Chesapeake Music’s YouthReach Program recently sponsored the Kaleidoscope String Quartet of New York City to provide classroom visits at Chapel District Elementary School in Cordova and White Marsh Elementary School in Trappe. Students in the second, third, fourth, and fifth grades were able to hear the Carnegie Hall Ensemble Connect group perform and provide instruction on its orchestral instruments. This is the ensemble’s first visit to the Eastern Shore.
“This program has been in the schools virtually for two years and it’s good to be in person this year for the first time. The students were enthralled and focused as they listened to the music. There were great questions and participation,” comments Don Buxton, Executive Director of Chesapeake Music.
The four members of the Kaleidoscope String Quartet, Brian Hong (violin), Arlen Hlusko (cello), Ruben Rengel (violin), and Caeli Smith (viola) have been performing for a few years together as part of a two-year fellowship through Carnegie Hall Ensemble Connect, a Post Graduate Leadership Program. They all share a love of music education and community engagement. The ensemble performs in public schools and health care facilities, as well as performs chamber music concerts.
“We are showing the public what a classical musician can be in the 21st century. There is very little music for applied instruments in schools today, so we try and be accessible and friendly to get students excited about orchestral instruments. Anyone can talk about music but finding entry points for kids to connect to how music works is what we do,” comments Caeli Smith of Kaleidoscope String Quartet.
“What’s rewarding for us is the students seeing what we do together as a collaboration and that this can be a profession too.”
One of the activities the musicians did with the students was to connect the sounds of their music to activities that the children did to show the connections and emotions that can be felt from the music.
“It is so significant bringing live music back this year because it’s so difficult for students to get somewhere where they can experience this. By bringing it here to the students, it especially makes it easier for families,” comments Amanda Leffler, Music Teacher, at Chapel District Elementary School.
“The performances were phenomenal. Our second, third, fourth, and fifth-grade students absolutely loved them. I think it’s so important for music education for students to actually see and hear the music. Many students don’t get those opportunities outside of school, so I think it was so fortunate that Chesapeake Music could bring Kaleidoscope String Quartet to Chapel Elementary. We appreciate it so much,” concludes Kari Clow, Principal of Chapel District Elementary School.
The performances were supported by donors Robert and Ceci Nobel. Chesapeake Music has an extended history of educational outreach to the Mid-Shore community, including its prior Youth Reach and First Strings programs, Chamber Music Festival Family Concerts, discounted tickets to its chamber music, jazz and competition concerts, free open rehearsals for its annual two-week Chamber Music Festival and special video-recorded musical programs for students. Upcoming events in Chesapeake Music’s educational outreach program include local school visits in April 2023 by the Aero Saxophone Quartet, in connection with the quartet’s April 22, 2023 concert at the Ebenezer Theater. For more information about the concert and Chesapeake Music’s programs, you may visit the Chesapeake Music website at Chesapeakemusic.org.
About Chesapeake Music
Based in Easton, Maryland, Chesapeake Music is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring renowned jazz and classical musicians to delight, engage and surprise today’s audiences, and educate, inspire, and develop tomorrow’s. They have been doing it for 37 years! To learn more about Chesapeake Music, visit their website at https://chesapeakemusic.org/.