During the summer break, CMPI Violin Fellow Noah Briones kept himself busy and active while staying at home. In the two summers prior to joining CMPI, Noah participated in Birch Creek’s Symphony summer program. This year, Noah was looking forward to going to Interlochen Summer Music camp but its on-campus program was canceled due to Covid-19 concerns. Nonetheless, Noah was able to maximize the use of his summer by engaging in a one-on-one violin bootcamp with his teacher, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Assistant Concertmaster David Taylor. While virtually meeting for online lessons with Mr. Taylor three times a week in the summer, Noah was able to get a jump start on learning pieces that he will use for his college auditions, including Bach’s Second Concerto, Second Partita, and Third Sonata for violin.

“Having a list of all the college application requirements of the schools where I plan to apply really helps to guide my thinking about college and future auditions,” says Noah, who believes that planning and doing are the best ways to keep from being anxious.

Of course, summer also included as many outdoor activities as could be safely done by himself, with family, or with a few friends. Among Noah’s favorite things to do this summer was playing table tennis with his friends as well as exercising to a newly found fitness regimen with a jump rope.

Noah will be attending his junior year at Riverside Brookfield High School this fall. While the first quarter of this school year will be fully on-line for Noah, chamber orchestra and music theory classes remain on his schedule. Outside of school, Noah is active in the music ministry of his church and with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO). He looks forward to his participation in the CYSO’s Philharmonic Orchestra and their chamber music program. Noah says, “I don’t know exactly what online orchestra learning will look and feel like this year, but I’m excited to get started!”

Noah also looks forward to continuing as a CMPI fellow. Among last year’s CMPI experiences, Noah enjoyed watching great performances not just by world-class orchestras, but also the performances of other CMPI fellows. “Watching my CMPI peers perform at the shared recitals inspired me to keep working on getting better, and also assured me that I am not the only one working hard at pursuing this goal,” he recalls.

Noah is grateful for the experiences and the financial support that CMPI has afforded him. With CMPI’s help, Noah was able to purchase a high quality, college-level instrument. In addition, he was able to begin and maintain consistent weekly private lessons with an excellent violin teacher.

When asked what his dreams for the future might be, Noah thoughtfully responds, “If one day in the future I could sit in the same chair where my teacher now sits in his orchestra, that would be a dream come true! For now, I know I still have a long way to go.”

To learn more about the CMPI Fellows, check out chicagopathways.org/fellows/.

Above, L to R: CMPI Fellow Noah Briones… Snags a post-concert selfie with violin rockstar Ray Chen; Takes a lesson with his private teacher—CSO Assistant Concertmaster David Taylor; Poses for a family photo after a CYSO performance.

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