Installment #6: DACAMERA Education and Community Initiatives continue online

Welcome to the sixth installment of DACAMERA Home Delivery. Today, we are pleased to share with you some examples of how DACAMERA has remained a dynamic part of the Houston community, even while practicing social distancing.

In addition to the mainstage concert series each season, DACAMERA presents hundreds of education and community events across Greater Houston. DACAMERA’s Education and Community Initiatives department works to create opportunities that ensure equitable access to meaningful interactions with the highest quality chamber music and jazz for all audiences. The majority of these events are delivered by the talented members of the DACAMERA Young Artist Program.

Founded in 2009, the Young Artist Program has become one of the most respected programs of its kind in the country. Each year, an auditioned cohort of talented instrumentalists, vocalists and composers take part in this pre-professional training program. Young Artists (YAs) are either currently in graduate school or have recently graduated and are embarking on the next stage of their careers. The goal of the program is to encourage these young musicians to develop the skills necessary to become passionate, forward-thinking and community-focused “citizen artists.”

Thanks to the generosity of Education and Community Initiatives Committee members and other community partners, we have been able to support our YAs and help them find new ways of working in the community at this time. For example, some YAs have been recording video content for patients at Houston Methodist Hospital and MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital. Below, you can find excerpts of videos recorded by pianist Chelsea de Souza and harpist Hope Cowan.

With schools closed, YAs have also been working to transfer lessons from DACAMERA’s flagship education program, Music Encounters, to an online format. Music Encounters is an arts integration curriculum that uses music as a vehicle to teach lessons in foundation subjects including language arts, math, science, social studies, and more. An abbreviated version of Landfill Harmonic, a lesson for upper elementary students, is presented by percussionist Matt Richards in the third video below.


Also available is Chelsea de Souza’s full-length video including a movement from a Beethoven sonata, and Hope Cowan’s full-length video with additional selections. Also available is a performance by violinist Mary Grace Johnson.