Opera tailgating

Back in the fall, CMW board member extraordinaire Jacque Russom proposed the idea of bringing a group of students to a Metropolitan Opera simulcast at the Swansea Cinema. We looked over the schedule and found a perfect fit with Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella) on May 9th. We figured Richard Strauss’ Salome and the beheading of John the Baptist could wait a few years. 

We had the idea that since the opera broadcasts begin right after lunchtime, why not tailgate in the parking lot before the show with a barbecue? I picked up the goods at the grocery store the night before and Liz lent me her grill. Things were looking pretty tasty for the trip! 

When I woke up on the morning of the 9th, I looked outside and saw heavy rain coming down trying to alter our plans. NOOOOO!! Well, this was not going to stop the grilling. I called out faithful bus driver Steve and asked if he might be able to bend the “No Food On The Bus!” rule. When food is involved, Steve is amenable to thinking outside the box, and he adopted a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as a solution.

Firing up the grill

Everyone arrived on time and we loaded onto to bus with the food and the trusty Weber grill. When the bus arrived in the parking lot, miraculously, the sun slowly poked through the cloud cover and the rain began to ebb. I fired up the grill and within twenty minutes we were munching on burgers and dogs with S'mores for dessert. With the sun eventually bursting through the clouds in a blaze of glory, we didn’t even have to eat on Steve’s bus.


After lunch, we filed into the movie theater for the opera. It was amazing! Not only was the performance terrific, the cameras put you right up on stage with the singers, in the pit with the orchestra, and backstage with the crew. Plus you get to munch on popcorn and skittles while watching the opera.

The opera crew with Steve, our fearless bus driver

Aside from the Bug Opera, this was the first time seeing an opera for all of our students. The seed has been planted for the next generation of opera buffs. Everyone had a great time and wants to come back next year for another opera! Special thanks to Jacque and all those who helped subsidize the trip. It was an awesome day. 

-Jesse Holstein, Providence String Quartet

Overcome with emotion after the opera, Christian processes the aesthetic experience by blowing away some space monsters.

Fred Kelley scholarship recipients

It is with great pleasure that we announce the 2009 recipients of the Fred Kelley Memorial Scholarship. Thanks to the support of many CMW supporters, along with help from the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, three CMW students will attend Apple Hill’s Summer Chamber Music Workshop. Sidney, Josh, and Luis will be in beautiful Nelson, New Hampshire from June 19-28 playing chamber music with friends from the United States, Israel, Palestine, Ireland, Turkey, and Cyprus.


If you happen to be in Southern New Hampshire this summer, I strongly encourage you to stop by Apple Hill to see and be inspired by this amazing organization and hear some great chamber music. 

-Jesse Holstein, Providence String Quartet

Performance Party video

Sandor Bodo, CMW parent and Providence Journal photographer, published this 3-minute video of yesterday's Performance Party on the Projo website. Click here to view it (for as long as it is available).


Congratulations to our high school seniors who are graduating CMW and soon will be off to pursue their dreams at Berea College (Kentucky), Community College of Rhode Island with classes at Rhode Island School of Design, Northwestern University (full scholarship), and Brown University (full scholarship).

PSQ and Phase III at Gilbert Stuart Middle School

Wrapping up a series of visits to the Gilbert Stuart Middle School (across the street from the West End Community Center), the Providence String Quartet invited the Phase III String Quartet to join them for a reprise of the Kompa Variations in the cafeteria on May 21. Dinner was provided by More Than A Meal, and several students were eager to try out the violin following the performance. Photos by Jori.




June 8-14: World Busk

Musequality is preparing for the "biggest coordinated busk the world has ever seen." Are you a musician and would you like to busk in June to raise money for music programs serving youth in the developing world?


Read about–and see video from–David Juritz's "round the world" busk here.


Abreu Fellows

Up Interstate 95 in Boston, the New England Conservatory is preparing for an exciting new training program, a one-year "postgraduate certificate program for accomplished young
musicians who desire to become ambassadors of El Sistema and who are
committed to developing it outside of Venezuela."


The pilot program, with 15-20 enrolled participants, will debut in September 2009. Stay tuned!