Program to help young musicians this summer

Bo Gemmell

Children aged 10 to 18 can join in on two weeks of instructions

The School of Music will see some younger faces this summer during the Summer Chamber Studies program.

During the two-week program, students from ages 10 to 18 will work with professional musicians in the La Catrina Quartet, who will instruct students with activities focusing on individual and group performance.

Tim Gallagher, associate professor in sociology, said his daughter participated in the program last year. Kelly, a 12-year-old violinist, liked working in the small groups, Gallagher said.

“She got intense individual lessons with one of the four La Catrina members,” he said. “Plus she got very good group ensemble lessons.”

The La Catrina currently consists of Daniel Vega-Albela, violin; George Figuera, violin; Jorge Martinez, viola and Alan Daowz, cello.

Lucy Zaynor, director of Summer Chamber Studies, said Blake Espy will replace Figuera in May.

In addition to private and group lessons, the quartet uses technique classes, small chamber ensembles, master classes and theory classes to educate students.

Philip Wang, associate professor in the College of Exercise, Leisure and Sport, said the La Catrina Quartet was the best asset to the program.

Wang’s 12-year-old son Grant sharpened his viola skills with the quartet.

“Those guys were just wonderful,” Wang said. “Not only were they good musicians, but they were good teachers. They really inspired the kids.”

Gallagher said Kelly enjoyed the program and will return for lessons this year.

“She liked it very much,” Gallagher said. “In fact, she was sad it was ending after 10 days.”

Last year’s group experienced more than just music. Gallagher said the children swam and climbed the climbing wall at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, spent time at the Ice Arena and received tickets to the Cleveland Orchestra’s performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.

Applications for the program are due by May 1.

Contact performing arts reporter Bo Gemmell at [email protected].