Miriam and Henry Schwab Academy of Music at Ventura College

Ventura College announces the first annual Miriam and Henry Schwab Academy of Music – a highly intensive, three-week summer program of courses designed to develop & introduce chamber music & orchestral repertoire skills, attract advanced young artists and develop musicianship through many types of ensembles.

Classes are scheduled June 17 – July 7, 2019 and focus on brass, keyboard, percussion, string, classical guitar and woodwind instruments. Application for admission to Ventura College is open now and registration for the Academy opens on April 28, 2019. Auditions to determine intermediate or advanced class placement are scheduled for June 13 & 14, 2019 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. at the Ventura College Performing Arts Center.

“Students will study with music faculty who are Internationally recognized experts in their field. We encourage students from Ventura and Santa Barbara county high schools to register.” Robert, E. Lawson, Music Director

Throughout the three weeks, students will study and rehearse alongside academy music faculty. Chamber and Orchestral performance will take place every weekend in Ventura Colleges Helen Yunker Auditorium. Performances are open to the public and scheduled as follows:

Chamber Music                                                          Orchestra 

June 28, 2019 Friday   7:30 p.m.                                 June 22, 2019  Saturday 7:30 p.m.

June 30, 2019  Sunday 2:30 p.m.                                June 23, 2019 Sunday 2:30 p.m.

July 5, 2019     Friday  7:30 p.m.                                 July 7, 2019     Sunday 2:30 p.m.

*July 6, 2019   Saturday 7:30 p.m.

                                                                                    *July 7, 2019   Sunday 2:30 p.m.

                                                                                    * Violin & Viola Competition

The full class schedule, faculty biographies and steps to participate can be found on our website at http://www.venturacollege.edu/schwab. A short video regarding the Academy can be viewed at https://youtu.be/7QKPxZQ-poM

Schwab Academy of Music Brochure


About Miriam & Henry Schwab

Miriam Schwab was a local philanthropist, a long-time Ventura College supporter and a gentle presence on campus. She was also a music lover who played the violin with the Ventura College Symphony Orchestra for over a decade. 

Henry Schwab, was concert-master of the Ventura Symphony and Mr. Robert E. Lawson was the associate conductor.  Mr. Schwab was also a concert violinist who had begun violin study in New York at a young age.  His talent prompted his parents to send him to Europe in 1924 to continue his training.  After completing his education, he returned to the United States for a brilliant career as a concert violinist, concertmaster, and collector of instruments.  He was also a dedicated violin and viola teacher who strove to instill in his students a love of classical music.

About Robert E. Lawson
Robert E. Lawson, Music Director/Conductor of the Ventura College Symphony Orchestra has been involved in many areas of music. As a composer, Mr. Lawson’s compositions have been performed throughout the United States. His Harp Sonata has received premieres at Florida State University, the XII Foro Internacional de Musica Nueva in Mexico City, and in Paris at the International Harp Festival. His String Trio was selected as one of the most innovating composition for the Ernest Bloch Music Festival.  He has composed and performed several symphonic works over his career. In May 2018 was a premier of a new work for orchestra Symphonic Elegies. 

Mr. Lawson served as Music Director of the Santa Clarita Symphony for Seven years, was the director of the Ventura City Hall Concert Series for eleven seasons, was the founding Music Director/Conductor of the Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra for twelve seasons. He was Music Director/Conductor of the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra for eighteen years. Developed the International Youth Orchestra exchange program with the Harlow Youth Orchestra in London, England for over ten years. Began international talks with the Hangzhou International School in China, to have an exchange Youth Orchestra program. From 1981 through 1988 he served as associate conductor of the Ventura County Symphony, known now as the New West Symphony and was principle conductor of the Ventura Civic/Youth Orchestra. This will be his tenth season as music director /conductor with the Ventura County Ballet Company and its performance of Tchaikovsky’s the Nutcracker Ballet. Mr. Lawson has been guest conductor of numerous orchestras both here in the United States and Europe. 

Mr. Lawson is currently Department Chair of Performing Arts at Ventura College where he continues to develop and expand the department’s current student population of over 1000 students and 26 faculty positions. This summer 2019 he will launch and serve as director of the Schwab Academy of Music, along with fourteen internationally known faculty members, in a three-week intensive program of chamber music and orchestral training, with performances every weekend.  

About the Ventura College Music Department
The Ventura College Music department is recognized as a leader in music education and has a comprehensive course schedule through the year providing professional instruction and leadership to students that register for courses including, theory, history and literature, Vocal, Instrumental, Jazz, Technology, and ensembles including opera, choir, orchestra, chamber, and jazz, designed to educate and enhance the knowledge of music.

About Ventura College
Started in 1925, Ventura College is an accredited two-year institution of higher education within the Ventura County Community College District. The 112-acre campus has an enrollment of 14,500 students. It serves a diverse student body through credit and non-credit offerings. The college offers associate’s degrees in 33 majors, certificates of achievement in 35 career and technical education fields and proficiency awards in 26 fields

Ventura College

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