The Peer Ambassadors for Chamber Music (PACMan) program takes place on Friday of the Fischoff Competition weekend. It involves our youngest competitors - ensembles from the Junior Division.
Each year, carefully chosen junior ensembles are invited into area classrooms to present informal performance-workshops for second and third graders. The program's purpose is to present to little learners a friendly and "real" introduction to chamber music. Since Fischoff junior division competitors are also in school, they make perfect peer-role models for elementary school children who look up to and identify with older students. The performance level of Fischoff junior division ensembles creates an excitement that is a powerful mentoring tool in encouraging young children to pursue music and to consider joining their own school or community band and orchestra programs.
In 2020, with the COVID19 outbreak, Fischoff was disappointed that our live competition in South Bend was canceled due to the CDC recommendations. However, a new format for the competition still occurred, albeit virtually. In light of the nation’s school closings, Fischoff created an online learning experience, Mystery Musician to connect South Bend area elementary students with our talented, young musicians who have advanced to the quarterfinal round of the competition.
Fischoff continues to grow its Virtual Education Outreach Program with Chamber Music Alive! in 2021. This year, Fischoff highlighted the diversity of the Junior Division’s instrumentation and musicians to ignite that spark of curiosity in area 2nd through 5th graders as they get ready to choose what instrument they might want to play in middle school. In Chamber Music Alive! Junior Division ensembles put together video interviews that highlight their backgrounds and personal stories. These interactive modules included activities that introduce students to the world of chamber music, its composers, and the instruments these musicians love to play. Fischoff also offered several partner schools the opportunity to participate in live Google Meet video call sessions with our PACMan musicians.
In 2021, the following schools participated the "Mystery Musician" program:
- Battell Elementary School, Mishawaka, IN
- LaSalle Elementary School, Mishawaka, IN
- Northpoint Elementary School, Granger, IN
- Nuner Fine Arts Academy, South Bend, IN
- Prairie View Elementary, Goshen, IN
- Roosevelt STEAM Academy, Elkhart, IN
- West Goshen Elementary School, Goshen, IN
Major funding for PACMan comes from an endowment established for the program by Barbara Warner. Special thanks to Diane & Nick Entrikin for their generous support of PACMan, along with our gala fund a need contributors. Additional funding is provided by generous annual contributions from our donors and sponsors.