Central to Wooden Cities' mission is a desire to introduce audiences and students to contemporary musical aesthetics and performance practice. Programs are often designed in an attempt to expose audiences to new musical experiences and ways of listening. The ensemble is also devoted to working with young musicians and encouraging them to explore new methods of creating, performing, and thinking about music. Through a variety of programs and workshops, Wooden Cities hopes to engage students in absorbing discussions and unique musical exercises aimed at increasing their awareness and experience of contemporary music.
The ensemble has done graphic music residencies at a variety of locations, including the WNY Book Arts Center, UB Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic, and at a variety of schools and community programs. The ensemble has frequently been invited to conduct student composer workshops at the University at Buffalo, and recently ran an improvisation/game piece residency at Rochester's Greece Olympia High School. In 2016, Wooden Cities received a DEC grant from Arts Services Initiative of WNY and the New York State Council on the Arts for a collaborative graphic music workshop at Starlight Studio & Art Gallery, a vibrant art studio located in downtown Buffalo that supports adults with disabilities in their artistic development. The 2016-17 season will see concert residencies at Buffalo State and Houghton Colleges and a teaching residency with the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County (Philadelphia).
"John Zorn's Cobra and Musical Quotation" guest lecture at the University at Buffalo