant Professor of Violin/Viola at Fort Lewis College and Lecturer of Violin/World Music at Valdosta State University, in addition to summer faculty positions at the Music in the Mountains Conservatory, Chapel Hill Chamber Music Workshop, and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. He was also previously Concertmaster of the San Juan Symphony and Albany Symphony Orchestra. A dedicated chamber musician, Williams is the violinist/violist of enhakē who collectively won the Grand Prize at the Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition, First Prize at the 3rd International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition, and was a finalist at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition and Festa (Japan). Williams has also performed chamber music with the award-winning Sima Trio, violinists Jinjoo Cho, L.P. How, and Matt Albert, bassist Frank Proto, and guitarist Oren Fader. He received his DM and MM from Florida State University and his BMA from the University of Oklahoma. Williams has recorded for the MSR, Naxos, Koch, Emeritus, Barsuk, Pias America, Nub, and Alchemist record labels. 2019-20 season highlights include: giving the premiere of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s Abgang and Kaddish with enhakē, performing with the Rio Verde String Quartet as part of Dvořák Expeditions’ “Classical Music Journey”, and recitals with pianist Eun-Hee Park in Santa Fe and Farmington, New Mexico, and Auburn and Montevallo, Alabama.

Note: Three scholarship funds are available for this class: The Adeline and Jack Weiland Scholarship Fund, the Angela R. Ebzery Scholarship Fund and the Ken Byler Scholarship Fund. To apply for a scholarship, please contact The Clearing.
Note: The Ferrenc Fenyö Fund was established to help pay for coaches. Those interested in supporting this fund are encouraged to contact The Clearing.



Level: Intermediate/Advanced
Materials Fee: $60 to help defray the cost of the coaches

Pricing (per person):
$1120 Dorm Room Package*
$1220 Two-Person Room Package*
$1835 Single-Person Room Package* (limited availability)
$625 Commuter Package** (limited availability)

*package includes tuition, lodging & 16 meals
**package includes tuition & 5 meals