Side-by-side performances

Selected student chamber ensembles perform alongside professional musicians on Salastina main series concerts throughout the season. This provides an opportunity to learn chamber music via osmosis from seasoned professionals. It also allows for resume building.

Each participating student group has the opportunity to appear on one of the following pre-concert performances. 

All concerts are recorded by Salastina.

  1. December 16 & 17, 2016For our Chamber Messiah program, a student string quartet joins our ensemble of professionals -- which includes a string quartet and harpsichord -- for a Bach Brandenburg concerto or Cantata.

  2. May 5 & 6, 2017: For our Complete Beethoven Piano Trios concert, two student piano trios break down into smaller parts, allowing each student a chance to work and perform with a professional musician. The students and professionals work together to complete our Beethoven Trios cycle by performing his trios Without Opus.

Performing music by their peers

Each participating student ensemble is paired with a young composer, who writes a piece especially for them.

More often than not, students do not play any new music until college or later. This pairing gives students a head start on what it’s like to work with living composers.

  1. In the early Spring, student chamber ensembles meet for three readings of pieces written specifically for their group. The composer’s teacher, Reena Esmail, and a Salastina musician are both present to guide rehearsals/readings.

  2. A performance of all pieces completed for student ensembles is held near the end of the concert season.

Producing their own concert 

Sounds Promising culminates in this unique professional development project in June of 2017.

Much lip service is paid to teaching young musicians how to “build their own careers.” Sounds Promising guides students through meaningful experiences doing just that. 

Sounds Promising is not a coaching program dedicated exclusively to telling students how to play music. Rather, it guides young chamber ensembles through questions like what to play, where to play it, and why. 

Sounds Promising supports participating students through the critical artistic and administrative components of concert production. This includes guidance through programming, venue selection, program printing, and getting (and interacting with) an audience.

  1. From January through May of 2017, student chamber ensembles meet a total of eight times with Salastina co-directors Maia Jasper White and Kevin Kumar.

  2. Additionally, Maia and Kevin are available to answer students’ questions as they come in.  

  3. Each group receives four 90-minute coachings on repertoire they’ve selected for their culminating concert.


Tuition for the 2016-2017 season is $520 per participant.  Need-based scholarships are available.