POP Chamber Program

Play On Philly Chamber Ensembles provide intensive musical training to young musicians in small group settings.

Enrollment is open to intermediate to advanced middle school and high school musicians in the Philadelphia area.

POP students demonstrate better executive functioning skills like determination and focus

About the POP Chamber Program

The POP Chamber program is a tuition-free program designed to provide intermediate through advanced middle school and high school musicians in the Philadelphia area with intensive musical training. For 2-4 hours a week, students learn and play chamber music repertoire. Chamber ensembles are small groups that typically range from 2-10 players. In this small setting, students will work with a highly-quality coach and have the opportunity to play a variety of fun and challenging repertoire from past to current composers while also creating long-lasting friendships.

Students in the POP Chamber program also participate in the POP Children’s Orchestra. Students will exercise their leadership skills as section leaders in the orchestra and act as role models for younger POP students. While the Children’s Orchestra includes all of our POP students, the POP Chamber students have orchestral rehearsal all together once a week. POP Chamber students’ musical experiences will be further enriched through our community partnerships with performing arts non-profits in Philadelphia and with world-renowned guest artists from across the country. Students will have the opportunity to participate in masterclasses, coaching sessions, and collaborative performances throughout the year. All of these experiences will support young musicians in honing their skills in musicianship, leadership, and teamwork.

POP does not require an audition to participate in the Chamber music program. To learn more, read our FAQs below. To fill out an interest form, click here.

Chamber Music FAQ

What is Chamber Music?

Chamber music is small groups of musicians playing music together. Usually organized into groups of instrument families, these smaller groups give students an opportunity to play with other students AND get the individualized instruction that is so important to their instrumental learning.

Who is participating in Chamber Music this year?

At Play On Philly, Chamber Music is offered to Marian Anderson Young Artists and to high school students. This year, Chamber Music will also be offered to students from Freire Charter Middle School, who played an instrument during the 2019-2020 year or before.

Will my child be in Chamber Music and regular POP?

NO. All of POP’s Advanced and High School programming happens through the Chamber Music program and the Children’s Orchestra. For the students in the Chamber Music program, this IS their regular POP.

Where will Chamber Music take place?

All chamber ensembles will rehearse at Roman Catholic High School’s Howard Center for the Arts (1212 Wood St, Philadelphia). Use the Wood St. entrance and proceed to the second floor.

How often will the groups meet?

Chamber groups meet once a week with a coach, and orchestra meets once a week with a conductor. Students are responsible for practicing their chamber music on their own. Students are assigned to their instrument family.

Winds (flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon) – Tuesdays from 4-6pm

Brass (trumpet, horn, trombone, tuba) – Tuesdays from 4-6pm

Strings (violin, viola, cello, bass) – Wednesdays from 4-6pm

Percussion – Wednesdays from 4-6pm

Orchestra Rehearsal (ALL Chamber Students) – Thursdays from 4-6pm

Do Chamber Musicians also perform with the Children’s Orchestra?

Yes! Chamber Musicians serve as the leaders of the instrument family sections in the Children’s Orchestra. By rehearsing once a week on their own, Chamber students will work on upper-level musical concepts, so that when they combine with the rest of our POP students, they can focus on musical leadership and peer mentorship.  Joint rehearsals with the rest of the POP students will be held on a number of Saturdays in preparation for concerts in December and May. A detailed schedule will be handed out upon enrollment.

When are the concerts?

Chamber groups will perform once in December and again in May at the Jubilee Concert with the Children’s Orchestra. Chamber Students will also have a site-specific spring concert. All concerts are mandatory. 

Is there a cost to participate?

There is a one-time fee of $115 for the whole year. This can be paid in installments.


The Howard Center for the Arts
Roman Catholic High School


Tuesday: 4:00-6:00 pm brass and percussion ensembles
Wednesday: 4:00-6:00 pm woodwind and string ensembles
Thursday: 4:00-6:00pm Orchestra rehearsal (all instruments)
Session 1: September 26 to December 16
Session 2 & 3: January 4rd to May 26
Session 4 (summer program): Dates TBD

Hear our POP Chamber Ensembles in Action!