Daily orchestra program update

After two transformational years as a Fellow at CMW, I moved to Boston in 2010 to participate in the Sistema Fellows Program at the New England Conservatory. During that inspiring year, I learned about the many aspects of how to create and manage an El Sistema-inspired program in the US. In the spring of 2011, I spent five weeks in Venezuela traveling to different parts of the country, observing and teaching in the music programs there. I returned to the U.S. inspired to share the experience of El Sistema with families in Providence.

Thanks to support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, I was able to return to CMW last season to spend time preparing to launch the new program that I had been dreaming about creating. I had the opportunity to put into practice some specific ideas for music education that I gathered in Venezuela with a class of CMW beginners. I also enjoyed my work with CMW's Green Magic Orchestra and Phase II.

On September 10, CMW will launch a daily string orchestra program inspired by El Sistema. We are excited to be working with our partner in the neighborhood, the John Hope Settlement House. In combination with JHSH's Out of School Time Program, students in the orchestra will be provided with private lessons, snacks, homework help, mentors from Brown University, arts and crafts activities, and, of course, daily orchestra rehearsals. We’ll be starting out with a group of 25 first graders, including children from CMW's waiting list, children from JHSH, and children who we are recruiting to join the program.


Last week, violinist Lisa Barksdale and I had a chance to meet some of the families who will be entering the program at an information session hosted by JHSH. At the session, I shared with families this short video of people talking about El Sistema. The video features music performed by youth orchestras in Venezuela.

Do you know someone who is the parent of an eligible first grader? We are looking specifically for children who have the most to gain from this special opportunity to participate in a free daily after-school program. Please invite them to contact me via the CMW office.

-Adrienne Taylor, Program Director

ArtPlace blog posts

Artplace blog

As part of CMW's ArtPlace award, monthly updates will be posted on ArtPlace's website.

ARTPLACE: What is your elevator pitch when you describe your project to people?

RUTH: For fifteen years, Community MusicWorks’ resident musicians
have been creating a musical community with students and families in the
inner-city neighborhoods where we live, teach and perform. We have
noticed that community is one ot the significant outcomes in our
work–among students, between professional musicians and families, and
significantly between members of our audiences. Gather is a project that
intends to amplify the ways in which residents of a city grow to have a
deeper experience of community through their relationships with one
another. We aim to turn concert audiences into micro-communities, and
find out what happens if the person in the seat next to you is as much a
part of the concert experience as the musicians on the stage.

Read brief interviews with CMW founder Sebastian Ruth from July and August.

Welcome Chase!

Earlier in the month, we were thrilled to welcome Chase Spruill as he joins us to
fill a one-year teaching artist position at CMW. Chase traveled
cross-country to join us, relocating with his fiancee Marie and son
Charlie (aka Charles Spruill the Fifth!) from Vacaville, California.
Chase graduated with a Bachelor's in Music Performance from Sacramento
State University in 2010, and has been a resident artist at Sacramento
State since that time with his chamber group, Citywater New Music


Chase has extensive teaching and performing experience (he
began teaching group violin classes at the ripe old age of 13, in his
hometown of Vacaville), and we feel incredibly lucky to have him join
the CMW community. In the two weeks since he's arrived, Chase has been
thinking a lot about the process of becoming a CMW musician, and the
opportunities (for both him and for CMW) that come with an "outsider's"
perspective on CMW. He's promised to write some blog posts on this
topic, so keep your eyes peeled!

-Chloe Kline, Education Director