by Alicia Lee
I started my time in the Academy, or what’s known now as Ensemble Connect, exactly 10 years ago. At that time, I was freshly out of school and grateful to feel attached to something and not completely unmoored in New York City. I think that there is a special connection people make at this vulnerable stage in our lives and this was forged within those two years of the fellowship. I was inspired by my “fellow-fellows" and was happy that we worked to create a community of people who were looking for creative ways to be musicians and of course to survive in New York!
As we left the comfy luxury of our Carnegie fellowship, this community decided to dive head-first into the deep waters of self-run-freelance-chamber-ensembles. A challenging proposition, but we were into it! So Decoda was born (or… The Declassified…as covered by the NY Times before our name change). It is amazing to remember the amount of work and effort we all gave to the process of creating our group. We pooled our resources to perform in as many places as possible and to expose ourselves and our name to the world. I recall quite clearly our “kick-off” week in 2012; we worked tirelessly, running around the city, and rehearsing wherever we could possibly find free space. There’s really nothing quite like that feeling of being young, scrappy, and all in it together.
Over the years, it’s been thrilling to see how we as artists and the group itself has matured. Each year was a learning experience and as we rotated leadership, we saw different facets of the group come to life and we really started to hone our identity. Now, with nearly a hundred concerts and residencies performed around the world and under our belt, we are primed and EXCITED for our return back to our first home, Carnegie Hall.
We would love to see you at our concert this Wednesday, November 14th at 7:30pm in Weill Hall! Doors open at 6:30pm. Join us after the concert for a drink and discussion in the Jacobs Room.