The Newport String Project is a chamber music performance and youth mentoring initiative that aims to build a community that crosses boundaries of generation, heritage, and economic circumstances through access to inspiring musical experiences for all.

Inspired and incubated by nationally acclaimed organization Community MusicWorks (Providence), the Newport String Project was founded in 2012 by two graduates of CMW’s Fellowship Program, EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks and Ealaín McMullin. The project is dedicated to exploring the intersection between artistry, education and social change.

The project aims to strengthen the social and cultural fabric of the wider Newport community by presenting a professional chamber music concert series, featuring both classical and traditional music styles in keeping with Newport’s folk heritage. Now in its seventh season, the project is focused on growing the organization so that it can support a long-term, professional chamber music residency that builds authentic relationships between professional musicians and the community at large. Past resident musicians of the project include Josie Davis, Ashley Frith, Jaime Feldman, Gillian Gallagher and Zan Berry. In June 2019, EmmaLee stepped down from her position as co-director of the project and remains involved with the project in a musical and advisory capacity. In 2019/20 season, we are thrilled to welcome cellist Jacob Mackay will join the project as resident musician and education director.

Our Vision

  • To create inspiring contexts for community building through music performance and youth mentoring.

  • To open pathways for audience and families to engage with a variety of musical styles and influences.

  • To strengthen community connectedness between families, audiences and musicians

In partnership with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, the Newport String Project engages students during the high-risk after-school hours. The project currently serves 40 students ages 5-10, offering free weekly lessons, monthly community events, such as workshops, dances and student performances.

The Newport String Project includes music making in both classical and traditional music styles, incorporating some of Newport’s rich Irish heritage and folk roots, and offers an accessible environment for a classical music repertoire.

The Newport String Project is generously supported by the Prince Charitable Trusts, the Newport County Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation, the McBean Charitable Trusts and the BnV Funds and many generous individuals across Newport County and beyond.