Four of our young guitar students will be broadening their music studies this summer! Ayan Ganesh (9), Josh Laman (10), Libby Laman (8), and Ezra White (7) are enrolled in the Suzuki Student Institute, which will take place in August. Students will gain experience in performing through Masterclasses as well as group classes. The institute also offers each student one elective such as visual art, theory, introductions to other instruments, or an ensemble!
All the best to our guitarists, as well as their teacher, Mr. Erich, who will be attending the Guitar Practicum for teachers. We look forward to an update this August from each of you!
Continuing with our senior spotlight, we are delighted today to feature Joshua Faber.
Joshua began his studies at the Center for Young Musicians when he was just five years old. He began with an early childhood music class taught by Ms. Kara. When he moved into private piano lessons, he studied with Ms. Sonia, and eventually with his current teacher, Ms. Simmi. He recalls enjoying taking theory and guitar, but piano was always his main instrument at CYM. Joshua really enjoyed the group piano class with Ms. Simmi that he attended with his friends in the piano department. A highlight for Joshua this last past year of study was having the option of choosing some of his own music to work on. Some of his favorites include selections from video game music, such as Death By Glamour from Undertale.
Joshua also plays the clarinet, and was active in his high school’s concert and marching bands. During high school years he also enjoyed extra-curricular activities such as robotics and electrical engineering.
Joshua is headed to Penn State in the fall, where he is exploring the interdisciplinary Digital Media, Arts, and Technology (DIGIT) major.
Asked who he would like to thank at CYM, Joshua didn’t miss a beat as he offered sincere appreciation for Ms. Kara, Ms. Sonia, and Ms. Simmi for their excellent teaching over the years!
All the best, Joshua!
Did you happen to catch Grease at the Benedum Center this month? CYM student Jayne Miner auditioned for the show and earned a spot in the Teen Ensemble for this production! Grease was presented as part of CLO’s Summer Program at the Benedum, and featured Clay Aiken.
Jayne is a student of Ms. Simmi, and has been studying at CYM for 7 years! She also plays trumpet, and is active in her school’s concert and jazz bands, as well as PYCO’s Chamber Brass Ensemble. But wait, there’s more! Since she is also a singer, she participates in her school’s chorus!
Jayne’s previous musical experience includes Annie, Jr, The Sound of Music, and CLO Academy’s production of 9 to 5. A rising 9th grader, Jayne also participates every summer in the community’s Performing Arts Camp- a 4-week daily musical theater camp that culminates in two productions.
Congratulations, Jayne, on all your hard work and successes! We can’t wait to see what you do next!
Jayne is pictured here (front row, center) with the rest of the Teen Ensemble!
It is an exciting time for CYM when we have graduating seniors. Today we put a spotlight on Matthew Matisz, student of Erich Reibe.
Our marketing department caught up with Matthew to get his perspective on growing as a musician through Center for Young Musicians.
Matthew started in CYM’s Early Childhood Music program with Victoria, in order to lay the foundation for joyful music making, music learning, and literacy. Matthew recalls stepping away to Duquesne for beginning cello lessons, and reflected on a period shortly after where he took some time to be sure he knew what instrument he really wanted to play. He started to explore his instrument options, and began listening to music for fun, honing his musical tastes. Soon he became captivated by guitar music, and felt motivated to learn some of the rock songs he was hearing. Matthew and his family decided to come back to CYM, and he teamed up with Mr Erich for guitar lessons at CYM. The rest is history, as they say, and anyone who heard Matthew on the solo recital will attest to the diligence in his music studies over the years at CYM!
When asked if any funny moment at CYM stands out in his mind, he recalled this story: In the middle of a recital, he was following the chord progression as he played with Mr Erich. He suddenly skipped an entire line of chords of the song. Mr Erich just adjusted and improvised until Matthew got back on track and then they ended the song! No one in the audience knew what had happened, thankfully! We have all been there, Matthew!
During high school, Matthew participated in three school musicals, Mock Trial (served as Captain his junior and senior years), and fundraisers for cancer research. For his studies beyond graduation, he will be attending St Andrews in Scotland. He promises that he will do his best to learn how to play golf, in between his theology studies. When he finishes, he will have a Masters of Theology, which in the U.S. is comparable a Bachelor’s with Honors. His first purchase in Scotland will be a new guitar so that he can continue to play. We think this is a great idea!
Matthew expressed deep appreciation for his time at the Center for Young Musicians. He is thankful for the opportunity it gave him to grow as a musician and to figure out what he really wanted to study. It means a lot to him that everyone welcomed him back “with open arms”. Matthew would like to thank Mr Erich again for the lessons, and for the fun in the Friday Night groups where he could relax, hang out, and play new music. All in all, he has come to realize that what CYM gave him was a place to grow as a musician, and to use his time there -and his music – to escape from the everyday.
CYM pianist, Abby Bojalad (center, student of Ms. Simmi), is busy preparing for the Streator-Smith Competition, hosted by the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the Pennsylvania Music Teachers’ Association on April 6, 2019. This competition is open to piano, voice & string students in grades 7-12; piano contestants must perform two memorized pieces from different style periods.
This competition was started in 1992 in honor of two past PMTA members, Lois Streator and Lois Smith who were both incredibly active in the local PMTA chapter and also as organists, pianists and accompanists around the Pittsburgh community.
Help cheer Abby on in her preparation for this event!
Last week, Mr. Erich and several of his students joined host of the Saturday Light Brigade, Larry Berger, for a special presentation on WCRT 88.3. Guitarists Ezra White (6), Libby and Josh Laman (7 and 9), and Isla and William Wiegand-Hammond (9 and 10), presented a variety of music, including Suzuki song favorites, original compositions, A-ha, and David Bowie.
Not only did these young pros give entertaining performances, they were interviewed, answering questions pertaining to the joy, challenges, and fun of playing the guitar.
Didn’t catch the live broadcast? You can catch the recording here!
Congratulations to piano student of Ms. Simmi, Kenzie Bucchi, for being awarded with a 200-Day Practice Challenge trophy! Not only did Kenzie give a great performance at the Holiday Concert, but she worked very hard for 200 straight days to achieve this huge accomplishment. Keep it up, Kenzie!
A big congratulations to Eliza, cello student of Mr. Ryan, who graduated from Suzuki Book 2 last Saturday! Completing a Suzuki book takes many months of hard work and dedication. Good luck with your future cello endeavors, Eliza!
Last night, during our annual Light Up Night celebration, Luke Shin was given the 200-day Practice Challenge Award! It takes great determination and effort to achieve this goal, and Luke, you did it!
“To acheive great things, one needs two things: a plan, and not quite enough time.” ~Leonard Bernstein
Well, we have two CYM students who planned well, and achieved very great things!
Next up in our Awards highlights: The Good Citizen Award, and the Young Artist Certificate!
The Good Citizen Award recognizes students who demonstrate consistent growth in musical skill, and who also contribute good will to fellow students at CYM and the extended community. Goals include performing at several CYM events and at least one event serving the greater community. This Award was presented to: Clara Yuo!
Ms Simmi and Clara
Clara studies with Simmi Tripathi. This school year, she performed the first movement of Beethoven Piano Sonata Op. 49, No. 2 at the PMTA’s Honor’s Recital for the Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival contestants who are advancing to the state level. At the state level, she performed at Temple University and received a Dorothy Sutton Performance
Festival medal and certificate.
The Young Artist Certificate recognizes students who are actively performing in and assisting with CYM’s concerts and activities. This award has three levels of achievement. The SCHOLAR shows consistent effort, musical growth, and personal commitment to his/her program of study by performing at various CYM events, attending two events, and attending two Department Group classes. This Award was presented to: Julian Drake!
Julian studies guitar with Danny Rectenwald. He is in 9th grade
and has been playing the guitar for ten years. He plays guitar in his school’s jazz band. In addition to guitar, he studies percussion with Phil Webster of the River City Brass Band. He plays the snare drum in the North Hills High School Marching Band and hopes to play marching tenor drums (quads) next season. He is a percussionist in the North Hills Wind Symphony. He enjoys composing music in his spare time. After he graduates, he wants to study Computer
Science and become a software engineer.
CONGRATULATIONS STUDENTS, TEACHERS, AND PARENTS!