Chamber Music Youth Program
Fibonacci Fun was created to provide interested student musicians the opportunity to experience chamber music from the perspective of the performer. What does this mean and how does it happen?
First, a student chooses a type of work to prepare. The number of players may vary from a duet, trio, quartet, or even a quintet or sextet. With the assistance of our Program Director and their private instructor, the student will discuss which size and instrumentation best fits their level of ability, and repertoire will be chosen to fit their specific scenario.
Some students may have a previously formed group; others may have the desire to form a new one. In either case, the director will assist them in choosing appropriate repertoire and finding additional players if needed. Once the repertoire and ensemble have been selected, the student can get to the fun part: learning and performing a chamber music composition.
Individual practice will begin the process, guided by the students’ private instructors.
Interpretation and implementation of musical and logistical ideas will be the primary responsibility of the Fibonacci Fun coaches, who will work with ensembles on a bi-weekly basis. Additional coaching sessions may be scheduled at the student’s expense.
Finally, after each step of the process has been completed, there will be a performance. In addition, other performance opportunities will be made available to student musicians, including visits to school music programs, assisted living facilities for seniors, or private functions the musicians may schedule on their own. The most important part of learning and mastering a chamber work is performance. To that end, Chamber Music Amarillo is here to support and encourage our musicians in every way possible.
For more information on Fibonacci Fun, please contact Program Director, Jayson Bishop at (404) 312-3280.
About the Director
Cellist Jayson Bishop began his musical journey at age 6 on the piano. At 10, following the lead of his four musician brothers, Jayson chose the cello. “My brother Barth had a cello in his band, and I thought it was the coolest”, he recalls. By age 15, his life path seemed clear; he left his home in Boise, Idaho to pursue musical studies in Seattle, Washington.
After graduating high school, Jayson was accepted as the only undergraduate student of famed artist and pedagogue Bernard Greenhouse of the Beaux Arts Trio. He graduated from SUNY at Stony Brook four years later with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts, with a primary focus on music performance.
Greenhouse, who called Jayson “a first class talent”, encouraged him to continue his studies as a Masters student, but he had other plans. Jayson married his college sweetheart in 1985 after moving to Greater Atlanta. There, he began a freelance career with various regional orchestras while working to support a new spouse who had chosen to pursue Graduate studies.
As Principal Cellist of the Rome (GA) Symphony and Assistant Principal Cellist of the Cobb Symphony Orchestra, Jayson had opportunities to perform solo concertos by Dvorak and Beethoven, and numerous chamber music programs throughout the region. He co-founded a fledgling string orchestra with colleagues, which was featured twice on public radio’s “Performance Today”. Things seemed to be going in the right direction. “I used to think back and wonder, ‘what if...’” Jayson recalls, as his path has been anything but conventional.
From Georgia, he and his wife Carla returned to her home in East Hampton, New York briefly after a personal loss. It became clear early on that there were few musical or economic opportunities for them there, and so they moved again, relocating to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. “The five years we lived in Sioux Falls were some of our best”, Jayson remembers. With their two young children, they were able to live comfortably on modest incomes. He made inroads in the local music scene, as Assistant Principal Cellist of the South Dakota Symphony, Principal Cellist of the Northwest Iowa Symphony, and adjunct cello instructor at several regional colleges and universities. He co-founded a string quartet, and was able to build a small private teaching studio. Then came the winter of 1996/97. After eighteen blizzards and several close calls with the weather, the family decided to return to Georgia, where Jayson would go back to work in the retail jewelry business with the company he had left seven years earlier.
Fourteen years and two houses later, the recession had taken its final toll on the family. They moved from Georgia to New Mexico in 2011 after losing everything, including home, cars, and 401K. After that final, devastating blow, the couple and their now teenage kids were unable to stay together; Carla left a year later with younger son Zach to return to Georgia. Jayson stayed in New Mexico with older son Spencer, continuing his work as the manager of a family-owned jewelry store in Albuquerque. By 2014, Jayson had been let go by that jewelry store, and realized for the first time that he might just be able to forge a career as a full time musician. Setting out to find work, his path found its way into Texas, where, on the same weekend in late August, he won permanent positions in the Amarillo and Lubbock Symphonies. Jayson remains with both orchestras, and has recently been chosen as Assistant Principal Cellist with the Amarillo Symphony.
Along with a growing private studio in Amarillo, Jayson has completed a Master of Music degree with Emmanuel Lopez at West Texas A&M, and is fortunate to be working with the best and brightest performers throughout the panhandle, including a strong connection with Chamber Music Amarillo and its Artistic Director, David Palmer. Jayson lives in Amarillo with the love of his life, Andria, and their three amazing girls, Rowan, Piper, and Norah. “Every morning, I get out of bed, realizing how incredibly blessed I am to have found this path; I don’t think ‘what if’ any more, but rather, ‘I gotta get busy. There’s SO much to do!’”