“Like a tree, I’m standing tall…” is the opening line of a poem that is very familiar to the violin and viola students of the Newport String Project. It invites the students to stand with steadiness, flexibility and pride as they hold and play their instruments. It also serves as a gentle reminder about the importance of noticing the ground beneath your feet and finding your roots.
This idea has special relevance for us in the second season of the Newport String Project. This year, our focus turns towards strengthening the roots laid during the pilot year, as well as peeking skywards and trying new things.
At this time of year, we feel especially thankful for all the community support that has enabled the project to become more than a “seedling”. In that spirit, we would like to share some of the highlights of our second season so far…
Nurturing the spark
This fall, we are delighted to have expanded our educational programming at the MLK Center, almost doubling student enrollment. In addition to their twice weekly group lessons, our 14 continuing students (ages 5-10) now receive weekly individual lessons. While the group classes offer the rewards of being part of an ensemble, we have also noticed the eager anticipation with which the students ask, “Do I have my lesson today?” This one-to-one environment creates a unique space for each student to thrive.
And the community of student musicians is growing! Since October, thirteen new students (K and 1st graders) participate in a weekly group class called Music in Motion. Through storytelling, singing and movement games, the students are learning crucial fundamentals that will prepare them to participate in Paper Orchestra in January.
Building community connections
Our students recently brought their music-making into the community, performing as the opening act at “Roll Up the Rug”, a family dance workshop, presented in partnership with Common Fence Music. This high-energy event, featuring the Rusty Pickup String Band, drew an enthusiastic audience from all across Newport county for an afternoon of fiddling, dance and laughter. With more family workshops in store, we look forward to strengthening the connections between families throughout the community.
Enriching the concert experience
Launching with a memorable concert of quartets by Haydn and Beethoven, our concert season is off to a wonderful start and we look forward to bringing seven more inspiring concerts to Newport audiences. New this year is our “Tune In!” series of pre-concert events, enabling the audience to learn about the background and process behind the music, and to connect with our exceptional guest artists.
As the program continues to deepen its roots, your support will enable the Newport String Project to grow stronger and stand taller. We hope that you will consider including the project in your annual giving, as we continue in our mission to enrich community life in Newport through access to inspiring musical experiences for all.
EmmaLee and Ealain
Newport String Project Directors
For further information on ways to donate, please click HERE.