Friends of Chamber Music brings music from diverse periods and cultures, performed by world-class musicians, to the Brazos Valley. Through concerts and outreach programs at area schools, we strive to enhance the cultural life of the community.
Board of Directors
Andreas Kronenberg, President
Bill Rogers, President Emeritus
Susan Irza, FCM Program Underwriter
“Friends of Chamber Music is magic. Its gift to us is to celebrate classical music and bring new dynamic artists with fresh views and ideas of that music, and also different kinds and styles of music. FCM enriches the culture and musical quality of life in our community.”
Janell B. McAnally
“I appreciate very much the opportunity to enjoy the fine concerts presented each year by the Friends of Chamber Music and all the work it represents.”
Jon Seale, Head Band Director at College Station High School
“I am so appreciative of Scholarship programs like the Friends of Chamber Music Scholarship. It is wonderful that students from the College Station High School Band have been able to receive financial support for college by doing what they are passionate about.”
Todd J. Quinlan, Department Head of Performing Arts at Blinn College
“The educational outreach that the Axiom Brass Quintet did for our students was outstanding. Not only did they perform at a high level, but their coaching was perfectly delivered to meet the needs of our students in a very positive manner.”
RACHEL CHEUNG, piano | April 29, 2022
"You had an outstanding program selection this year. I only missed the French violinists. Rachel Cheung was particularly stunning to hear, and to watch. She was fantastic in strength, smoothness, emotional interpretation, choices of what to play. I never blinked. My mind never wandered, as it is prone to do. I am so glad I went, and so glad you do what you do so well. Ms. Cheung is marvelous, and so are all of you.”
AROD QUARTET | April 1, 2022
“What precision, power, musical personality, and total immersion in the music—and those gorgeous instruments added to the sheer beauty and sound in the performance. Last night we saw the Beatles of Classical Music!”
“I have decided to support FCM for another year even though I am now living in Phoenix.
Sometimes we don’t appreciate what we have until it’s no longer available to us. When I went to the FCM concerts over the years, I never realized how much volunteer work and, yes, money, went into the events. I heard of “outreach” but didn’t know what that meant, or who it reached. When I got involved with FCM, I learned a lot. Having music of such high quality in the Brazos Valley without having to buy a ticket is an amazing gift to the community. It’s not free, of course. It takes contributions, large or small, to keep the music coming. I encourage everyone out there to support Friends of Chamber Music, go to the concerts, drop a check in the box, put your company’s name in the program. Help the good people who put the programs together. I’m making a donation even though I live in Phoenix and can’t attend a Friends of Chamber Music concert in person.
I have signed up for the Arod Quartet streaming concert. It’s not as good as being there, but it’s better than not having the music at all.”
BRIDGET KIBBEY, harp & ALEXI KENNEY, violin | February 14, 2022
Comments left in FCM Surveys at the concert and forum:
“Please keep up these concert series, we need them for our mental health.”
“Beautiful music – thanks!”
“Thank you for bringing such professional chamber music here to College Station!”
“Love FCM! College student here; I’ve attended one event before and will continue doing so.”
“It was wonderful.”
“What a charming and surprising pairing of these two string instruments. Their concert celebrated Valentine’s Day in a very special way to the audience’s delight.”
Cathleen & Jerry Loving
“The Kibbey/Kenney concert on Saturday, which we watched from home, was breathtaking. As a (former) pianist I was particularly fascinated by what Bridget could do with the harp!!! Things I never noticed before — and, together with Alexi's magical playing, the concert was wonderful. We are so lucky to have Friends of Chamber Music in our community!!”
Marion & Achim Stössel
“We want to express our appreciation for yesterday's choice of musicians. We enjoyed the concert very much, the music itself, the performance of the artists and the instruments they played. I do not recall having ever experienced a duo concert with harp and violin. Really fabulous.”
2022 HOLIDAY SEASON
Jane Stowell, FCM Former President
“I cannot say enough happy praise for FCM's wholistic approach to good music. You focus on students with the new Scholarships for college freshmen and student opportunities to volunteer at the actual performances. FCM pioneered Online Concerts to bring good music to the community during COVID-19 lockdowns. I am so proud to have Friends of Chamber Music's presence in our community.”
“Thank you, Andreas Kronenberg and the rest of the team, for your dedication to keep music alive in our community. Happy Holidays!” [Andreas Kronenberg is President of the Board of FCM]
“Thank you for the delightful enrichment to the community!”
NEW YORK POLYPHONY | December 3, 2021
Leslie Lamkin, Lifestyle Director at Arbor Oaks
“The concert was so much fun and a success with the residents! All in all, we counted 42 residents in attendance…much more than I expected! Thank you Friends of Chamber Music for offering a livestream option. I look forward to working with you in the coming months and years!”
“I have followed this particular group since they sang at First Presbyterian Church in Bryan, years ago. The harmonics and incredible sounds they produce are matchless. Thanks for another memorable evening.”
“My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed last night's New York Polyphony concert, which we watched on your streaming platform. Thank you for bringing this outstanding vocal group to the Brazos Valley.”
“Lovely music this evening. Thank you and the 'Friends' for bringing such outstanding talent to BCS!
Some of the music they performed was reminiscent of music I have performed at Interlochen Arts Academy. Very nice.”
“Last night was fantastic.”
AXIOM BRASS QUINTET | October 8, 2021
“I was glad to learn that FCM is considering adding a jazz presentation in future music series. It's a smart idea because it brings in audience members who might not otherwise attend. The Axiom group was also interesting. So far this year, FCM is producing one great concert after another!”
RAQUEL CEPEDA JAZZ SEPTET | September 17, 2021
Travis Barney, Band Teacher, College Station ISD
"The Bryan/College Station community is very fortunate to have the Friends of Chamber Music and all of the wonderful Art Music that this organization brings to B/CS! Last night’s Jazz Prelude performance by the Raquel Cepeda Latin Jazz Septet from Houston was a unique and much needed experience for B/CS, which I hope happens more frequently.
Cepeda’s septet was not only comprised of world-class virtuoso improvisers who were well-versed in the vocabulary of America’s classical music known as Jazz, but the group was also a somewhat rare sighting in the live Jazz scene: they were a well-rehearsed, cohesive ENSEMBLE that was successfully (and more importantly, effortlessly) executing very clever, complex and interesting/original arrangements! As someone who has seen and heard a lot of live Jazz in many different cities over the decades, I’d like to point out that this is not always the case. This was definitely more than just a “pick up band” of good players thrown together at the last minute for a gig. I was also pleasantly surprised to hear how well they specialized in the less frequently performed Brazillian forms of Jazz styles, as opposed to just playing the more commonly performed (but still wonderful) Cuban “Salsa” styles of Jazz.
I’ve been to other bands’ performances at Century Square and was also very impressed at how large of a turnout there was at last night’s event, compared to the other crowds that I’ve seen there. I also noticed a lot of the dining crowd and people passing by who also stopped and seemed to be pleasantly surprised last night, which makes me think that there are a lot people in B/CS who became introduced to the FCM last night and will hopefully seek out supporting more of this wonderful organization’s events. Thank you so much, Friends of Chamber Music!"
Karen & Michael Pilant
“Thank you for making great ‘live’ music available during the pandemic. You have really gotten this down to a science, with additional offerings such as interviews and … an upcoming baking show! We are looking forward to joining in as the ‘e-audience.’”
Valerie & David Woodcock
“What an amazing start to the 2021! The McGill- McHale Trio were spectacular, and as always, it was wonderful to eavesdrop on the Encore conversation.
Thank you for years of enjoyment, and for the extraordinary expansion of the FOCM offerings made possible by technology. The circumstances of the need to explore these new ways of outreach are tragic, but they have surely introduced new audiences to music and made the connections between our regular audiences and the musicians deeper and more meaningful. We are surely looking forward to being together in person, for that is the nature of our humanity, but these new dimensions have brought special understanding and insight. The future for FOCM, as with other performing art groups, will surely see a combination of live and digital connections.”
“I really enjoyed the concert, probably more than I expected to. Seeing the musicians up close was fascinating. I wouldn't want to see/hear all concerts online, but there are definite advantages. Concert hall seats aren't all that comfortable and the temperatures are unpredictable. Plus, one has to drive, then park and walk to the hall regardless of weather. When I got tired, I just turned off the computer and came back the next day. Having been to many Friends of Chamber Music Concerts over the year, I could add the online experience to the memories of in-house concerts past.”
Linda & Bill Rundell
"Thank you very much for your extraordinary work in programming a season of such exceptional concerts and making them so attractively accessible to all in our community. In these times, this is as close as it gets to assuaging the hunger for live music."
[...] the Chanticleer program [...] was outstanding, and just as good as the wonderful piano program before it. FCM has a second digital home run. We are lucky to have FCM in BCS.
[...] congratulations also on the successful Chanticleer concert. Best Wishes for 2021 ahead!
"Concert was truly wonderful. The program was varied and interesting. The setting they chose made for a delightful venue. We really appreciate you bringing this wonderful performance to us."
Joseph P. Armon, Jr.
“[...] the performance was unbelievably magnificent, and the discussion afterward pulled the experience together with the Armenian history and real life of the group and commitment to excellence. Thank you."
“I would like to congratulate the committee for having put together a most ambitious and interesting program. The Goldberg Variations concert was excellent and stands out from other "virtual" performances by being so personalized. Bravo!”
"I only now discovered you. Thank you very much for bringing Juho to our homes. I am from Finland, but live in CA. I am a brain aneurysm survivor. Music can have a great healing effect on the brain! Happy Season to You!"
Jerry and Cathy Loving
“We heard the Bach arrangement today. Simply breathtaking! Congrats on such a splendid program.”
Achim and Mariam Stoessel
"I must say that Juho's performance was very impressive, the music beautiful, and the recording highly professional. I did not expect it to turn out that well. Many thanks to […] you for your contributions to turning this into a major success!"
“Congratulations on the Pohjonen virtual concert. It is a triumph! FCM is leading the way in this difficult time to keep concerts alive. I've been a FCM supporter for a long time and [...] this brings new life and vitality to the whole enterprise. Well done!”
“This is wonderful! Mr. Pohjolen is an excellent pianist. Since he is not using the damper pedal much, the textures are very clear and easy to follow. I tuned in for the premiere on Saturday and am listening to it again, which, of course, is possible in this online format.
Something that might make you laugh: I have a cat who, apparently, likes piano music. Whenever I try to play my spinet at home, she jumps onto the keyboard and "plays" tone clusters. Anyway, she listened to the whole concert on my lap on Saturday, and again now.
Thanks to you, Mr. Pohjolen, and the Friends of Chamber Music for bringing this concert, and the interview with Andreas and Brett. Truly a treat!”
Linda and Paul Parrish
“The concert was superb and the after talk (“Encore”) was engaging and enlightening.
We’ve thought occasionally during these challenging times that there are a few benefits we get from the virtual world we live in. In this case, for example, if the concert had been in First Pres it would no doubt have been wonderful, but we would not likely have been able to attend and there wouldn’t have been the extensive discussion you, Andreas, and Brett were able to have with the performer. Well done!”
"The concert was spectacular... the informality of the setting fit our current worldwide situation...the playing was fluid...time passed so quickly, which was amazing given the length of the piece...it was a joy to take time away from the here and now to be transported for over an hour to a place of wonder and listening/viewing pleasure. Thank you so much for enabling this concert to be available."
Jan and Bill Johnson
“Thanks for all your work [...]. We are enjoying the concert now.”
Valerie and David Woodcock
“Thank you so much for the brilliant […] Variations last night. Juho is as much a videographer and designer as he is a pianist . . .brilliant all round. The discussion afterward was delightful, good conversation at its best. Of course, we all miss the reality of personal contact, but you created the next best thing and a truly inspiring experience.”
“The concert was wonderful!”
“Thank you for your vision and great dedication that resulted in a wonderfully satisfying Friends of Chamber Music concert [...] of J. S. Bach’s iconic Goldberg Variations followed by a scintillating discussion with the outstanding young pianist.
The combination of online concert and following discussion with access over two weeks should attract a large following for the remaining concerts of the 25th season.
Congratulations on a stellar first concert!”
“Juho was amazing! And I also enjoyed your […] conversation with him. You are doing such a great and important job for our town!”
“Congratulations on the wonderful concert. It was so well done! What a delight to watch! Juho was amazingly relaxed! The Encore had a fun quality that was reminiscent of the post-concert conversations found at our receptions! I am looking forward to all of FCM’s online concerts.”
“It's beautiful! Bravi tutti everyone at FCM. […] You all ought to be very proud. These are such strange times to be a concert presenter, and I think this is a beautiful way to keep the music alive.”