Students Reflect on Summer Music Experiences

CYSO is proud to partner with Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative, which supports students of color and those from low income backgrounds to pursue their orchestra music dreams. One of the experiences CMPI subsidizes for many students is attendance at summer music camps, as well as attending performances from some of Chicago’s incredible professional ensembles. CMPI recently tapped three students—who also happen to be CYSO musicians!—to reflect on what they learned from their musical adventures over the summer. Read on to learn a little more about their experiences!

Symphony Orchestra violinist Amarin Sharma attended Fulton Summer Music Academy at Loyola University. Amarin thrived in the small group environment, participating in both orchestra and chamber music performances. She also discovered a fascination with the history of violin’s development over time, learning about famous luthiers and how small changes in design can impact the instrument’s sound. Read Amarin’s post

Aleo Esparza is a Symphony Orchestra percussionist and recently attended Brevard Music Center Summer Institute in North Carolina. Aleo describes the intensive academic classes on music theory and literature they took daily, as well as the unique opportunities playing alongside not only fellow high schoolers, but also getting to know and perform with college-age musicians. He also reflected on performing the drumline-like snare drum part in Until the Scars by John Mackey, “a drummers’ dream.” Read Aleo’s post

Jonathan Martinez, who plays bass trombone in Philharmonic Orchestra, attended a CSO performance at Ravinia in August along with other members of CMPI. Jonathan writes about being blown away by the opportunity to meet and observe Maestro Miguel Prieto. Jonathan felt a connection to Maestro Prieto as a fellow musician of Mexican heritage and shared that the conductor taught him that “being a musician comes from the heart. Being a musician means having integrity… And that being a musician means never forgetting your roots or your people.” Read Jonathan’s post

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