Phase II on a full stomach

Thanks to Rachel's efforts, Linda Kane, Johnson and Wales community chef education director cooked us an extraordinary dinner for Phase II on Friday.


There are many methods used to break down barriers between cultures, age groups, races, and social classes, and still, the search continues for new ones. But, on one rainy Friday night just a couple of weeks ago, I found myself submerged in two of the most basic, enjoyable, and unquestionably, oldest methods on earth–FOOD and MUSIC!

I am a chef at Johnson & Wales University, and was asked to prepare and deliver a meal for the students and teachers at Community MusicWorks MusicWorks. The challenge was to create a nutritious and tasty meal that would satisfy some finicky teen-aged taste buds. I decided on Tex-Mex–salad with mango lime dressing, veggie chili topped with cheddar cheese, grilled burritos stuffed with chicken, spinach, and brown rice, multigrain chips with fresh tomato salsa, and dessert–of course–chewy cherry chocolate chip cookies. Afterward, I asked the students what their favorite and least favorite part of the meal was, and also managed to slip in some nutrition info.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the experience, although I'm not sure who enjoyed it more, the students or me! After a gloomy gray Friday followed by an extremely wet delivery (it had rained ALL day), it was a pleasure to spend time in such a positive environment, filled first with music, and then with laughter, conversation, and of course food, as teachers and students sat down together to break bread–and barriers!

-Linda Kane, chef

Harlem Children’s Zone interview

Fans of CMW may be interested in listening to this recent Fresh Air interview with Geoffrey Canada, the founder of the Harlem Children's Zone, an interlocking web of education and social services serving 8,000 kids in a 97-block neighborhood of Harlem.

Last January, the Providence String Quartet spent an evening experimenting with improvised music and spoken word with teens from the Harlem Children's Zone TRUCE program. [see January 2008 posting here.]

Listen to the interview with Geoffrey Canada here.

And here is a link to a piece about Geoffrey Canada on This American Life (9/26/08 episode).

-Heath Marlow, CMW staff

Welcome Jason!

Violist Jason Amos joins the CMW staff as a first year Fellow. We're thrilled to have him on the team!


Jason began his viola studies at age eleven in the public school system of his hometown of Southfield, Michigan. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan and is currently pursuing a Graduate Diploma at the New England Conservatory of Music.

He has received honors in several competitions, including 4th place in the 2007 Sphinx Competition and 1st place in the 2006 Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Bradlin Scholarship Concerto Competition. In addition, Jason appeared as soloist with the Ann Arbor Symphony, played in the Flint Symphony, and performed as Principal Viola for many other orchestras throughout Michigan.

Jason enjoys participating in the Sphinx Organization’s musical outreach programs—all programs aimed toward increasing the presence of minorities in classical music. Jason’s teachers include Martha Katz, Yizhak Schotten, Caroline Coade, and Catherine Carroll. He plays on a 1967 Celeste Farotto viola generously loaned through Shar Music.

Family Picnic

Friday's picnic for CMW families included a potluck feast, fun and games, and some serious business: rehearsing for an upcoming performance by the Providence String Quartet and Phase III student quartet.




Overnight retreat

Phase 2 started the year out with a retreat at Camp Aldersgate in North Scituate, RI. Included in the overnighter was an open fire, microwaved marshmallows, an orchestra rehearsal on Handel, canoeing, and a leadership training by members of YUGA and Phase 3 member Fidelia.

-Sara Stalnaker, Providence Quartet



Conference photos

Here are some photos of Community MusicWorks staff and students looking smart at last spring's Imagining Art + Social Change conference. You can visit the conference documentation page on our website, where you'll be treated to many more excellent images from the conference donated by our photographer friends Mary Beth Meehan, Jori Ketten, Owen Muir, and Sandor Bodo.