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Watch tonight’s live webcast of pianist Daniil Trifonov on medivi.tv at 8 PM (EDT). Daniil Trifonov presents a program that requires poetry and passion that only a master pianist can deliver with works by Schumann, Shostakovich, and Stravinsky.

8 months ago |
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On October 17 and 18, renowned mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato led master classes for middle school singers participating in the Count Me In program, offering tips and encouragement for their upcoming auditions to performing arts high schools. Count Me In meets the needs of New York City middle school singers, many of whom have never studied music before and whose schools do not have established choral programs. Eighth grade students from across the city receive afterschool instruction and training in Carnegie Hall’s Resnick Education Wing. Sixty kids participated in Count Me In this year and are currently auditioning for high schools through December. We wish them the best of luck!

Two participants, Priya and Rue, describe their inspiration for singing and taking part in Count Me In:


Count Me In: Joyce and Priya Tejpal (Richard Termine)
Priya Tejpal:

“It has been my dream to be a singer my entire life. Singing gives me a way to express my emotions. I auditioned for Count Me In because I knew that it would help me become a better singer. I like the idea of working with others because I believe you can learn from other people’s experiences. I have always wanted to get into a performing arts high school and I was wondering about the process. Count Me In really helps with everything you need to know regarding the audition. Count Me In has taught me different ways of breathing, sight reading, and basic rhythm skills. Going into high school, I am looking forward to meeting other people who love music as much as I do.”


Count Me In: Joyce and Rue Hocke (Richard Termine)
Rue Hocke:

“I’ve loved music since I was pretty young, memorizing song lyrics and singing along to the music. I wanted to audition because of my love for music and because people kept telling me that I should pursue vocal music, even though I’m still not completely sure if that’s what I want to do. I came to Count Me In not just to work on auditioning skills, but to work on general vocal technique as well. So far, I’ve learned how to improve the manner in which I sing and how to properly present myself while singing.”


Photography: Richard Termine

8 months ago |
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On October 17 and 18, renowned mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato led master classes for middle school singers participating in the Count Me In program, offering tips and encouragement for their upcoming auditions to performing arts high schools. Count Me In meets the needs of New York City middle school singers, many of whom have never studied music before and whose schools do not have established choral programs. Eighth grade students from across the city receive afterschool instruction and training in Carnegie Hall’s Resnick Education Wing. Sixty kids participated in Count Me In this year and are currently auditioning for high schools through December. We wish them the best of luck!

Two participants, Priya and Rue, describe their inspiration for singing and taking part in Count Me In:


Count Me In: Joyce and Priya Tejpal (Richard Termine)
Priya Tejpal:

“It has been my dream to be a singer my entire life. Singing gives me a way to express my emotions. I auditioned for Count Me In because I knew that it would help me become a better singer. I like the idea of working with others because I believe you can learn from other people’s experiences. I have always wanted to get into a performing arts high school and I was wondering about the process. Count Me In really helps with everything you need to know regarding the audition. Count Me In has taught me different ways of breathing, sight reading, and basic rhythm skills. Going into high school, I am looking forward to meeting other people who love music as much as I do.”


Count Me In: Joyce and Rue Hocke (Richard Termine)
Rue Hocke:

“I’ve loved music since I was pretty young, memorizing song lyrics and singing along to the music. I wanted to audition because of my love for music and because people kept telling me that I should pursue vocal music, even though I’m still not completely sure if that’s what I want to do. I came to Count Me In not just to work on auditioning skills, but to work on general vocal technique as well. So far, I’ve learned how to improve the manner in which I sing and how to properly present myself while singing.”


Photography: Richard Termine

8 months ago |
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Ensemble Connect violinist Becky Anderson describes her first experiences giving interactive performances—small, assembly-style concerts that encourage students to engage with the musicians—at local New York City public schools.


smartquote left

Through my interactive performance experiences, I’ve found that elementary school kids are a dynamic combination of personality, wonder, and mildly-organized chaos. Standing in front of an auditorium filled with 100 third graders is a unique feeling. If you can keep the students’ attention, interest, and lead them on a creative journey through your presentation, you will rarely find a more curious and unabashedly excited audience for any concert. The reward is high, but the stakes are also high—the potential scene of an auditorium filled with out-of-control elementary school students is a rather terrifying prospect for most of us!

My colleagues and I worked hard over the past month to put together a presentation that felt genuine to our passion for music, while tailoring our presentation style and language to each audience age group. Rather than creating two separate presentations for our high schools and elementary schools, we found a musical concept and repertoire that we cared deeply about, and used the same general concepts and music for all of our presentations. However, our stage presence and vocabulary changed quite a bit between those different age groups! One of the surprising and delightfully fun parts of our presentations was watching each of my colleague’s high-school and elementary-school personas come out and develop over the course of our performances.

Ensemble Connect: Becky Anderson 1

I love school interactive performances because they are always surprising, and you never know quite what to expect. Despite how much you prepare, there is always an unknown element to each presentation because they involve audience participation. Learning how to field questions and comments from a group of students, and finding the delicate balance of when it’s best to go off script and improvise versus when to gently steer the audience back to main points of a planned presentation, takes real teamwork and trust between performers. During one high-school presentation, we worked a performance of “Happy Birthday” into our explanation of the term “melody,” because we found out that it was a student’s birthday a few minutes before we started. In another elementary-school performance, I had to kindly explain to a certain talkative second grader that yes, we could play “Mary Had A Little Lamb,” but we were going to move on to play some music by Brahms instead.

Interactive performances are fulfilling because they encourage a meaningful interaction between performers and the audience in a way that we hope will enhance the audience’s connection with music. As a performer, I’ve found that they enhance my connection with music, as well. These performances require me to articulate what I find most exciting and important in music, and to back up those convictions in how I perform when we are playing music during the presentation. Those reminders, and being able to interact with students that have the potential for such genuine curiosity and excitement about the music that we play, are things that I carry with me far after we finish our presentations at each school.

smartquote right

—Becky Anderson

8 months ago |
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Ensemble Connect violinist Becky Anderson describes her first experiences giving interactive performances—small, assembly-style concerts that encourage students to engage with the musicians—at local New York City public schools.


smartquote left

Through my interactive performance experiences, I’ve found that elementary school kids are a dynamic combination of personality, wonder, and mildly-organized chaos. Standing in front of an auditorium filled with 100 third graders is a unique feeling. If you can keep the students’ attention, interest, and lead them on a creative journey through your presentation, you will rarely find a more curious and unabashedly excited audience for any concert. The reward is high, but the stakes are also high—the potential scene of an auditorium filled with out-of-control elementary school students is a rather terrifying prospect for most of us!

My colleagues and I worked hard over the past month to put together a presentation that felt genuine to our passion for music, while tailoring our presentation style and language to each audience age group. Rather than creating two separate presentations for our high schools and elementary schools, we found a musical concept and repertoire that we cared deeply about, and used the same general concepts and music for all of our presentations. However, our stage presence and vocabulary changed quite a bit between those different age groups! One of the surprising and delightfully fun parts of our presentations was watching each of my colleague’s high-school and elementary-school personas come out and develop over the course of our performances.

Ensemble Connect: Becky Anderson 1

I love school interactive performances because they are always surprising, and you never know quite what to expect. Despite how much you prepare, there is always an unknown element to each presentation because they involve audience participation. Learning how to field questions and comments from a group of students, and finding the delicate balance of when it’s best to go off script and improvise versus when to gently steer the audience back to main points of a planned presentation, takes real teamwork and trust between performers. During one high-school presentation, we worked a performance of “Happy Birthday” into our explanation of the term “melody,” because we found out that it was a student’s birthday a few minutes before we started. In another elementary-school performance, I had to kindly explain to a certain talkative second grader that yes, we could play “Mary Had A Little Lamb,” but we were going to move on to play some music by Brahms instead.

Interactive performances are fulfilling because they encourage a meaningful interaction between performers and the audience in a way that we hope will enhance the audience’s connection with music. As a performer, I’ve found that they enhance my connection with music, as well. These performances require me to articulate what I find most exciting and important in music, and to back up those convictions in how I perform when we are playing music during the presentation. Those reminders, and being able to interact with students that have the potential for such genuine curiosity and excitement about the music that we play, are things that I carry with me far after we finish our presentations at each school.

smartquote right

—Becky Anderson

8 months ago |
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On November 8, the Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira (OSB) gave the South American premiere of Link Up: The Orchestra Moves, an interactive concert experience for third through fifth graders. More than 1,500 students and teachers from Rio de Janeiro played recorder, sang along, and danced at the concert—the culmination of the Weill Music Institute’s Link Up educational curriculum that introduces students to the orchestra.

There is urgent need for such an educational resource in Rio’s schools; more than 100 schools applied for 40 available slots. Despite challenging teaching environments and a last-minute funding cut that sent administrators scrambling for a venue days before the concert, orchestra education director Anahi Ravagnani continued to push teachers to face their challenges and find solutions. The result was a vibrant, energetic display of the resilience of a community who came together to achieve their goals. Rosaria Diniz, a teacher who participated in the concert, shared some thoughts on Facebook after the event.


smartquote left

The program has in its repertoire the piece “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” but what I saw was my dream being realized on a spring morning at Cidade das Artes. To realize dreams in the current context of this country is a grand feat. To realize dreams in a city, called “maravilhosa,” which in practice turns its back to one of the greatest cultural heritages that it has, is admirable. More than a realization of my dream, the commitment of the Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira, patrimony of this city and of this country—even in the middle of one of the largest crises in its 76 years of existence—to not compromise its efforts in presenting Link Up: The Orchestra Moves is worthy of admiration, respect, and recognition.

Thanks to these efforts, I was there realizing my dream, alongside the students and professors from the Francis Hime Municipal School. And I, who have always been good at using and abusing words, feel at a loss for words to express my amazement … The emotion of seeing and hearing a group of a thousand children interacting, playing, and singing with the OSB cannot be expressed in words, because words—as strong and intense as they can be—will never express everything that I felt and that I feel right now upon writing this testimony.

Link Up Brazil 1
Photography: Cicero Rodrigues

I had learned, even back in grade school, that Music is a universal language. On Tuesday, the 8th of November, I added to this concept an even more concrete knowledge: Music transcends barriers and unites us in one purpose and objective.

In that hall, girls and boys from the most different of schools, from the most diverse social contexts, from various areas of this city and state demonstrated that they have access to the same understanding, independent of all the factors that make them different. In that moment, it didn’t make a difference if he or she was a resident of the wealthy Zona Sul (South Zone) or from an impoverished community on the outskirts of the city. In that moment, it didn’t make a difference if their guardians were paying expensive tuition for a private school or if they sent their kids to school hoping that at least there they may have an opportunity to have a meal. None of this mattered! They had access to the same understanding and took from this the same knowledge.

And this, Fundação Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira, does not have a price! It doesn’t have a price because the value is inestimable, incalculable ... The pleasure and the satisfaction of seeing the shine in the eyes and smile on the face of a child is itself so valuable that it will never be enjoyed by the politicians that govern our city and our country because it is destined for those who believe, who dream, and who fight in their day to day for a society more just, that offers opportunities to all.

Link Up Brazil 2
Photography: Cicero Rodrigues

The gratefulness in my heart will never be erased, just as the experience these children had will never be erased from the memories of each one of them. I know that what they experienced in that hall was worth the months of work and made all of the difficulties in the process of this triumph become irrelevant.

Thank you, Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira, for giving to the students and professors of the Francis Hime Municipal School this sublime experience. I am certain that we will be together in 2017, in the next edition of Link Up, because I believe in dreams, and, like each one of you, I have learned that they can be realized.

smartquote right

—Professora Rosaria Diniz


Carnegie Hall partners with more than 90 orchestras across the US and around the world to bring Link Up to approximately 380,000 students and teachers this season. In addition to Brazil, partner orchestras are based in Japan, Canada, Mexico, Spain, and Kenya. See the complete list of partners.

8 months ago |
Tag
| Read Full Story

On November 8, the Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira (OSB) gave the South American premiere of Link Up: The Orchestra Moves, an interactive concert experience for third through fifth graders. More than 1,500 students and teachers from Rio de Janeiro played recorder, sang along, and danced at the concert—the culmination of the Weill Music Institute’s Link Up educational curriculum that introduces students to the orchestra.

There is urgent need for such an educational resource in Rio’s schools; more than 100 schools applied for 40 available slots. Despite challenging teaching environments and a last-minute funding cut that sent administrators scrambling for a venue days before the concert, orchestra education director Anahi Ravagnani continued to push teachers to face their challenges and find solutions. The result was a vibrant, energetic display of the resilience of a community who came together to achieve their goals. Rosaria Diniz, a teacher who participated in the concert, shared some thoughts on Facebook after the event.


smartquote left

The program has in its repertoire the piece “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” but what I saw was my dream being realized on a spring morning at Cidade das Artes. To realize dreams in the current context of this country is a grand feat. To realize dreams in a city, called “maravilhosa,” which in practice turns its back to one of the greatest cultural heritages that it has, is admirable. More than a realization of my dream, the commitment of the Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira, patrimony of this city and of this country—even in the middle of one of the largest crises in its 76 years of existence—to not compromise its efforts in presenting Link Up: The Orchestra Moves is worthy of admiration, respect, and recognition.

Thanks to these efforts, I was there realizing my dream, alongside the students and professors from the Francis Hime Municipal School. And I, who have always been good at using and abusing words, feel at a loss for words to express my amazement … The emotion of seeing and hearing a group of a thousand children interacting, playing, and singing with the OSB cannot be expressed in words, because words—as strong and intense as they can be—will never express everything that I felt and that I feel right now upon writing this testimony.

Link Up Brazil 1
Photography: Cicero Rodrigues

I had learned, even back in grade school, that Music is a universal language. On Tuesday, the 8th of November, I added to this concept an even more concrete knowledge: Music transcends barriers and unites us in one purpose and objective.

In that hall, girls and boys from the most different of schools, from the most diverse social contexts, from various areas of this city and state demonstrated that they have access to the same understanding, independent of all the factors that make them different. In that moment, it didn’t make a difference if he or she was a resident of the wealthy Zona Sul (South Zone) or from an impoverished community on the outskirts of the city. In that moment, it didn’t make a difference if their guardians were paying expensive tuition for a private school or if they sent their kids to school hoping that at least there they may have an opportunity to have a meal. None of this mattered! They had access to the same understanding and took from this the same knowledge.

And this, Fundação Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira, does not have a price! It doesn’t have a price because the value is inestimable, incalculable ... The pleasure and the satisfaction of seeing the shine in the eyes and smile on the face of a child is itself so valuable that it will never be enjoyed by the politicians that govern our city and our country because it is destined for those who believe, who dream, and who fight in their day to day for a society more just, that offers opportunities to all.

Link Up Brazil 2
Photography: Cicero Rodrigues

The gratefulness in my heart will never be erased, just as the experience these children had will never be erased from the memories of each one of them. I know that what they experienced in that hall was worth the months of work and made all of the difficulties in the process of this triumph become irrelevant.

Thank you, Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira, for giving to the students and professors of the Francis Hime Municipal School this sublime experience. I am certain that we will be together in 2017, in the next edition of Link Up, because I believe in dreams, and, like each one of you, I have learned that they can be realized.

smartquote right

—Professora Rosaria Diniz


Carnegie Hall partners with more than 90 orchestras across the US and around the world to bring Link Up to approximately 380,000 students and teachers this season. In addition to Brazil, partner orchestras are based in Japan, Canada, Mexico, Spain, and Kenya. See the complete list of partners.

8 months ago |
Tag
| Read Full Story

It’s been 10 years in the making. First known as The Academy, whose performing arm was Ensemble ACJW, the recently renamed Ensemble Connect is a two-year fellowship program that continues to attract the finest young professional classical musicians in the United States, preparing them for careers that combine musical excellence with teaching, community engagement, advocacy, entrepreneurship, and leadership. Now with the seventh class of fellows carrying the torch through the 10th anniversary year, alums and long-time partner teachers from New York City public schools reflect on the connections that have been forged as a result of Ensemble Connect.


“Ensemble Connect has undoubtedly changed the direction my musical life has taken and will continue to guide my career and purpose. Perhaps that is the most beautiful aspect of the program: There are no limits to what you may be inspired to do. Before joining Ensemble Connect, the thought of creating Musicambia—a non-profit organization to help heal the bloated incarceration system of America—never crossed my mind. Nor would I have ever thought that it was possible to do that while also discovering the greatest works of art the world has known through the medium of a professional string quartet [Attacca Quartet]. Every day my life is more fulfilled knowing that whenever inspiration strikes, I will have the invaluable tools of Ensemble Connect to make those inspirations a reality.”

—Nathan Schram, 2012 alum

101 alumni + 18 current fellows = 119 musicians


“Upon graduating from a dual-degree program in international relations and viola performance in 2007, I dreamed of a professional life that would combine my passions for music and social impact, but I didn’t know how to make it happen. Ensemble Connect provided me with serendipitous answers. It was the creative playground I needed to forge my own path, providing a community of like-minded individuals and a home to develop skills that use music as a tool for social impact. Most of all, the fellowship challenged me to deftly navigate being both a leader and a team player, while helping me transfer my musical skills into the wider world of entrepreneurship. Since completing the fellowship, I co-founded Decoda, a chamber music ensemble made up entirely of Ensemble Connect alumni with a mission to bring creative musical experiences to concert halls and also to places where music is rarely heard. And my most recent venture, Reveler, is an online platform that curates arts and culture experiences in San Francisco with a focus on engaging millennials.”

—Meena Bhasin, 2010 alum

Ensemble Connect 10 years: Meena Bhasin
Meena Bhasin (Photography: Christopher Smith)

“Over the course of four years, I have had the pleasure of having Ensemble Connect at my school in Queens. I have watched the students evolve from being timid about music to being true musical forces. One of my favorite things about having Ensemble Connect is that our music community feels like it is part of something amazing and bigger than just a high school program. The Ensemble Connect fellows have shown these students that there is a possibility to not only be performers, but also to realize your dreams no matter how big or small.”

—Laurel Hornick, partner teacher, Grover Cleveland High School

25,000 hours coaching, mentoring, and co-teaching


“Being a partner teacher with Ensemble Connect has changed who I am as a teacher, a performer, and even as a person. I have been gently pushed outside of my comfort zone to experience new ideas and methods to teach my students. I have collaborated with fellow teachers, musicians, and many others in the music field who have enriched my teaching practice. Through this program, I have been able to bring my students and their families to Carnegie Hall to watch brilliant concerts, and to Juilliard to perform as they celebrate their work with other fellows from Ensemble Connect. I have been challenged to become a better musician and “practice what I preach,” which is to play more, to expand my listening repertoire, and to become immersed in the music. Because of this program, I have raised my expectations for myself and for my students.”

—Audrey Mullen, partner teacher, PS 21 Edward Hart

Ensemble Connect 10 years: Nathan Schram
Nathan Schram (Photography: Nan Melville)

“My time in Ensemble Connect not only opened my eyes and ears to new musical experiences, but introduced me to future possibilities in the arts that I didn’t even know existed. The opportunity to work alongside passionate music educators and to collaborate with innovative arts leaders led me to pursue a career as a teaching artist. Several years later, my ongoing work with the New York Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, and The Juilliard School allows me to continue to bring meaningful musical experiences to students and audiences in NYC and beyond.”

—Stephen Dunn, 2008 alum

50,000 students in 78 public schools


“As a brass player who teaches two orchestras and several bands, I have been delighted to have had two cellists (Yves Dharamraj and Caleb van der Swaagh) and two violinists (Michelle Ross and Becky Anderson) as my Ensemble Connect partners. They have helped me develop my knowledge of string technique and made me a better strings teacher. The fellows have shared their knowledge and love of music with all of my musical groups. For my students, having these fine musicians “up close and personal” has been invaluable. They have had many opportunities to hear Ensemble Connect perform at Carnegie Hall, where the Ensemble Connect musicians make a fuss over them. Quite a few of my students have pursued music in college in hopes of becoming professional musicians or music teachers. The Ensemble Connect program has been a godsend for both my students and me.”

—John Scandone, partner teacher, Brooklyn High School of the Arts

Learn more about Ensemble Connect.

8 months ago |
Tag
| Read Full Story

It’s been 10 years in the making. First known as The Academy, whose performing arm was Ensemble ACJW, the recently renamed Ensemble Connect is a two-year fellowship program that continues to attract the finest young professional classical musicians in the United States, preparing them for careers that combine musical excellence with teaching, community engagement, advocacy, entrepreneurship, and leadership. Now with the seventh class of fellows carrying the torch through the 10th anniversary year, alums and long-time partner teachers from New York City public schools reflect on the connections that have been forged as a result of Ensemble Connect.


“Ensemble Connect has undoubtedly changed the direction my musical life has taken and will continue to guide my career and purpose. Perhaps that is the most beautiful aspect of the program: There are no limits to what you may be inspired to do. Before joining Ensemble Connect, the thought of creating Musicambia—a non-profit organization to help heal the bloated incarceration system of America—never crossed my mind. Nor would I have ever thought that it was possible to do that while also discovering the greatest works of art the world has known through the medium of a professional string quartet [Attacca Quartet]. Every day my life is more fulfilled knowing that whenever inspiration strikes, I will have the invaluable tools of Ensemble Connect to make those inspirations a reality.”

—Nathan Schram, 2012 alum

101 alumni + 18 current fellows = 119 musicians


“Upon graduating from a dual-degree program in international relations and viola performance in 2007, I dreamed of a professional life that would combine my passions for music and social impact, but I didn’t know how to make it happen. Ensemble Connect provided me with serendipitous answers. It was the creative playground I needed to forge my own path, providing a community of like-minded individuals and a home to develop skills that use music as a tool for social impact. Most of all, the fellowship challenged me to deftly navigate being both a leader and a team player, while helping me transfer my musical skills into the wider world of entrepreneurship. Since completing the fellowship, I co-founded Decoda, a chamber music ensemble made up entirely of Ensemble Connect alumni with a mission to bring creative musical experiences to concert halls and also to places where music is rarely heard. And my most recent venture, Reveler, is an online platform that curates arts and culture experiences in San Francisco with a focus on engaging millennials.”

—Meena Bhasin, 2010 alum

Ensemble Connect 10 years: Meena Bhasin
Meena Bhasin (Photography: Christopher Smith)

“Over the course of four years, I have had the pleasure of having Ensemble Connect at my school in Queens. I have watched the students evolve from being timid about music to being true musical forces. One of my favorite things about having Ensemble Connect is that our music community feels like it is part of something amazing and bigger than just a high school program. The Ensemble Connect fellows have shown these students that there is a possibility to not only be performers, but also to realize your dreams no matter how big or small.”

—Laurel Hornick, partner teacher, Grover Cleveland High School

25,000 hours coaching, mentoring, and co-teaching


“Being a partner teacher with Ensemble Connect has changed who I am as a teacher, a performer, and even as a person. I have been gently pushed outside of my comfort zone to experience new ideas and methods to teach my students. I have collaborated with fellow teachers, musicians, and many others in the music field who have enriched my teaching practice. Through this program, I have been able to bring my students and their families to Carnegie Hall to watch brilliant concerts, and to Juilliard to perform as they celebrate their work with other fellows from Ensemble Connect. I have been challenged to become a better musician and “practice what I preach,” which is to play more, to expand my listening repertoire, and to become immersed in the music. Because of this program, I have raised my expectations for myself and for my students.”

—Audrey Mullen, partner teacher, PS 21 Edward Hart

Ensemble Connect 10 years: Nathan Schram
Nathan Schram (Photography: Nan Melville)

“My time in Ensemble Connect not only opened my eyes and ears to new musical experiences, but introduced me to future possibilities in the arts that I didn’t even know existed. The opportunity to work alongside passionate music educators and to collaborate with innovative arts leaders led me to pursue a career as a teaching artist. Several years later, my ongoing work with the New York Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, and The Juilliard School allows me to continue to bring meaningful musical experiences to students and audiences in NYC and beyond.”

—Stephen Dunn, 2008 alum

50,000 students in 78 public schools


“As a brass player who teaches two orchestras and several bands, I have been delighted to have had two cellists (Yves Dharamraj and Caleb van der Swaagh) and two violinists (Michelle Ross and Becky Anderson) as my Ensemble Connect partners. They have helped me develop my knowledge of string technique and made me a better strings teacher. The fellows have shared their knowledge and love of music with all of my musical groups. For my students, having these fine musicians “up close and personal” has been invaluable. They have had many opportunities to hear Ensemble Connect perform at Carnegie Hall, where the Ensemble Connect musicians make a fuss over them. Quite a few of my students have pursued music in college in hopes of becoming professional musicians or music teachers. The Ensemble Connect program has been a godsend for both my students and me.”

—John Scandone, partner teacher, Brooklyn High School of the Arts

Learn more about Ensemble Connect.

8 months ago |
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Inspiration ...

Motivation ... Creativity ... Encouragement ... Imagination ....

These are all words that Merriam-Webster uses to define that very simple but special feeling we have all experienced at one time or another in our lives. For me, music has been my inspiration since age 5, when my hands first discovered 88 black and white keys. I often wonder what inspires others—what touches others hearts and souls. I know that as a man of music, it is my journey to consistently discover new ways to “inspire.”

This is the second time my wife and business partner, Vivian, and I have been blessed with the opportunity to present a sampling of what inspires us here at Carnegie Hall. As with our first sold-out production of A Night Of Inspiration in 2010, we knew it was important to show inspiration in all of its forms, with traditional and contemporary gospel, pop, opera, and classical music along with the art of dance. As a young child, my mother exposed me to all areas of the arts. It is those experiences that have made me into the artist I have grown to become. It is my job on Earth to take the sum total of all that was presented to me and translate it into something special and magical for others.

Tonight’s gift will be presented from my heart to yours. May you feel the lushness of the 64-piece orchestra. May you feel the strength of the 200-voice mass choir. May you feel something that you may have never felt before.

May you leave here feeling inspired …

—Ray Chew

8 months ago |
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