Posted August 20th, 2018 | By A4A.admin
CSMA’s Summer Honors Program prepares graduating 5th grade students for their middle school performance ensembles. This annual summer opportunity is offered to the top-performing 5th grade Band and Strings students from the elementary schools in the Mountain View Whisman School District. Outstanding students are selected by their CSMA Music4Schools teacher, and invited to attend the Summer Honors Program. All participating students are awarded scholarships to the program. They attend two weeks of intensive workshops and instruction at CSMA’s Finn Center.
The goal of the Summer Honor Program is to bridge the gap between the 5th grade and middle school music programs. The program inspires students, fosters an appreciation of classical music, enriches overall musicianship, and builds ensemble skills. The students learn to become leaders in their middle school bands and orchestras.
During this summer’s two nine-day programs, the students participated in group rehearsals and music theory classes with CSMA music instructors Stephanie Chang (Strings) and Kathleen Shulenberger and Lucas Jensen (Band). At the end of each session, the students performed a final concert for friends and family in CSMA’s Tateuchi Hall.
Summer Honors Strings
The Honors Strings students worked with CSMA faculty and alumni musicians. They had coaching sessions with outstanding CSMA strings students Mehrnaz Mirhosseini and Nikol Obradovic, who volunteered their time to work with the ensemble.
In rehearsals, Summer Honor Strings members learned music by Beethoven, Dvorak, and other composers. They also focused on strengthening musical skills like bowing technique, intonation, and dynamics. Most importantly, they experienced the joy of making music together and met the students who will be their friends in middle school music classes.
Summer Honors Band
The Honor Band students were treated to a short concert from Bay Area wind quintet Quinteto Latino, followed by coaching from Quinteto Latino and participants of the Seminario workshop at CSMA. Quinteto Latino’s mission is to build community through the performance and advocacy of Latino classical music. Their focus is on educating, enriching, and entertaining listeners of all ages and backgrounds. During the first ever Seminario Institute, Quinteto Latino convened a cohort of up-and-coming classical musicians of color from around the country for three days of teaching and performing.
Summer Honor Band students played music in a variety of styles, from folk songs and marches to a Caribbean calypso. With CSMA faculty instructors specializing in both woodwind and brass instruments, they developed their instrumental technique as well as their ensemble playing skills. At the end of the final performance, the young musicians of the Summer Honor Band couldn’t wait to start playing together again in middle school.
San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra Trip
All 78 participating students received a scholarship for the program, thanks to generous funding from CSMA and the Silicon Valley League of the San Francisco Symphony. The League also sponsored the students’ trip to Davies Symphony Hall in May, where they attended a performance by the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. Many of the students experienced their first time seeing a symphony orchestra!