Congratulations Tae!

This evening, Tae graduates from College Visions, an intensive college access program for Providence youth that she joined last year. Congratulations Tae from everyone at CMW!


"My final decision is Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina!!!! They gave me a great financial aid package and they really want me there. I am going to major in Biology to prepare me for med school (Pediatrics baby!!)…..Also, when I went to go visit the school I spoke with the director of music. His name is Tim and he’s super nice. I told him more great things about Community MusicWorks and he said there is something similar around that area. There are symphony orchestras I can particiate in, and if I wanted to set up a quartet I could. Also private lessons are available that work around my school schedule (pretty cool!) …so yea, I’m very excited to start….my last day here in Providence will be August 14, because the 15th is orientation then I stay until school starts in September. But I’ll definitly be back and keep in touch with you guys and email to keep you updated…who knows…maybe the quartet and gang will come visit to see me play!"

-Tae Ortiz, Phase II (read an earlier post by Tae here)


“Two basic tools”

From the darkness rises the rhythmic hum of the cicadas. A lone elephant trumpets, and some howler monkeys put up a cry as they swing home through the trees. A family of tree frogs joins the chorus, and a rattlesnake warns the other animals to stay away. In their unique rendition of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," the students of Community MusicWorks have made the jungle come alive inside a darkened high school auditorium [see Dollars for Darfur on May 1], using only stringed instruments and their imaginations. With these two basic tools, Community MusicWorks carries out its mission of empowering youth and transforming its community.

-Adrienne Gagnon, Youth Salon attendee and Art + Design Education grad student at RISD

CMW online


For their digital media class, Gwen, Erin and Heather of Roger Williams University have made a wonderful website that features video interviews with CMW students, parents, board members, and staff. Check it out here.

Souvenir de Community Prep

The PSQ & Friends rolled out the May concert program for the first time yesterday at the Community Preparatory School, providing a free concert and dinner as the final event [see October post] in a yearlong residency, funded in part by Chamber Music America.

The free event featured dinner by Amos House, an opening act by three CMW/CP students, Souvenir de Florence by P. Tchaikovsky with Chloe and Heath, and Strum (a world premier!) by J. Montgomery with Minna and Laura.


Hopefully, there will be some audience reaction to post in the next several days.

-Heath Marlow, CMW staff


A large group, including colleagues from the Longy School and the Rhode Island Philharmonic’s Music School, gathered at New Urban Arts for Thursday’s Fellowship Seminar which featured Jenn Chang (a senior at Harvard) reporting on her research on the National System of Venezuelan Youth and Children’s Orchestras.

Roberto, one of the program’s founders, happened to be visiting Boston (pure coincidence) and came to Providence to share further detail and show us video footage. Benito, a clarinetist now living near Boston, who grew up participating in El Sistema, was also able to join us and share his personal experience.

-Heath Marlow, CMW staff

Ten Years of Transformation

On Sunday afternoon, CMW celebrated "Ten Years of Transformation" in true CMW style: music and food! Jonathan Biss and his mother Miriam Fried generously donated an all-Beethoven recital for the annual spring fundraising event at the Regent Avenue School Building.


An audience member’s account: "That was an amazing event. I would’ve written sooner, but if you are familiar with the habits of the boa constrictor you will know that after the boa constrictor has consumed a meal that is bigger than its own circumference, it goes into a bit of a coma for a period of time. So, having eaten like a boa constrictor on Sunday, yesterday I was in a coma – and while at first I thought it was terrible to have missed all those hours of mental accomplishment, I then realized that it was actually a small price to pay, since I now won’t have to take up any time eating again until late June.

Thank you so much for inviting me. It was a stellar afternoon and evening, I truly commend you. I have been describing it to people since as having an amazing and very unusual combination of qualities: it was beautiful and elegant, and yet completely heartfelt and generous. It’s hard to achieve both. I can’t imagine the work that went into it – but anyway, it was a huge success, at least from the perspective of an attendee. I hope that everyone else rounded off the evening by writing you huge checks."



You can read Channing Gray’s articles about CMW’s ten years in Providence ("Mozart for Many") and the violin project in Sunday’s Providence Journal here and here. We’ll soon have all this up on our website if you’d prefer not to subscribe.

-Heath Marlow, CMW staff

Dollars for Darfur

Friday’s Youth Salon at the Met School’s Black Box Theatre was quite an event! After raising funds for Hurricane Katrina victims last April, Phase II elected to make this year’s Youth Salon a benefit concert to help refugees in Darfur.


Kirby’s Powerpoint presentation brought the crisis in Africa close to home and helped Community MusicWorks raise almost $250 in donations.


Padawans Sebastian Ruth and Jesse Holstein accompanied Jedi Master Christian Hernandez.


Aniela Kaczmarcyk, a University of Rhode Island student, choreographed and performed "Dances on Greensleeves" in collaboration with Ruthanne Sanchez, Tania Murillo, and Sara Stalnaker.


Zeeny Wolfe read her poem "Smells" with improvised accompaniment by the PSQ.


Laura’s cello class performed Beethoven’s "Ode to Joy" with a few friends.


In tribute to Mstislav Rostropovich, Heath performed two movements of solo Bach.


The event ended with Chris Turner and Rachel Maloney leading all of CMW in "Boil ‘Em Cabbages Down" and "Angeline the Baker."

And I didn’t get such good photos of the other performances: "Smile" by Charlie Chaplin (arr. Stalnaker/Montgomery), "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" performed by Chloe’s viola students, "Music Works" performed by Minna’s violin students, "The Stream Flows" by Bright Sheng performed by violinist Shaw Pong Liu, the presentation by Jessie’s Music Lab students, and a performance by a member of Terrell Osborne’s Music One. What a night!

-Heath Marlow, CMW staff