BIMA's music program offers training in both choral and instrumental music. Offering a completely integrated musical environment stressing musicianship and creativity, the music major consists of intensive ensemble work, music theory, private lessons, improvisation workshops and small groups creative projects. Taught by professional faculty, the program offers a completely integrated musical environment stressing musicianship. Each week, BIMA musicians participate in individual and group warm-ups, theory classes by level, ensemble practice, individual practice, and faculty coaching.
We offer ensembles in four genres: Choral, Chamber, Jazz, and Pop/Rock.
In addition to the major ensembles, participants from all ensembles will also have opportunities throughout the summer to work together in small, mixed groups of instrumental and choral students, where you will focus on arranging and composition. Opportunities to record your small group and individual work in a recording studio are also available throughout the summer. Performance opportunities are spread throughout the summer, with a culminating performance at the BIMA Arts Festival. Throughout the BIMA summer experience, you will also have opportunities to participate in workshops with guest musicians and attend world-class musical performances throughout Boston and in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts.
During summer 2017, BIMA instrumentalists and vocalists joined together to sing in 4 part harmony (some for the first time) and performed the Israeli folk song “Nigun Atik” and a setting to “Mi Kamocha” by a BIMA alum. Musicians also formed a “Super Group” where the entire major rehearses together with faculty and special guests, tackling the Yiddish folk song “Ale Brieder” and Louis Armstrong’s “Jonah and the Whale.” The creative projects consisted of small groups of instrumentalists and vocalists working on honing the craft of composing, arranging, improvising and teamwork. Projects drew inspiration from the theme of the Book of Jonah, niggunim and songwriting as well as their own experiences.
The participants enjoyed a number of guest performances and workshops including weekly improvisation workshops with BIMA founding faculty and artist-in-residence, Rabbi Greg Wall, nigun and Jewish music expert Joey Weisenberg, period performance violinist Edson Scheid from Aston Magna, faculty Jessie Reagen Mann and her Indian/Jewish music trio Om Shalom and a songwriting share by faculty Andres Wilson and Asia Meirovich. The major also took a trip to the Leland home for the elderly in Waltham to perform for the community.