Two lifelong musicians flourish at Settlement Music School's Adult Chamber Players Program

Tamala Edwards Image
Thursday, March 14, 2024
Two lifelong musicians flourish at Settlement Music School's Adult Chamber Players Program
For well over a century, Settlement Music School in Queen Village has been a hub for music education.

QUEEN VILLAGE (WPVI) -- Gordon Fink first started coming to Settlement Music School in the 1950s.

"For the advanced cello students, they brought in someone from Juilliard," says Fink.

Martha Furman Schleifer got her introduction to Settlement when she was just six or seven years old.

"I was a really little kid taking piano lessons," says Furman Schleifer.

Now, they're both Settlement board members who also participate in the Adult Chamber Players program, which meets every other Tuesday at the music school's Willow Grove branch.

Beth Dzwil is the Program Coordinator for the Adult Chamber Players at Settlement Music School.

"We have about 50 players in the program here," says Dzwil. "Different ages, different backgrounds."

"I taught in the music studies department at Temple," says Furman Schleifer.

"I probably could have been a musician if I didn't go to medicine," says Fink.

Along with this program, Dzwil also coordinates the adult orchestra.

"We put the groups together each week in different formations," she says.

"I'll play with one group one week and a totally different group the next week," says Fink.

But they're all playing chamber music.

"We have a lot of strings, pianos, winds," says Dzwil.

"The classic chamber music group is a quartet, two violins, a viola and cello, and there's a huge literature for that," says Fink.

Dzwil cites "the piano trios of Beethoven, the string quartets of Mozart."

"Gordon is in a piano quintet, so I gave them Dvoák," she says.

"And they all have different meanings and emotions when you play them. And when you get to know them quite well, then everybody sort of fits together," says Fink. "It's a beautiful feeling."

"That's magic," adds Furman Schleifer. "It's a magic way to communicate without words."

Furman Schleifer is playing in a trio.

"Today, it's oboe, flute, and me, harpsichord," she says.

Fellowship is a big part of the group. During breaks, players enjoy light refreshments and social time.

"It's not just a way to keep playing, but a way to keep in a community of musicians," says Dzwil.

"It's a wonderful way to meet other people," adds Furman Schleifer.

For more information:

Settlement Music School:

Adult Chamber Players:

Settlement Music School (Willow Grove Branch)
318 Davisville Road
Willow Grove, PA 19090