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ABOVE: CMPI alumna Abigail Lopez poses for a post-recital picture in Symphony Center’s Buntrock Hall.

Recent CMPI alumna Abigail Lopez won’t need to travel far this fall to accomplish big things – the Aurora native just started her freshman year at DePaul University…remotely. The bassoon performance major is studying with Chicago Symphony Orchestra Assistant Principal Bassoon William Buchman, where she looks forward to working creatively to make the most of her at-home learning experience.

One of Abby’s favorite experiences while in CMPI was opening for the visiting Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal at Symphony Center, in November 2019. In addition to the pre-concert performance, CMPI students were able to attend the concert and meet the ensembles’ esteemed music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

This past spring, Abby also enjoyed creating and hosting virtual concerts. Her quintet, Lakeshore Winds, performed a movement from Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, and she also participated in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra’s (CYSO) virtual performance of excerpts from Wagner’s Ring cycle. She was even invited to serve as a host during CYSO’s Performance Week.

During the summer, Abby had the fascinating experience of interning at Sivananthan Laboratories. She was able to complete research on the physics of music and dissect how sound, harmonics, and frequencies work. For her final project, she researched the physics of a flute and created a workshop for students to make a flute out of a PVC pipe.

Abby’s advice for current CMPI students is to always take a trial lesson with a teacher before you audition at a conservatory or university. Creating these kinds of connections makes the audition process less overwhelming. She also suggests choosing programs based on the teacher or program and not just the school’s name and reputation.

To stay up to date on all CMPI alumni and activities, be sure to follow CMPI on social media: Instagram @chicagompi and Facebook @cmpimusic.

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