Skip to main content

My name is Ella Saputra, and I am an eighteen-year-old violinist from Schaumburg, IL. I am a recently graduated senior from James B. Conant High School and have been involved with CMPI for four years, since its inaugural cohort during my freshman year of high school.

CMPI quartetSince my family has no musical background, one of the biggest challenges I have faced in my musical journey over the last fourteen years has been navigating the complexities and intricacies of the classical music world. Figuring out the next steps to further my musical training and career, especially during my preparation for college auditions, often felt daunting and overwhelming. However, CMPI has been an incredible resource for my family and I, and the organization, has been extremely impactful on my musical journey by providing me with support, guidance, and a sense of community.

One of the biggest impacts CMPI has had on my life has been the support system that has been created to help me succeed. With the combined efforts of my student navigator, my CMPI mentor, my teacher, and all the CMPI staff, I always feel that I have someone to turn to for advice when I have questions or concerns about anything to do with my musical training. Especially during college audition season, this support network has helped me in so many ways by providing me with advice, training, and resources to help alleviate much of my stress during my college audition season.

National pathways 2022

CMPI has also provided me with many opportunities that have offered me invaluable feedback and insight from some of the foremost musicians and a benchmark for me to assess my own growth and playing. Observing masterclasses, participating in info sessions/workshops, and playing for exceptional musicians, such as Nathan Cole, Julian Rachlin, and Rachel Barton Pine, has given me the chance to learn from the masters of violin playing, whose advice I find myself continuously applying to my playing. From performance juries, to recitals, mock auditions, and masterclasses, all of these opportunities to practice performing and receive feedback have helped me to become a more mentally-resilient musician. I can find the weaknesses and strengths in my playing, set goals for myself, and learn more about the classical music world and my own journey.

The highlight of my involvement with CMPI has been the opportunity to form friendships and bonds with a community of supportive and passionate musicians in and outside the rehearsal room. Playing in the CMPI String Quartet has been one of the greatest joys in my high school career. Not only did my experience playing in the quartet push me to grow tremendously as a chamber musician and player, but it also allowed me to form friendships with some of the most genuinely wonderful people. I am so grateful for my CMPI String Quartet chamber mates and mentors for all the joy and knowledge I have gained from my time working with them.

Another especially significant experience has been the privilege to play in the 2022 and 2023 National Pathways Festival Orchestra (NPFO), an ensemble composed of high school musicians of color from pathways programs across the country. Partaking in NPFO has given me the chance to play alongside Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra members, who have all shared their orchestral playing tips and wisdom with me, and peers who share the same passion for music. It has been so meaningful to me to have forged so many relationships and bonds with fellow musicians from all over the country.

I have always felt so incredibly inspired and empowered by the community of peers and mentors around me, which has really helped to deepen my passion and commitment to music. CMPI has played such an important role in my musical journey and I cannot express how thankful I am for all the support and guidance the organization has given me.


Ella Saputra and friends from the 2023 National Pathways Orchestra, Ella in the CMPI Quartet, Ella and friends from the 2022 National Pathways Orchestra

Would you like to make a gift to support CMPI?

Donate today