15th season sneak peek

While we won't begin posting public events on the website calendar until after Labor Day, here are a few morsels to whet your appetite while we prepare for our 15th season.

1. Another Bach Festival (possibly titled "Bach and Beyond")
2. Haydn Opus 20 string quartets
3. An unusual and beautiful program of music for oboe and strings
4. A season-long sonata series, curated by Minna
5. Plenty of Bartok!
6. A program of chamber music featuring piano and clarinet
7. More experimental music by local composers
8. A collaboration with the Haven String Quartet, resident musicians of Music Haven
9. Festivities to celebrate 15 years of CMW, bringing back past CMW musicians to perform alongside our current roster of resident musicians

Stay tuned!

-Heath Marlow, CMW staff

Board leadership transition

For the last three years, Elizabeth Hollander has been the fearless leader at the helm of CMW's Board of Directors. Liz completed her maximum term (six years) on CMW's Board in June and has since been recruited by Lynne McCormack in the Department of Art, Culture, and Tourism to help lead an effort to make arts education accessible to all Providence school children. So we know that we'll still be in close contact with her going forward. Liz, we are grateful for all that you accomplished and inspired while at CMW.


Stepping up to the plate is David Bourns, recently retired from his post as Paul Cuffee School's first Head of School (since 2000) and previously the Head of School at the George School in Newtown, PA (1979-2000). We warmly welcome David, and we look forward to his inspired leadership as we pass the midpoint of CMW's second decade this season.

Download a listing of CMW's 2011-2012 Board of Directors and Advisors here.

-Heath Marlow, CMW staff

The Community String Project

The Community String Project (CSP) is a non-­profit organization founded in July 2009 with the goal of serving disadvantaged and at-risk youth in Rhode Island's East Bay area through an innovative music program centered on string instruments. Fall, Spring, and Summer sessions are offered to both children in adults.


Former CMW Fellow (and current adjunct Resident Musician) Laura Cetilia was hired recently to be the Project's first Executive Director. Congratulations Laura! Now that makes two former CMW Fellows leading related community-based music projects in Rhode Island…

Musical Workshops: Call for Proposals!

By popular request, we're excited to announce that we'll be adding more Musical Workshops back into our programming this year! In addition, we're hoping to have our students choose some of our presenters. So, this year, two of our workshops will be chosen by our Phase II students during their overnight retreat in September.


Are you a potential workshop presenter? Send us a workshop proposal detailing what you'd like to share with our students (ages 7-18, violin, viola, and cello, all levels), what your past experience is, some background information about you or your group, your fee structure, and where we can find your music online.

Have an idea for someone you think should come do a workshop? Please pass this info along to them. We'd love to give Phase II a lot of presenters to choose from!

You may send workshop proposals to Chloe Kline, Education Director, at ckline [at] communitymusicworks [dot] org by September 8.

CMW Summer Camp

Violas play that C! Say what?!
Cellos, cellos, take it low. Cellos take it to the flo’
Violins play that Eee!
Together we are, CMW! Whooo!

The much-awaited camp week arrived July 25 at 8 am at the CMW office. Parents and children scurried around the space, looking for camp leaders and leaving their children and their instruments.

This is how every morning began; yet some things did change as the week progressed. Fiddle tunes, music labs, mini lessons, orchestra, chamber music and jam lab tunes were planted in each student and counselor’s brain, germinated, and then bloomed later on that week. Experiences such as a bus ride, or a boat ride (on a lobster boat, that is), lunch time, going on a mini hike adventure and petting farm animals were all events that brought children, teenagers, and adults from different ages together. By the end of camp, we all knew each other’s name, what class sessions each person was in, and had a whole list of songs that put together a performance on Friday.

As part of the Nelson String Quartet, Luis, Kirby, Joshua and I were given the opportunity to open up the Friday afternoon performance in the chapel with a piece by Paganini. This made me think about my first years as a student at CMW, when the Providence String Quartet opened up every Performance Party with a piece. I always dreamed of maybe, just maybe, being able to do something similar. This camp showed me that maybe’s were just not part of dreams when you put your mind to making something happen. It did happen and I am so grateful that we were given such an opportunity.

Each class performed a piece, or sang. As each performance passed, my amazement just kept growing. In five days, we all came together, learned together, laughed together, and even cried together at the very end. Togetherness. A term that comes up in quartet rehearsals, in music, in life and most importantly, in Community Music Works and what they offer to a community of youth, ready to dive into the world of music.

-Sidney Argueta, CMW ’09 (Brown University ’13)

Summer Camp training week

Name games. Ice breakers. Name tags. What ifs. Camp songs. All these phrases were significantly important in organizing the annual CMW Summer Camp. The counselor team was made up of teachers, alums, current students, and volunteers. It may seem as if planning for a children’s camp is easy, but let me tell you, it is not. However, it was definitely one of the most fun-filled, interesting and meaningful weeks I have had this summer.

As a former CMW student, I had the opportunity to step into the shoes that all the teachers at CMW wear everyday as music teachers and coordinators. During training week, we scheduled a week of camp, bonded with new faces and old faces, and most importantly, were able to come to the realization that we were old enough to hold more responsibility.

Each one of us was assigned a group of students that we would take care of, talk to, walk with, and learn with. Our first connection to them was calling their homes to remind them of camp. Our second connection was assigning name holders to each. Lastly, we would give them their t-shirt Monday morning and spend a week together. Now, I anxiously wait camp week. Bring it on!

-Sidney Argueta, CMW '09 (Brown University '13)

Feedback from IMPS participants

Anonymous feedback from recent Institute for Musicianship and Public Service participants who traveled to Providence from Boston, New Haven, Oakland, New York City, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Montreal, to name a few disparate locations.

"I thought you should know that IMPS has really changed everything for me. I know that the impact of it will continually emerge, but already I feel so inspired and ready to do what I've wanted to do since high school but didn't quite have the courage or the self-confidence. Now I realize that I CAN do it, and that I MUST do it. I have so much support, I am a part of my target community, and I have a vision and mission. Instead of saying 'I want to maybe start a program…' I am saying 'I am at the beginning stages of creating a music program…' I'm just so grateful for the opportunity to attend IMPS. I didn't think I was going to find the money to fly out, but a little whisper inside me kept telling me that I had to go to THIS one no matter what. Not the next one. And I'm so glad that I did."

"It was inspiring to see a variety of models that do their work in a unique way. It opened up even more possibilities. I also really valued the personal reflection in the small group work."

"The fear of getting into this line of work has virtually disappeared, thus inspiring me even more to go forth with our collective vision."

"The overall excitement and sense of purpose at IMPS, as well as the diversity and talent of the assembled artists, is wholly invigorating."

"The observation of both the established local arts initiatives and the enthusiasm, creativity, and motivation of the IMPS class and CMW staff has given me a sense of hope and possibility."

"Our discussion of service, as well as the ideologies of Freire and Greene have confirmed my belief in a new vision for what meaningful artistic and educational practices look like."

[Editor: More complete documentation from the recent IMPS in June coming this fall.]

A fond farewell to Rachel!


Rachel Panitch is leaving her role as Resident Musician/Adminstrator at CMW to begin a graduate program at the New England Conservatory in Boston next month. All of us at CMW wish to congratulate Rachel on all that she has accomplished over the past four year, initially as a participant in our two-year Fellowship Program, and then as a core member of our staff for two years, during which time she also founded the Rhode Island Fiddle Project in nearby Pawtucket!


We'll miss Rachel dearly, but we also know that she will be only a short distance away, and since she is continuing in her role as director of the RI Fiddle Project, she will continue to have a significant local presence. Here is an excerpt from a recent letter that she shared with supporters of the Fiddle Project:

I am writing to you with much pride about what has been accomplished this year at the Rhode Island Fiddle Project. This year:

-15 students and their families have benefited from weekly lessons, a weekly group fiddle and dance class, and monthly special events with two Fiddlers-in-Residence.

-We have traveled as a group to hear a performance by the Carolina Chocolate Drops at Bryant University, and met the performers back stage!

-World-renowned musicians Jay Ungar and Molly Mason visited Woodlawn Community Center to offer our students a workshop, culminating with a performance for parents.

-Students celebrated Cajun Mardi Gras, and traveled to perform at a Cajun dance.

-The program received support from the Carter Family Charitable Trust, the Grey Fox Educational Fund, D’Addario Foundation, the RI State Council on the Arts, the Rotary Club of Pawtucket and the City of Pawtucket.

-Fiddlers-in-Residence performed at Pawtucket’s Mayoral Inauguration party, at house concerts around the state, at Common Fence Music’s Fiddlers & Fisherman concert, and at Pawtucket’s urban revitalization yoga studio.

You can see photos from their performances at our year-end Fiddling Celebration here

There are some big changes coming up. I will be beginning my studies towards a Master’s degree in Contemporary Improvisation at the  New England Conservatory this fall. I know that both my performance and teaching abilities will be strengthened and I will have much more to offer when it is complete.

In the meantime, the program is incredibly fortunate to have Michelle Kaminsky continuing as Fiddler-in-Residence and taking on weekly teaching of our students, with the assistance of some generous volunteers.

I will continue in my role as director and will continue to design and organize our monthly special events, including community dances, workshops and student performances. I am confident that the program has what is needed to continue to be a place for students to strengthen their connections with their peers and musical mentors, and to develop leadership skills through their immersion in fiddling traditions and community dance.

We'll miss you Rachel!

[Editor's note: If you are curious to hear some of Rachel's fiddling tunes, check her out on CDbaby, where you can also buy her recent album for $10.]