Mar 092018

By Kevin Stoffel, Contrabass, 2-time Camper and 4-time TA including 2018

Kevin Stoffel introduces himself to senior citizens when performing for them in a Holiday Concert of 2017.

Part of why I want to pursue chemistry is because I’ve always had a fascination with pure substances.  The concept of looking at something and knowing that it isn’t an (effectively) inseparable mixture of fifteen, or six, or even two things was always really cool to me, even at a young age.  What better place to see, work with, and study pure substances than in in a chemistry laboratory?  And what better form to see or even hold a pure substance than one where the molecules are all lined up and packed together (theoretically) flawlessly, showing off their geometric arrangement even at the highly macroscopic scale—a crystal?

Anybody at home can grow some neat crystals easily and without much trouble.  Borax, for example, will form small, white, somewhat regular, somewhat boring crystals around a string or pipe cleaner dipped in a saturated solution.  But growing a really good crystal takes a bit more care, experience, cleanliness, safety, and equipment, as well as the right substance.  Certain substances very readily form quite regular, large, fine crystals without too much difficulty, if you know how to deal with them.  I do NOT recommend you try this at home, but I’ve been using copper(II) sulfate (blue) and potassium chromium sulfate (dark purple/red) to grow some really great crystals for a while now.  Soon, I actually hope to have enough sizeable specimens to give to my friends as gifts!  …After varnishing them in a protective clear coat using a pair of gloves, of course, because these chemicals are not considered safe to touch with bare skin.

Mar 012018
  • Come, if you are available July 29-August 4, The camp is in Naperville, IL on the campus of North Central College and the final concert is in Wentz Concert Hall.
  • Come, if you are a violin, viola, cello, double bass, harp, oboe, piano, clarinet or flute student, ages 8-18.
  • Come, if you would want to advance your skills through a team-developed curriculum, designed to challenge and musically-inspire you.
  • Come, if you’d like to expand your musical talents to include composition, electric instruments, music arranging, and videography.

 Come, if you’d like to make friends and have fun playing chamber music!

Mar 012018

Registration for the OPUS “Never Too Late” (NTL) chamber music workshop is now available online or by mail. The NTL Workshop is for violin, viola, cello, double bass, harp, piano, clarinet, oboe, and flute students of all ages and levels.

The Workshop will be held from 9 to 5 on Saturday, August 18th, 2018, at North Central College in Naperville. The Workshop consists of four chamber music coaching sessions and a lunch. Participants have the option to be in a learning from each other session or to perform in a final concert at Koten Chapel. Music will be provided to applicants at ~a week before August 18th to give applicants a chance to practice before the Workshop. It’s Never Too Late to Play! Be inspired, and you may grow to love it!

OPUS is fortunate to have a grant from ACMP (Associated Chamber Music Players) in New York City to sponsor this Workshop. The ACMP grant is particularly geared to encouraging ADULTS to come play chamber music.

For more information, please visit our website. Registration online is encouraged.

Mar 012018

One of the things we often ask our campers when they introduce themselves, is when you are not playing music, what else you’d like to do. Here is one of the answers:

By Daniel B. – Violin, 2017 Camper

On February 20, 2018, he wrote “Winter Equanimity” and support his thoughts with more photos of snow crystals:

Music is a way of expressing yourself in a way that connects with the souls of others. It’s goal is to heal and bring equanimity in the most difficult times. There are many types of music. Jazz entails a world of possibility. Whenever it is played, you don’t know what will come next. Folk contains insight into cultures of people all over the globe. Other music types, such as, gospel, country, and pop, spread joy and love of life. Music is sound, silence, and time nurtured by the human spirit.

Daniel B. took photos of snow crystals on Nov. 18, 2017 at his high school.

Oct 312016

The holidays are quickly approaching, and once more the OPUS chamber music ensembles’ HOLIDAY CONCERTS will make so many feel it is “THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR.”  Thank you for wanting to perform for people who really appreciate it!

We have arranged the following wonderful senior residences and times for you to perform:

  1. Villa St. Benedict, Lisle – Wednesday, December 28th from 1:15 to 2:15
  2. Brookdale, Lisle (Devonshire) – Wednesday, December 28th from 3:00 to 4:00
  3. Monarch Landing, Naperville – Thursday, December 29th from 1:30 to 2:30
  4. Plymouth Place, Elmhurst – Thursday, December 29th from 4:00 to 5:15

Signup Contact the music director, Mara Gallagher, at

1) Please Tell us as soon as you are able.  If you already have players in mind for your group (or music even), please also tell us.  We’ll try to incorporate your wishes.

2) There are 2-Hour Coaching Sessions on Tuesday,  December 27th:  A) 3 – 5 pm; B) 5 – 7 pm; and C) 7 – 9 pm at North Central College (Larrance or White Academic Center).  Tell us which time slot you would prefer: A, B or C.  There will be a $15/person fee. You must attend the coaching session in order to perform.

3) We hope you can do all 4 concerts; however, if for some reason, you must skip one or two, let us know which ones (1, 2, 3, or 4) that you will be in.