As we enter the home stretch to the end of the 2015/16 school year we’ll be featuring a series of interviews with our graduating seniors here on the blog. In today’s interview violin Fellow Josie Davis talks with violin student and Phase III member Alana about her time at CMW and her plans for the future.
How old were you when you started taking lessons at CMW?
I was 7 when I began playing violin with CMW.
Can you share a favorite CMW memory?
My favorite CMW memory is either the New York trip or a workshop with Daniel Bernard Roumain when he put his scroll on my head and played in that position on my head!
How has CMW shaped your life?
I could talk forever on this subject. CMW has sort of had the Butterfly Effect on me. If I hadn’t joined CMW, I would be a totally different person. I have learned the value of being in a community, have been fortunate to learn different aspects of music, and I have met amazing friends, who are both teachers and students. CMW has been the gateway to other outside experiences such as YUGA [Youth United for Global Action and Awareness] and Apple Hill which have impacted me greatly in their own ways. Through Phase 2, I have obtained the skills of public speaking and discussing topics with others that I probably wouldn’t normally have outside of the program. Music itself has made me a more empathetic person and learning it with other youth has a lot to do with that. Even on a smaller more practical level, learning music through CMW has benefited me in school too. I have always been more knowledgeable on musical concepts in my music courses at school. Basically, CMW has touched my life in every aspect.
Describe a performance highlight…
One of my favorite performance experiences was playing a duet with my long-time teacher, Sebastian Ruth during a Skillz Hour. We played Sonata I by Jean-Marie Leclair. The performance was strong and it’s one that I can vividly remember being fun. At the end of the performance, the crowd applauded and smiled. Jesse Holstein then took the mic and requested that the audience give us another round of applause. Then, Jesse highlighted his memory of a younger me that wanted to quit playing violin and went on to express how happy he was that I didn’t. It was really nice.
How will music be apart of your life next year and beyond?
I cannot see myself creating a career with music mostly because it is so hard to make it in that field. However, I do plan to still play, whether that be in a chamber group with friends or a local orchestra. I refuse to completely give up my playing after investing so much time into it and tapping into a talent that I genuinely enjoy.
What are your plans next year?
My plans right now are sort of up in the air. I will either be here in Rhode Island or in Portland, Oregon. Whichever destination, I will be studying English/Writing and music.
Alana in a 2014 performance of Gonzalo Grau’s Fantasia in New York City