An exceptionally fun week of rehearsals with guest musicians Jesse Holstein and Chelsea Bernstein came to a close with a great afternoon of music at the Great Friends Meeting House on Saturday. Our thanks to theNewport Historical Society for hosting us so generously. Thanks also to photographer Jack Renner, Newport Vineyards and The French Confection. And finally, an extra special mention for our students Autumn, Amari and Jayden for their courageous and stylish performance of Hot Croissants and Au Clair de la Lune!
The Newport String Project is delighted to be the recipient of a grant from the Newport County Fund of the Rhode Island Foundation. This funding will provide key support to our educational and performance programming in our third season. We deeply appreciate this investment from the Newport County Fund as we work towards creating a vibrant environment for our students to learn and thrive.
Join us for a festive afternoon of string quartets in celebration of the Newport String Project’s second season…
Directors and violinists EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks and Ealain McMullin will be joined by guest musicians, Jesse Holstein (viola) and Chelsea Bernstein (cello). The program will feature string quartets by Mozart, Weinberg and Ravel.
Co-presented with the Newport Historical Society, the concert will take place in the unique and historic surrounds of the Great Friends Meeting House.
The performance begins at 4pm and will be followed by a reception. Admission is by donation – all proceeds will benefit the performance and educational programming of the Newport String Project…
If you have attended a Newport String Project concert and liked what you heard, bring new friends and spread the word!
Who can resist a little learning musicmaking amidst the famous Newport daffodils? We took our class outside to the grounds of the Great Friends Meeting House.
Right before launching into a soulful rendition of Hot Cross Buns, student Amari noticed people strolling around in the distance also enjoying the sunshine, and declared excitedly “Hey, now EVERYONE can enjoy our music!”
In the beautiful surrounds of the Harrison Room at the Redwood Library, we were thrilled to share a program of string quartets from the height of the classical era. Guest artist Jesse Holstein shared an insightful pre-concert talk as part of our Tune In series, which set the stage for a high-energy afternoon of vibrant chamber music.
Our thanks to the Redwood Library, Frank Leith of the Newport Photographers Guild and the enthusiastic concert-goers.
On Thursday, April 30th at 7pm the Newport String Project returns to the Norman Bird Sanctuary with Flights of Fancy, an evening of traditional fiddle music and poetry. Drawing upon birds and flight as inspiration, we invite you to join us in this mingling of lyricism in word and melody. Fiddler EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks and guitarist Mike Sokolovsky will be joined by poet David Dragone and reader Adrienne Taylor to bring you a performance that invites your imagination to take wing.
When: Thursday, April 30th at 7pm
Where: Mabel’s Studio at the Norman Bird Sanctuary, 583 Third Beach Road, Middletown RI 02842
Tickets: $20 members, $25 non-members
Early registration advised – REGISTER HERE.
A paper violin comes to LIFE!
On March 28th at 10:30 at the Newport Public Library, the directors of the Newport String Project will present a morning of music and storytelling.
Children and their parents are invited to listen to, and participate in, the story of Diego and his magic violin. Diego will be joined by the class of beginning students from the Martin Luther King Center and together they will demonstrate how a paper violin can become real through the power of music.
The audience of parents and children will enter into the story as Diego and his friends learn to make their paper violins sing. Through song and movement, children will discover what happens when you sprinkle a little magic on a paper violin.
The story is especially intended for five- to ten-year-olds, but all are welcome.
This year’s beginner violinists are busily working away with their lovingly crafted paper violins but what about those second year students that already have instruments? These young violinists and violists are progressing beautifully – demonstrating “5 star” bowhands, chasing the art of smooth bowing and relishing the challenges of finding notes with the left hand. It can be a daunting moment – suddenly, the scale of the journey ahead is being revealed and it can become a little overwhelming. Now more than ever, the new skills must be practiced in order to become natural. While our students never cease to inspire us with their progress, it is a good time to have a little extra help on hand.
Last week, Newport String Project parents were invited to the MLK center to discuss the importance of practice. Using the metaphor of an iceberg, we talked about how students that show up at class reap the rewards at the “tip of the iceberg”, but that access to the richest rewards of learning an instrument are “below sea level” and only come with consistent and healthy practice. We explored some strategies and discussed the challenges of already overstuffed family schedules. Still, it was an excellent first step in brainstorming ways to continue learning and ritual beyond the classroom.
After a nuts-and-bolts week of drilling skills with students and outlining practice strategies with parents, it was more than time to take a step back and remember the big picture… Fortunately, we had a visit from an extra special group of young musicians who could put the conversation into perspective.
On Monday, the students, families and friends of the Newport String Project gathered at the MLK Center for a community dinner. A wonderful feature of its community programming, the MLK Center regularly hosts community dinners and generously offered to host a dinner for families enrolled in the Newport String Project. As families sat down to delicious plates of pasta (thank you Chef Jamie!), it was a special treat to introduce a group of visitors from our parent organization Community MusicWorks in Providence. Longtime CMW parent/board member/volunteer extraordinaire Linda Daniels was on hand to share her perspectives on being the parent of a young musician. The centerpiece of the evening was a performance of a Telemann 4 Violin Concerto by Andrew, Alana, Heather and Jessenia – all members of Community MusicWorks’ innovative Phase II teen youth leadership program. To witness this quartet in action of course demonstrated the importance of long-term commitment to learning an instrument, but it was also a beautiful reminder of the way that music is an oral tradition that can connect people from different communities.
Afterwards, our students were inevitably wowed by these cool teen violinists. Violinist Connor shook his head anticipating that it might take a long long time to get “that good”. Another violinist Juan put down his cupcake and declared emphatically that the Telemann was “INCREDIBLE”. We couldn’t agree more!
The Newport String Project returns to the Redwood Library for a program of masterworks for string quartet by Haydn and Mozart. From rollicking rhythms to luscious largos to delectable dissonance, this program has a little something for everyone. Violinists and Newport String Project directors EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks and Ealain McMullin will be joined by guest artists Jesse Holstein, viola, and Megan Koch, cello. Call 847-0292, ext. 112, to make a reservation.
Join us on March 22nd for Tune In! at 2.15pm and Performance at 3pm.
Franz Joseph Haydn – String Quartet in D Major, op. 76 no. 5 “Largo”
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – String Quartet in C Major “Dissonance”, K. 465
Admission is by donation.