CYM Students Perform in PMTA Honors Recital

Four students have completed the second local requirement of a state festival. We are certainly enjoying watching the progress in these students! The journey began when they entered the Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival in October. Read more about that phase of this journey here.

CYM piano students from Ms. Simmi’s piano studio performed this past Sunday at the local Pennsylvania Music Teacher’s Association Honors’ Recital in affiliation with the Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival.

The students performed beautifully and were awarded for advancing from the local round to the statewide showcase (occurring later this month at Penn State University).

Pianists Sami Alissa, Siena Smith, Yazan Alissa. (Not pictured, Clara Yuo)

Congratulations students and Ms. Simmi!

Let’s cheer these hard working students on as they prepare for the showcase on November 23.

Stay tuned for updates!

CYM Pianists Advance to Statewide Showcase

Congratulations and a job well done to these piano students from Ms. Simmi’s piano studio. This past weekend, they participated in the local round of the Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival (held by Pennsylvania Music Teachers’ Association). Each of the students received high scores on their theory exams as well as “Superior” rankings on their performances, and have qualified to perform in the Local Honors’ Recital here in Pittsburgh and the Statewide Showcase at PSU in November.

Let’s cheer them on as they progress through this Festival– stay tuned!

Summer Camp Highlight: Lochlan McGinnis

CYM student Lochlan McGinnis spent a week at the Chautauqua Music Camps this summer. This was Lochlan’s first experience with this well-known institution, where he studied with a private instructor and played in a chamber group and an orchestra. Instructors at the camps include members of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, as well as highly skilled teachers from around Western New York and Pennsylvania. The camp culminated in a concert that delighted family, friends, and area arts patrons.

Lochlan appreciated being able to spend time with his friends on the beautiful campus . He was pleasantly surprised at the friendliness of the staff of the institution, and feels the biggest take away from the experience was learning how to play with confidence music that he felt was beyond his range of abilities!

Chautauqua Institution is home to the world-class Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua Opera Company, and Chautauqua School of Music.

For more information on the Chautauqua Institution and programs for youth, visit Chautauqua Festival Schools 

Photos below from the Chautauqua Institution website:

 

 

CYM Guitar Students Attend Suzuki Summer Workshop

CYM students Ayan Ganesh, Ezra White, and Elijah Haberman attended the Greater Pittsburgh Suzuki Institute this summer!

Each day of the one-week camp, these students attended a masterclass, a guitar group class, and guitar ensemble, as well as electives that included art, dance, musical theater, and secondary instruments! Throughout the week they all honed their skills on the guitar and had a lot of fun along the way. There were a couple of “play-ins” which involved everyone in the institute. One in particular was a “pajama play-in” where Eli performed in awesome Pikachu pajamas (see below!). There were also solo recitals midweek and a big group concert to end the week on Friday.

Congratulations to all, and to Mr. Erich, their teacher!

 

CYM Student Attends Chautauqua Music Camp

Most people think of going to camp as sitting around the campfire and roasting marshmallows while friends tell spooky stories. For one CYM student, summer camp includes chamber classes, orchestra rehearsal, and performance!

Photo courtesy of youthchamberconnection.org

Lochlan McGinnis is attending the Chautauqua Orchestra Camp from Saturday August 10th through Saturday August 17th. While there, he’ll be learning and working with some of the best musicians from both Pennsylvania and New York including master string educator Donna Davis as well as conductor Edward Leonard,  Music Director of the Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh.

Photo courtesy of youthchamberconnection.org

At the end of the week, Lochlan will be performing with his peers. We can’t wait to hear about his experience there, and wish him the best of luck with his performances! Break a leg, Lochlan!

CYM Spotlight: Manus McGinnis and Hafsah Shahzad: Journey to the Ambassador Certificate

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.”

~Zig Ziglar

Setting goals is one of the most important steps to success and to expanding our abilities as musicians. Without a defined goal, even the most diligent person will fall short of the accomplishments awaiting them. At CYM there are established goals, including three levels of certification, open to all students.

Recently, Manus and Hafsah fulfilled a major requirement for the Ambassador level of the Young Artist Certificate Program. Each presented a recital as partial fulfillment of this second level of the Young Artist Program. As mentioned in an earlier post about the Ambassador Certificate, not only do the students perform three or four pieces of advanced literature, but they also present a brief lecture on each composer and composition.

Here’s a little background on each of these students and a glimpse of their motivation in preparing for this goal. (If you missed it, we previously highlighted the other student involved in this presentation, Réka Götz – read it here!)

Manus, whose performance on July 19th fulfilled the final requirement for certification, was awarded the Ambassador Certificate following the program.

He has played piano for 12 years, all at CYM, first with Ms. Sonia and now Ms. Grace. He earned a Good Citizen Award in 2017, and the Young Artists Scholar award in 2018. Manus prepared four pieces for the Ambassador event, and invited several friends to hear his work and listen to the performances of his colleagues, Hafsah and Réka. Manus especially enjoyed learning Vince Guaraldi’s Linus and Lucy as well as Pizza Time from the Spider-man video game. Regarding his practice routines, Manus said that he particularly enjoys practicing for performances when his dogs stretch out next to the piano and participate. Congratulations, Manus!

Hafsah has taken piano at CYM for 11 years. This year she will be starting her third year with Ms. Grace. Drawn to big and dramatic piano pieces, Hafsah loves to dig into Romantic era repertoire. She loves lush passages and minor modes. For those reasons, Hafsah was very motivated to learn the Brahms Rhapsody in G minor. Brahms embodies all the things she loves about playing the piano and being a musician. Hafsah has also played the flute, and is interested in attending medical school after she graduates. Congratulations, Hafsah!

Hats off to all three students and their teacher, Ms. Grace!

CYM Spotlight: Réka Götz and her Journey to the Ambassador Young Artist Certificate

When Réka was just a baby, she listened to music all the time. She heard music in the car, watched Baby Einstein, took early childhood music and movement classes with her mom, and listened to her Hungarian great grandmother sing as she worked around the house! Fast forward just a few short years, and you’ll find a poised young lady of 16 years who loves the arts, and embodies all that we strive for here at CYM.

This past weekend, Réka fulfilled a major requirement for the Ambassador level of the Young Artist Certificate Program. She presented a recital, along with two other students, as partial fulfillment of this second level of the Young Artist Program. As mentioned in an earlier post about the Ambassador Certificate, not only do the students perform three or four pieces of advanced literature, but they also present a brief lecture on each composer and composition.

Just how did Réka manage to take this pathway to such a high level of musicality? A junior at Allegheny Senior High School, Réka has been studying piano at CYM for 11 years. She studied first with Miss Rowena, then Miss Sonia, and currently studies with Ms. Grace. She also participated in the American Legends group classes, from which she has made lifelong friends! Réka also studied cello, and played in the school orchestra for six years. Enriching experiences with her family continually provide Réka with a well-rounded education in the arts: her grandmother has been taking her to hear the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since Réka was in elementary school.

Réka’s performance included two Preludes by Gershwin, and the Prelude in B minor by Rachmaninoff. Of her pieces, Réka says the Rachmaninoff is her favorite because: “I can play my heart out, it’s pretty, and like a roller coaster!”

Ms. Grace, Hafsah, Réka, Manus

Réka, pictured here in the middle of the three three performers, has a few more requirements to complete to receive the Young Artist Certificate for the Ambassador level. Stay tuned for her progress through the coming year!

Congratulations, Réka, and Ms. Grace!

Young Artists’ Ambassadors Astound Audience!

The Young Artists Ambassadors Recital was an astounding success! All who attended were treated to a fantastic night of music.

Ms. Hafsah Shahzad started the evening’s activities with stunning renditions of Rhapsody in G minor by Johannes Brahms, Nuages Gris, S. 199 by Franz Liszt, and Prelude in E minor, Op. 28 No. 4 by Frédéric Chopin.

Mr. Manus McGinnis continued the night’s festivities with excellent performances of  Linus and Lucy by Vincent Guaraldi, Clarinet Blues by Martha Mier, Vivace from Sonatina in C Major, Op. 36 No. 1 by Muzio Clementi, and “Pizza Time” by Luigi Denza.

Lastly, Ms. Réka Götz finished the evening with a stellar finale! She performed two pieces from George Gershwin’s Three Preludes (II. Andante con moto and III. Agitato), and Prelude in B minor, Op. 32 No. 10 by Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Young Violinist Plays Book 1 Recital

Jonah Tedford, age 8, played a Book 1 recital this past week. Accompanied by his mother, Dr. Shasha Piastro-Tedford, Jonah played for his group class at our Wexford location. The group is taught by Ms. Rochelle, and Ms. Leah is Jonah’s private teacher. Congratulations to all!

Bravo, Jonah!

CYM Students Aim for Ambassador Certificate

Several CYM students are embarking on a journey to complete the Center for Young Musicians Ambassador Certificate! Designed for advancing students, the program requires a performance repertoire of at least three pieces. A concert is presented with each student performing three or four selections of music. In addition, the performers will present a brief lecture on each composer and composition.

This is sure to be an exciting and informative event. Please mark your calendars for this free concert, held at 7:00 PM, July 19th, at our Sewickley location.

Stay tuned for more information about our performers!

The Center for Young Musicians