Academy 2018 Spring Concert



Enjoy the beautiful playing of the Camerata Chicago Academy Orchestra! The Junior Academy, a smaller ensemble of students aged 8 – 14, will also perform.


Academy Spring Repertoire – Baroque Concerti:

  • Telemann Concerto for Viola with violist Lily Smith. This is Lily’s debut as soloist.
  • Vivaldi Concerto No 11 in D Minor for Two Violins and Cello. Our three soloists are violinists Amelia Piscitelli and Kevin Shi and cellist Luca Warren.
  • Handel Concerto Grosso in G Major Opus6 No. 1. The Concerto Grosso includes within it a Concertino – a small group of three players who perform with the orchestra as soloists.
  • Tartini Sonata in D performed by the Junior Academy! A special short appearance by the Junior Academy ensemble (Aged 8 – 13).

From Left: Luca Warren, Dana Yu, Wil Lyon, Tabitha Rea, Mark Chiodras, Lily Smith, Kevin Shi, Amelia Piscitelli, Cameron Fuller, Ananya Moses. Our new harpsichord player Bethany Taylor will also provide the continuo.


Academy soloists Lily Smith, Kevin She, Amelia Piscitelli and Luca Warren


Watch a video of Amelia performing the Svendsen Romance with Camerata Chicago in 2016.

Virtuoso violinist Amelia Piscitelli will perform Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

Virtuoso 16 year old violinist Amelia Piscitelli will perform Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

Academy Orchestra on November 19, 2017 at Gary United Methodist Church, Wheaton. Photography by Thomas E. Hurley

Receive a gift of our superb CD of Amelia Piscitelli performing the Svendsen Romance with Camerata Chicago when you make a donation to the orchestra.


The Academy on November 19, 2017. Photo by Luca Warren (c) 2017



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Academy Soloists Artist Profiles


Lily Smith is a graduate from Bolingbrook, IL. She has played the viola for 8 years and currently studies with Ann Montzka-Smelser. She is a registered Suzuki teacher for books 1-2 and enjoys teaching. She also enjoys playing regularly in her church. Recently, she had the opportunity to teach in her sister’s studio in Costa Rica and play for special events the missionaries held there. Lily has been a member of the Academy Orchestra for 3 years. Last summer Lily took part in the Camerata Chicago Summer Festival Orchestra and last month enjoyed her first professional experience in the viola section of Camerata Chicago when Shmuel Ashkenasi performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.
She looks forward to continuing her studies on the viola, teaching, and ministering to others with her musical talent.†

Kevin Shi first picked up the violin at age 5. For 6 years thereafter, he studied with various teachers in the Music and Arts private lessons program. In the summer of 2013, Kevin began lessons with Drostan Hall, who really inspired him to begin taking music seriously. Currently a sophomore attending Naperville North High School, he greatly enjoys playing the violin and participates in a wide variety of musical opportunities at his school. In the spring of 2016, Kevin joined the Camerata Chicago Academy Orchestra. This concert is his first debut as a soloist in the Camerata Chicago Academy performing the second concertino parts in Concerto Grosso by Vivaldi and Concerto Grosso I by Handel.

Amelia Piscitelli has been smiling to classical music since infancy and formally began playing violin at the age of four. From 2009-2014, she studied violin with Debbie Edwards, then in late Summer 2014, she began studying with Drostan Hall, her current teacher. As a sophomore at Hammond Baptist High School, she greatly enjoys playing and teaching the violin as well as performing with her violin students at church. She relishes the chamber music opportunities afforded her at Sforzando String Camp for the last 7 summers and has been privileged to be a member of the Camerata Chicago Academy Orchestra since 2015. In 2016 Amelia performed on the prestigious WFMT show Introductions as well as making her professional solo debut performing the Romance by Svendsen with Camerata Chicago in October of the same year. In July of this year Amelia performed the Bach Double Violin Concerto with Ellen Maloney and the Camerata Chicago Summer Festival Orchestra. Most recently Amelia performed Vivaldiís Four Seasons with Camerata Chicago for Sweetest Day in October of 2017.
In July of this year Amelia will record the Four Seasons by Vivaldi with Camerata Chicago on the DMD Classics label for a special educational world wide commercial release with narrator Steve Robinson.


Camerata Chicago Academy


The Camerata Chicago Academy was founded in 2014 and there are two orchestras comprising advanced students.

The Academy Orchestra: Advanced high-school students play as a string orchestra.

The Junior Academy: Students aged 8 – 12 playing as a small chamber ensemble.

Camerata Chicago Academy provides a marvelous opportunity for young musicians to perform in a professional atmosphere under the direction of an internationally known conductor, Drostan Hall, Camerata Chicago’s Music Director, who has 25 years of experience of training aspiring young musicians. The objective of the Academy orchestra is to achieve a very high level of music making to produce a disciplined and professional sound, allowing young musicians to learn to work together.

For ten years Maestro Hall conducted the Baroque Festival Orchestra, an accomplished training orchestra for students. Known for its high level, the orchestra garnered two invitations to perform on the WFMT radio show Introductions.

The Academy orchestra is very similar in size and scope to the BFO (see photo below). I invite you to listen to this live broadcast from WFMT’s Introductions of the BFO performing Frolicksome Finale from Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony. This broadcast illustrates the experience you will receive in the Camerata Chicago Academy.

The Academy Orchestra

Location: Gary Methodist Church, 224 North Main Street, Wheaton, IL 60187

Start Date: August 26, 2017 and Saturdays in the Fall and Spring Semesters.

Rehearsals Times: All rehearsals take place on Saturdays 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Concert Details: The Academy works towards high quality performances each Fall and Spring.

See these concerts on our ticket system. Tickets are only $15.

Repertoire: Featured repertoire includes music from the Baroque and classical periods and the string orchestra literature. On occasion, sectional rehearsals will be coached by a member of Camerata Chicago. Additionally, solo opportunities will be given to the most outstanding members of the ensemble and outside guest artists may be invited to solo with the orchestra.

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To audition for the Academy, please contact us here, or call 630-221-5555.


The Camerata Chicago Academy Orchestra is the official
Ensemble in Residence at Gary Methodist Church, Wheaton:

Gary Methodist Church
224 North Main Street
Wheaton, IL60187