CMW Players portraits

Photos, courtesy of Richard Boober, from the March 2 CMW Players concert at Providence’s First Unitarian Church.

  1. Sara warming up for the Ravel duo
  2. Jesse doing the same
  3. Britten Phantasy with Amy Mendillo, oboe



Friday’s parent/student dinner discussion

Melody [Ward, the facilitator] framed the discussion by asking students what they would like their parents to do to support them. Many wonderful suggestions and ideas were presented, but the most frequently recurring wish was for parents to pay attention (listen, provide encouragement, keep track of lessons and progress). Can this be? Adolescents explicitly asking their parents to notice them, to sit with them and express pride in their accomplishment! What an opportunity to open communication and build a relationship.

The following is an excerpted list of ideas and comments generated by students and parents.

What parents can do:
1. Show genuine interest in your child’s work; ask questions (what part is difficult? what did you like best about your lesson?)
2. Listen when they practice (provide companionship and interest, not criticism)
3. Attend a lesson whenever you can
4. Notice progress–and let them know; show your pride in your child’s accomplishment
5. Give encouragement (even a "push") to get through inevitable rough spots
6. Be honest–give constructive, not "fake" comments
7. Tolerate experimentation and free play
8. Provide a quiet space for practice (turn off TV, etc.)
9. Help with scheduling a suitable time for practice, and respect it
10. Provide rewards for regular practice (stickers, money, appreciation)
11. Make sure student has the right equipment–it’s available on loan from CMW
12. Model the behavior you expect from your student–play an instrument!
13. Ask teacher for suggestions about how/what student should practice
14. Play music at home
15. Attend concerts

-Jacque Russom, CMW board, parents committee

More PSQ on YouTube


Thanks to CMW friend Justin Baker, here are links to clips of the Providence String Quartet performing excerpts from their "Dvorak in America" program (with bass-baritone Frank Ward) at Tufts University on February 2:

1. Antonin Dvorak: "American" Quartet, 1st movement
2. Antonin Dvorak:"American Quartet, 4th movement
3. Jessie Montgomery: Strum
4. H. T. Burleigh: You ask me if I love you? *
5. H. T. Burleigh: Elysium *
6. H. T. Burleigh: Deep River *
7. H. T. Burleigh: Wade in de Water *
8. H. T. Burleigh: Goin’ Home *

Go here for a copy of Jesse Holstein’s accompanying essay, featuring H. T. Burleigh, Mrs. Jeanette Thurber, New York City’s National Conservatory, and The Courting of Dvorak, or "Show me the money!".

*Arranged for quartet by another CMW friend, the incomparable Jeff Louie.

Ruby in New Bedford

On February 9th, 35 of us from Community MusicWorks went by bus to New Bedford. There we saw the Symphony Orchestra. They played Post Cards of the Americas. A female narrator, dressed in purple, spoke for the art. The largest instruments were the beautiful wooden bass guitars. I was most impressed by the elegant harp and its graceful sound.


Jesse Holstein played fantastic! When he got on stage everyone clapped. I was very excited to see him. I realized that he had a bigger part in the performance than I had thought. I believe that he was the best violin player. I look forward to seeing him play again. The music made me feel grateful to be there. Thank you.

-Ruby Espinosa, cello (3rd grade)