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About & FAQs

FACE THE MUSIC

The New Face of 21st Century Music


Face the Music is Kaufman Music Center’s contemporary music education program for teenagers and the country’s only youth program dedicated to studying and performing post-genre music by living composers.
Praised for “stunning performances” by the New York Times, Face the Music features a collection of ensembles including a chamber orchestra, a jazz big-band, an improvisation collective, string quartets and mixed chamber-ensembles, all dedicated to studying and performing experimental, new-classical, new-jazz & avant-garde music written exclusively by living composers.

Face the Music members have unparalleled performance opportunities at high-profile NYC spaces like Merkin Hall, National Sawdust, Roulette, The Jazz Gallery and BAMcafé as well as experimental performance spaces and schools. Face the Music also offers mentorship, support and unique promotional opportunities to developing young performers and composers through its unparalleled network of professional contemporary musicians, organizations, media and venues.

Read about Face the Music in The New York Times and the National Sawdust Log.
Rehearsals are on Sundays during the school year. View the Rehearsal Schedule.

See Face the Music's Frequently Asked Questions


FACE THE MUSIC AUDITIONS ARE OPEN FOR THE 2020-21 SEASON!

Musicians age 12-18 are invited to audition for Face the Music. Fill out the online registration form HERE.
Re-register (current students) or schedule an audition (new students) to join KMC's dynamic teen new music program for the 2020-21 school year. For info, email facethemusic@kaufmanmusiccenter.org or call 212 501 3360. Do you know teen musicians who may be interested? Download a printable flyer HERE.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Will Face the Music be online or in-person?
Who can participate in Face the Music?
How can I join Face the Music?
When and where are rehearsals and performances?
What kind of music does Face the Music play?
How can I join the composition program?
What is the tuition? Is financial aid available?
What room is my group in, and what should I bring to rehearsals?
Who do I contact if I am going to be late or need to miss a rehearsal?
How can I help if I am a Face the Music parent/family member and would like to volunteer?
Who should I contact if I have a cool idea for a project or if I have a miscellaneous question?
 

Q: Will Face the Music be online or in-person?
A: Members should please stay tuned for program decisions via email. Information regarding our 2020-21 season will be updated online here as announcements are made, and Center-wide Covid-19 related updates may be viewed online here.

Q: Who can participate in Face the Music?
A: Music students ages 12-18 who want to explore cool and exciting new music while creating and collaborating with some of the biggest names in contemporary music today. At least three years of instrumental experience are recommended. String players should have completed Suzuki Book 5. Composers at all levels, including beginners, are welcome.

Q: How can I join Face the Music?
A: Registration is open throughout the school year. Placement auditions are held Sunday afternoons during the first few weeks of September. Students are placed within the program based on interest, enthusiasm, commitment and skill. For information and registration, call 212 501 3360 or email facethemusic@kaufmanmusiccenter.org.

Q: When and where are rehearsals and performances?
A: Face the Music rehearsals are based at Kaufman Music Center’s Special Music School High School in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Educational Complex on 122 Amsterdam Ave. and West 65th St. on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. All ensembles rehearse weekly on Sundays throughout the school year. Performances take place in venues across NYC in high-profile NYC spaces like Merkin Hall, National Sawdust, Roulette, The Jazz Gallery and BAMcafé. Please refer to our online Rehearsal Schedule and our Performance Calendar for more details.

Q: What kind of music does Face the Music play?
A: Face the Music plays experimental, new-classical, new-jazz and avant-garde music written exclusively by living composers. Past seasons have included works by Maria Schneider, Greg Saunier, John King, Rhiannon Giddens, Sean Friar, and Rudresh Mahanthappa. Face the Music also performs works by its own member-composers. Students participate in ensembles including a chamber orchestra, a jazz big-band, an improvisation collective, string quartets and mixed chamber-ensembles.

Q: How can I join the composition program at Face the Music?
A: Students interested in joining composition at Face the Music must play a seating audition and are expected to be involved in a Face the Music ensemble in addition to composing. Student-performers in Face the Music may sign up for a composition cycle in the Fall, Winter, and/or Spring. Students at all levels, including beginners, are welcome. Read more.

Q: What is the tuition for the 2020-21 school year? Is financial aid available?

  • Performance Program (all students) - $700
    The core experience at Face the Music. All students play in a large ensemble, such as chamber orchestra, jazz big-band, improvisation ensemble, advanced jazz or advanced chamber. Weekly Sunday afternoon-evening rehearsals September to June (30 weeks). Multiple opportunities to work directly with living composers and prominent contemporary guest artists. Each ensemble gives four major concerts at exciting NYC venues. Special Music School High School students receive a 25% discount.

  • String Quartet (add-on) - $400
    By audition for violinists, violists and cellists. Students play in a string quartet September to June (30 weeks) which is coached weekly on Sunday afternoons preceding large ensemble rehearsals. Recent collaborations include Kronos Quartet, ETHEL, and JACK Quartet. Each student group gives two to four major performances at exciting NYC venues, including specialized performance opportunities. String quartet students play in the chamber orchestra for eight weeks.

  • Composition (add-on) - $450
    Face the Music is committed to supporting the creation and performance of music by its own student composers! Students receive eight 40-minute private lessons, a music theory and software notation crash course (parents can attend this), and a reading-recording session by professional musicians. Select pieces are invited to be performed by Face the Music. Previous composition experience not required!

  • Workshops (add-on) - $125
    Special workshops such as Song-Writing, Conducting, or Electronics & Technology, meet at least 4 Sunday afternoons before ensemble rehearsals. These workshops are open to students outside of Face the Music for a $450 registration fee.

    Scholarships are available. For financial aid information, call 212 501 3360 or email facethemusic@kaufmanmusiccenter.org.

Q: What room is my group in, and what should I bring to rehearsals?
A: Rehearsal room assignments and are included in the private online rehearsal calendar and are posted on a whiteboard outside the black box theater at SMS High School on rehearsal days. Please always bring your instrument, music, a pencil, and a positive attitude! 

Q: Who do I contact if I am going to be late or need to miss a rehearsal?
A: Contact Face the Music by emailing facethemusic@kaufmanmusiccenter.org, or call 917 441 3692 x 5.

Q: How can I help if I am a Face the Music parent/family member and would like to volunteer?
A: Volunteers are needed for transporting equipment to and from performances, helping with check-in at venues, assisting with recruitment efforts, and reaching out to potential venues, artists and collaborators. To discuss opportunities, please email facethemusic@kaufmanmusiccenter.org or call 917 441 3692 x 5. Volunteers working with students will need to have a background check as per Kaufman Music Center policy.

Q: Who should I contact if I have a cool idea for a project or if I have a miscellaneous question?
A: Please email Face the Music at facethemusic@kaufmanmusiccenter.org with miscellaneous questions. If you have an idea for a proeject, awesome! Share it with us! We’re totally open to new ideas and trying new things, and we want to make this experience as exciting for you as possible.


FACE THE MUSIC AUDITIONS ARE OPEN FOR THE 2020-21 SEASON!

Musicians age 12-18 are invited to audition for Face the Music. Fill out the online registration form HERE.
Re-register (current students) or schedule an audition (new students) to join KMC's dynamic teen new music program for the 2020-21 school year. For info, email facethemusic@kaufmanmusiccenter.org or call 212 501 3360. Do you know teen musicians who may be interested? Download a printable flyer HERE.