Nebraska Chamber Players is an organization of professional musicians dedicated to playing chamber music. The organization is committed to nurturing both musicians and audiences and maintaining a personal connection between the two. The group believes in the true spirit of chamber music, performed in a relatively intimate space without the separation of a large concert stage.
The history of Nebraska Chamber Players began in 1997 with the formation of Third Chair Chamber Players. The name “Third Chair Chamber Players” came from the original founders of the group, Karen Sandene and Becky Van de Bogart. Becky was the piccolo chair in the orchestra (seated in the third chair in the flute section) and Karen was the contrabassoon player (the third chair in the bassoon section).
In 1998 TCCP became the Chamber Ensemble in Residence at NET-Radio, Nebraska’s NPR station. TCCP and NET-Radio produced an Open Rehearsal radio program that aired four times a year across the Nebraska network, and their series performances have become a part of the Nebraska Concerts Series. TCCP has traveled to Omaha, Kearney, Red Cloud, and Cambridge to offer their unique brand of chamber music to listeners across the state. In 2006 they established Concerts on the Creek, an annual summer concert series held in Cambridge, Nebraska.
Nebraska Chamber Players is best known for its creative programming and excellent artistry. The players have a repertoire of several hundred works, including several premieres of commissioned works from composers across North America. In 2007 TCCP partnered with Angels Theatre Co. for the world premiere of “The Train,” a play about the Holocaust written by Dutch author Carl Slotboom and translated by Lou Leviticus. “The Train” was honored as Outstanding Event of the Year by the 2008 Mayor’s Arts Awards. TCCP founder and creative director Rebecca Van de Bogart received the Artistic Achievement Award that same year.
The organization has created and presented several education and outreach programs. “Music in Your Space” took the TCCP players into the elementary school classrooms, helping the students learn how to make decisions as a leaderless team, and then to rehearse and perform for their school and community. “Music Mentors” paired TCCP musicians with public school music ensembles, offering them musical instruction on their own instruments and help with rehearsing and performing as a chamber ensemble. Informance/Performance was an open rehearsal for the community, allowing people new to chamber music or parents with young children to interact with the musicians and come and go as they please.
Nebraska Chamber Players distributes Red Dot Cards to students in the Lincoln schools and private music studios before each concert. The card allows a student to attend a concert and bring a guest for the price of one student admission.
Lincoln has embraced Nebraska Chamber Players with a solid foundation of support. A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the group has received over $100,000 from local foundations for programming support. Administration is accomplished through the volunteer efforts of the board of directors and the musicians.
The group’s current performance home is NET Studios in Lincoln, Nebraska. Each concert is preceded by a 30-minute social period in NET’s beautiful lobby, with gourmet hors d’oeuvres and a variety of beverages. The musicians mingle and talk with audience members during the breaks in the concert. Nebraska Chamber Players concerts are family-friendly events, welcoming music lovers of all ages.