Tuning Workshop & Picnic

CMW tried out a new idea at the 11th season’s first Musical Workshop yesterday: a tuning clinic for students and parents. We’re hoping that, with some simple instructions and inexpensive pitch pipes, more students will be able to keep their instruments in tune between weekly lessons.

If nothing else, CMW students will hopefully remember the image of the silver-cloaked robots that marched through Judge Chloe’s courtroom (interrupting the case of Mr. Tuna Vulgaris vs. Ms. ReMiFa) chanting "One-Five-One… Five-One. One-Five-One… Five-One…"


Then a family picnic at the Dexter Training Grounds, a city park conveniently located directly between the CMW office and the Met School, the venue where Musical Workshops (and Performance Parties) are held.

PSQ photo shoot

CMW is grateful to Sandor Bodo for providing several new publicity images of the Providence String Quartet. This season, we asked Sandor to take advantage of the "red stripe" on the PSQ’s rehearsal studio window. This photo is one of several that really brings to life the idea of the storefront string quartet. Thanks Sandor! (See an earlier post about CMW’s "red stripe" here.)


PSQ previews

The PSQ played several "preview" performances this weekend, including Thursday in Rick and Janet Keller’s backyard (a concert won in a raffle at the June Performance Party)  and Saturday in bucolic Warren at the home of a Board member. The Quartet performed Beethoven’s Opus 18 No. 4 and Variations on a Theme of Beethoven’s’s, commissioned from Evan Price (of NPR fame). There’s a funny story to explain the second photo (the fuzzy one) and that will hopefully be added later…




Another new Fellow (2 of 2)

CMW welcomes violinist Rachel Panitch! She shared a few sentences about why she was drawn to apply to the Fellowship Program:

Community MusicWorks thinks big on a local level. The organization is not afraid to work toward big change by taking small steps. This is what I look forward to doing throughout my life and particularly in my work in community arts. I am a musician who enjoys making things happen: I love organizing events, seeing people get together, singing, playing tunes and supporting each other.

I am drawn to CMW by its inclusiveness. It doesn’t say: "how are We going to change that community?" Instead, "how can we work as a part of the community to allow it to change itself?" Perhaps I’m idealizing, but I’m thrilled to be a part of it all. In attending a Performance Party last year, I was drawn in not just by the dedicated and enthusiastic teachers and mentors, but by the dedicated and enthusiastic parents, siblings and community members who make it all happen.

I look forward to meeting you!

-Rachel Panitch, Fellow

Editor: Learn more about Rachel and the Fellowship Program here.

New Fellow (1 of 2)

CMW welcomes violinist/violist Arlyn Valencia to Providence! We’re excited to have her participating in our Fellowship Program for the next two seasons.

What drew Arlyn to apply for a Community MusicWorks Fellowship? In her own words:

When I first read the posting for the fellowship opening, I immediately knew that I would do anything to become involved in CMW. It was a dream of an opportunity–to become involved in three very important things in my life: community, teaching, and performing. Soon after, I began perusing the website–reading the mission, watching the videos, surfing the blog, and listening to the sound clips. After meeting the Providence Quartet, speaking with Minna and Sebastion, and playing chamber music with everyone in my interview, I was absolutely certain that being a part of CMW would indeed be a dream!

-Arlyn Valencia, Fellow

Editor: Learn more about Arlyn here.

PSQ at Greenwood

The PSQ has just returned from its annual August retreat, during which we dived into the fall repertoire. The special new feature this year was that we retreated to Greenwood Music Camp in Western Mass. (high school summer home for Chloe, Heath, and Jesse H.) What a wonderful start to the year to have a week to learn Beethoven quartets in the setting of rolling hills, a beautiful concert barn in which to rehearse, a garden full of veggies offering food for our dinners, and the wonderfully rustic barns and cabins for sleeping quarters!



A friend of CMW recently asked what we do to keep our artistic level high while doing so much work in the community constantly. The answer was two-fold: one is the obvious–lots of rehearsal time in our work week. The other answer was retreats! Having this week to focus intensively on learning the new repertoire, practice, watch old videos of the Amadeus Quartet, and swim got us in great shape and got us inspired for the year ahead.

See you soon with Op. 18/4, the "Harp" Quartet, and the surprise "Variations on a Theme of Beethoven’s’s"…

-Sebastian Ruth, Providence String Quartet

[Editor: Note the bug masks hanging in the barn. Greenwood was the site of early work on The Bug Opera by Geoff Hudson and Alisa Pearson which CMW and Opera Providence brought to the Columbus Theatre in November 2006.]