This fall, I had the pleasure of performing on a concert called Physics for Listeners, put together by the wonderful folks at Homeroom Chicago. Homeroom’s mission is to unite performers, presenters and audiences to put on great shows — and not just music, either. They hit it out of the park with this concert, commissioning short works from six composers (some from the ‘classical’ tradition, some from Chicago’s jazz/improvisation crowd) for an ensemble of six players.

It was like a breath of fresh air to work with such diverse, professional, awesome artists. Composing, arranging, touring, recording, teaching, gigging, performing — some of these folks really seemed to do it all, and quite well. I believe we classical players can learn a great deal from their versatility and adventurousness.

When I visited some of their websites after working with them, I was blown away by the quality, variety, and energy of their work. It’s not every day that one works with a troupe of such inspirational people. I hope we do it again real soon.

(For the record, these people have names: the composers were Kyle Vegter, James Falzone, Keefe Jackson, Frank Rosaly, Guillermo Gregorio, and Eric Malmquist. The cellist was Jill Kaeding and the pianist was Alex Rowney.)