November 18, 2021 in News

A Chat with Percussion Faculty Member Michael Kozakis

Student Navigator Jennifer Woodrum had the opportunity to sit down at the PASIC convention in Indianapolis this past weekend with CMPI Faculty member, Michael Kozakis. Michael serves on the percussion…
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November 16, 2021 in News

Mozart’s Delightful Melodies

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) was quite a character, notorious for his crude humor and bawdy vocal canons. Despite his idiosyncratic nature, he was equally skilled in composing instrumental music, sublime…
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November 16, 2021 in News

A Conversation with CMPI Mentor Seth Pae

In this month’s CMPI mentor feature, Seth Pae talks to us about his current music projects, mentors, and his belief in CMPI’s mission. Seth enjoys a diverse musical career playing,…
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November 16, 2021 in News

Looking Forward and Back: Alum Amanda Perez

Amanda Perez is a violist who has dedicated herself to intensive study and seeking opportunities to grow whenever possible. A junior at Northern Illinois University, Amanda graduated from CMPI after…
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November 15, 2021 in News

Competitions: Friend or Foe?

Many student musicians participate in numerous competitions growing up — and many do not. CMPI fellows follow this pattern, with a few fellows participating in numerous competitions, a larger number who…
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October 22, 2021 in News

Also, A Composer: CMPI Fellow Jonathan Miller On Composition

Along with being a CMPI cellist, I have long held an interest in composing. When I was little, around age three or four, I would have lengthy, improvised jam sessions…
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October 22, 2021 in News

Fellows Reflect on Recent Concerts

One of the perks of being a CMPI fellow is access to complimentary tickets throughout the year to attend Chicago Sinfonietta and Chicago Symphony Orchestra performances. CMPI fellows are required…
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October 21, 2021 in News

Once-in-a-Lifetime: Parents Reflect on a Quartet Trip to France Amid a Pandemic

CMPI Student Navigator Jennifer Woodrum recently had the privilege of sitting down with Ayesha Shahid and Angela Whitfield — two fierce CMPI moms who know an amazing opportunity when they…
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October 21, 2021 in News

From the CSO to CMPI: Faculty Violinist David Taylor

Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) assistant concertmaster David Taylor can be considered one of the living pillars of the classical music community in Chicago and beyond. He began his current role…
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October 21, 2021 in News

A Multifaceted Violin Career: Mentor Caitlin Edwards

Music has always been an integral part of life for CMPI mentor Caitlin Edwards. Caitlin sang in her church choir as a young child and started playing the violin in…
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October 20, 2021 in News

Interview with Alumnus Nando Cordeiro

When asked what advice he would give to current CMPI students, alumnus Nando Cordeiro said, “Be organized and mindful.” After his final year of study, auditions, and decision making, he…
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October 19, 2021 in News

A Constant Friend: Unaccompanied Bach for Strings

When string players look at almost any audition list, they will see a commonality: a required movement or two of unaccompanied Bach. Violinists are typically asked to play from Bach’s…
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September 27, 2021 in News

Staff Spotlight: James Hall, Program Manager

James Hall imagined being a part of an innovative program supporting gifted pre-college musicians from underrepresented backgrounds in the Chicagoland area long before the launch of CMPI. While working as…
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September 25, 2021 in News

A Student Navigator Walks into a Recital

Student Navigator Jennifer Woodrum reflects on her recent attendance at CMPI fellow Ella Saputra’s recital. The day began like most other days with some peace and quiet, morning coffee and…
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September 24, 2021 in News

Fall Preview for CMPI Seniors

Senior year of high school is always filled with lots of emotions — from excitement to utter fear — as students prepare for college, send in their applications, and get…
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September 24, 2021 in News

Ravinia Kick-off Event!

An absolute highlight of our last month at CMPI has to be the Kick-off Event at Ravinia on September 8. CMPI families, mentors, and staff gathered on the Ravinia lawn…
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September 24, 2021 in News

A New Class of Fellows for 2021-22

The 2021/22 academic year will see CMPI’s community grow from 93 fellows to 108. With the addition of two double bassists to our program, CMPI now has students who play…
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September 24, 2021 in News

Teaching with a Growth Mindset: Faculty Spotlight on Davis King

Teachers who understand the unique needs and aspirations of each student and work with them in reaching their goals are the kind of teachers that become part of the success…
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September 24, 2021 in News

Providing Mentorship: Violinist and Educator Danielle Simandl

Violinist and educator Danielle Simandl Danielle became involved with CMPI after catching up with our Student Navigator, Jennifer Woodrum. “We were performing together at a gig, and during a break, Jenny…
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August 28, 2021 in News

CMPI Summer Camps – August Update

Continuing from our July edition, CMPI fellows share more experiences, wisdom and memorable moments from their summer camps in this article. They are sure to carry with them inspiration and…
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August 28, 2021 in News

Navigating CMPI: A Conversation with Student Navigator Miguel Aguirre

Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative (CMPI) is blessed with an abundance of talented individuals. From our young fellows, to the seasoned teachers and faculty, to the committed staff who keep everything…
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August 28, 2021 in News

CMPI and Ravinia: A Harmonious Partnership

A highlight of this past summer with CMPI has been our constant engagement with the Ravinia Summer Festival in Highland Park. Over the summer we have been lucky enough to…
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August 28, 2021 in News

Faculty (and Parent!) Feature: Timothy Riordan, Trombone

CMPI trombone faculty member Timothy Riordan knows how to fix any technique problems his students face because he has encountered most of them himself. Introduced to the trombone at an…
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July 28, 2021 in News

CMPI Statistics 2021-2022

As CMPI enters its third year of programming, 38 new students and families will be joining the program beginning September 1, 2021. Here are a few statistics about CMPI’s full…
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July 27, 2021 in News

CMPI Summer Camps – July Update

Our fellows are enjoying this wonderful time of the year by immersing themselves not just in the sunshine but also in exceptional music, teachers, and the musical community. Yes! Summer…
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July 26, 2021 in News

Know a Fellow: Xavier Perry

Exciting times are up ahead for our CMPI graduates who have successfully completed their college application journey. One such student is cellist Xavier Perry, who graduated from Kenwood Academy High…
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July 26, 2021 in News

Staff Spotlight: Welcome New Student Navigator Jade Garcia!

For Jade Garcia, CMPI’s newest student navigator, all roads seemed to lead to CMPI. “ inspired me because it combined everything that I am passionate about — my love of…
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July 26, 2021 in News

Teaching with Greatness: CMPI Faculty Member Sang Mee Lee

CMPI violin and chamber music faculty member Sang Mee Lee is in many ways the textbook definition of a model teacher. She certainly has the pedigree — including two degrees…
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June 17, 2021 in News

A Catalyst for Change: Adrienne Thompson discusses a results-driven life

Adrienne Thompson knows a thing or two about tough love. The Chicago-native has made a name for herself by thriving in challenging situations, including working in the banking industry, raising…
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June 16, 2021 in News

Picture Gallery: CMPI Family Day, June 6, 2021

CMPI celebrated a triumphant school year during a socially distanced Family Fun Day in early June.
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June 16, 2021 in News

EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW: CMPI Juneteenth Celebration

Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative programming has been underway for nearly two years. As a new organization, CMPI’s initial focus was on creating an infrastructure of support for our families. The…
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June 16, 2021 in News

Common Ground: A reflection with CMPI Mentor Ayriole Frost

The Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative engages some of the most committed musicians to mentor its talented young fellows, so that they can grow and reach their full potential. One such…
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June 15, 2021 in News

Casting into Music: CMPI Faculty Member Michael Hining

Michael Hining has been launching the musical journeys of his students from his Oak Park studio for over 35 years. His enthusiasm for mentoring future artists is contagious. When asked…
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June 15, 2021 in News

Know a Fellow: Nate Scott

Senior viola fellow Nate Scott finds inspiration in an unlikely place: “Something that inspires me as a musician is watching someone gush about what they love about a particular song…
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June 15, 2021 in News

Know a Fellow: Bryce Kayser

CMPI Viola Fellow Bryce Kayser just finished his senior year of high school. Starting this fall, he will begin his undergraduate studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder! But before he…
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May 17, 2021 in News

Catching up and looking ahead with CMPI alumni

This month we are catching up with the first class of CMPI graduates to see how their freshman year of college went. The alums offer some reflections on the past…
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May 17, 2021 in News

Juneteenth Celebration: CMPI Commemorates Change

The Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative began its first year of programming in 2019, a year that now feels like a different world. It was before the onset of the COVID-19…
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May 17, 2021 in News

Learning from the Maestro: Riccardo Muti Coaches CMPI Fellows

It has been quite awhile since Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Director Riccardo Muti has been to Chicago’s Symphony Center, but on March 31, he returned—albeit in a virtual form—to coach…
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May 17, 2021 in News

Nurturing Excellence: CMPI Faculty Member Hideko Amano

Ms. Hideko Amano discovered the sound of her future during a third grade music class back home, in her native Japan. “I became mesmerized by the flute solo of the…
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May 17, 2021 in News

A Conversation with CMPI Mentor Alex Hoffman

Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative (CMPI) is home not just to some of the most talented middle- and high school musicians. CMPI also has become a common ground for some of…
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May 17, 2021 in News

The Journey of a Flautist: CMPI fellow Miguel Rodriguez

A talented and aspiring flute performer, CMPI senior Miguel Rodriguez started his musical journey in fifth grade. After trying out numerous instruments, he felt a strong connection with the flute.…
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May 17, 2021 in News

Top of the Class: CMPI seniors announce future plans

  It has been a year... Of closed schools and remote learning. Of masks and social isolation. Of toilet paper and disinfectant shortages. Of Zoom family meetings and virtual lessons.…
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May 17, 2021 in News

Know a Fellow: Olivia Molina

When the pandemic’s quarantine began, musical activities suddenly transitioned to virtual options. So, too, did the college application process. CMPI violin fellow Olivia Molina had to negotiate these factors throughout…
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April 12, 2021 in News

Staff Spotlight: CMPI Student Navigator Jennifer Woodrum

Let's take a peek behind the curtain and get to know some of the fantastic Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative administration. First up? CMPI Student Navigator Jennifer Woodrum. Name: Jennifer Woodrum…
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April 12, 2021 in News

My Buddy and Me: CMPI offers unique training partnership with Northwestern University

Throughout the Spring 2021 semester, Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative fellows have participated in a collaboration with the Northwestern University String Pedagogy Department. The 12 participating CMPI students have been paired…
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April 12, 2021 in News

A Conversation with CMPI Mentor Brent Taghap

CMPI Mentor Brent Taghap began playing the violin at age five in his home state of Florida. Taghap recalls asking his parents for a violin after seeing a child playing…
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April 12, 2021 in News

Signature Sound: Getting to know CMPI Faculty Member Desirée Ruhstrat

CMPI Violin Faculty Member Desirée Ruhstrat Desirée Ruhstrat’s journey as a violinist and educator began at age three-and-a-half, when she started her studies at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. She…
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April 12, 2021 in News

Know a Fellow: Nicole Kwasny

CMPI Senior Violin Fellow Nicole Kwasny | Image from Senn High Arts Twitter, June 2020 With college auditions behind her, violinist Nicole Kwasny is ready to take on the world.…
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April 12, 2021 in News

Know a Fellow: Michelle Brannon

CMPI Senior Flute Fellow Michelle Brannon One of the goals of Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative is to ensure that each fellow can gain admission to a top music school or…
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March 16, 2021 in News

Know a Fellow: Melissa Everson

  CMPI Clarinet Fellow Melissa Everson lives by a motto: Just keep going. This seems like apt advice for everyone, especially as the world just surpassed the one-year anniversary of…
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March 15, 2021 in News

CMPI fellows to play for Riccardo Muti

ABOVE: The CMPI String Quartet rehearses Verdi's Quartet in E minor. This winter, the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative staff received a remarkable request: Maestro Riccardo Muti, esteemed music director of…
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March 15, 2021 in News

Know a Fellow: Adriana Koch

Just as March brings with it a growing sense of excitement and positive vibes, so too does Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative Fellow Adriana Koch. A high school junior and oboist,…
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March 15, 2021 in News

Sound Reasoning: A conversation with CMPI Coach Horacio Contreras

A celebrated concert cellist, chamber musician, pedagogue and scholar, Horacio Contreras first was exposed to music through the famed El Sistema music education program in his native country of Venezuela.…
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March 15, 2021 in News

A light ahead: Welcome to the March CMPI Newsletter

Dear Friends and Family of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative, As we mark the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, let us take stock of where we are and, more importantly,…
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March 15, 2021 in News

Dynamic Warm-up: CMPI fellows learn Alexander Technique

In January, the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative hosted Chicago-based Alexander Technique teacher and flutist, Jill Burlingame.  Burlingame came highly recommended by one of CMPI’s partner organizations, The Chicago Youth Symphony…
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March 15, 2021 in News

A conversation with CMPI Mentor Kyle Dickson

Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative mentor Kyle Dickson’s musical interests began in grade school, in Detroit's public school system. He remembers going on field trips to watch orchestra concerts conducted by…
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February 12, 2021 in News

Spanning Boundaries: A conversation with CMPI mentor James Sanders

Chicago-born-and-based violinist James Sanders has drawn inspiration from his mother’s Dominican heritage along with his classical pedigree to create a career with myriad successes in the jazz and orchestral worlds.…
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February 11, 2021 in News

Celebrating the musical contributions of liberty, love, and Black Americans

Dear Friends and Family of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative, It seems like so much has changed since I wrote to you at the end of 2020: COVID vaccines are…
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February 10, 2021 in News

The DOs and DON’Ts for Zoom Mock Auditions

Last month, CMPI hosted a series of Live, Over Zoom! Mock Auditions. The senior woodwinds and brass played for trumpet professor Leah Schumann from VanderCook College of Music, flute professor…
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February 10, 2021 in News

Faculty Feature: William Buchman

Bill Buchman is an example of the career success and longevity possible in classical music, and that there are many paths one can take to get there. Bill has worked…
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February 10, 2021 in News

Know a Fellow: Eric Bahena

CMPI Bassoon Fellow Eric Bahena "Make sure you start your college applications early," advises Eric Bahena, a senior bassoon fellow with the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative. To date, Eric has…
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February 10, 2021 in News

Know a Fellow: Miriam Kessler

CMPI Harp Fellow Miriam Kessler Sophomore Miriam Kessler is particularly unique when compared to other CMPI fellows -- she is CMPI’s only harpist! Ironically, she chose the harp at age…
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December 21, 2020 in News

New instruments for CMPI Fellows!

New instruments for CMPI Fellows! As we get ready to usher in a New Year, several CMPI students from the 2020-2021 cohort have already used their instrument stipend to purchase…
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December 21, 2020 in News

A conversation with CMPI mentor Kevin Gupana

Kevin Gupana distinctly remembers when he first got serious about the oboe. It was his freshman year of high school, at the annual holiday assembly. “The full orchestra was onstage,…
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December 21, 2020 in News

Santa’s come early: Here’s your December CMPI newsletter!

Dear Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative community, Can you imagine a holiday season without music? From popular songs to church choirs to roaming carolers—and even some of those earworm commercial jingles—these…
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December 21, 2020 in News

Know a Fellow: Zachary Allen

CMPI Oboe Fellow Zachary Allen CMPI fellows are truly extraordinary, in music and in life, as you will see in this Q & A with Zachary Allen.  Zach is a…
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December 21, 2020 in News

Know a Fellow: Noah Briones

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…
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December 21, 2020 in News

Faculty Feature: Martine Benmann

Fostering Musicality: CMPI Faculty Member Martine Benmann CMPI Faculty Member Martine Benmann Cellist and pedagogue Martine Benmann has been immersed in music-making for quite literally her entire life. “Although my…
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December 21, 2020 in News

Introducing CMPI Faculty Member Orit Carpenter

Free your mind and the breaths will follow A screen grab of CMPI Performance Psychologist Dr. Orit Carpenter, from her summer 2020 Zoom lecture to the program’s senior fellows. “Working…
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November 24, 2020 in News

Know a Fellow: Rafael Noriega

It’s that time of year! The weather is changing, clothing styles are back to layering, and high school seniors are stressing. Well, not too much, hopefully. The Chicago Musical Pathways…
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November 24, 2020 in News

Know a Fellow: Nando Cordeiro

CMPI Fellow Nando Corderio CMPI trumpet fellow Nando Cordeiro takes us on his journey of the last few months, transitioning to online learning, taking trial lessons while at the same…
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November 24, 2020 in News

Know a Fellow: Ixchel Camacho

CMPI Violin Fellow Ixchel Camacho performs as a member of the Orquesta la Tezoateca This year, CMPI seniors are adapting to the new virtual process of engaging prospective colleges. For…
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November 24, 2020 in News

Know a Fellow: Kailie Holliday

CMPI Fellow Kailie Holliday Cellist Kailie Holliday is certainly making the most of her final year of high school. Not only is she playing in the Merit School of Music…
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November 24, 2020 in News

Faculty Feature: Lucinda Ali-Landing

Generational Talent: CMPI Faculty Member Lucinda Ali-Landing Lucinda Ali-Landing wears many hats in Chicago’s music community — she is a violinist, educator, entrepreneur, and advocate. So it follows naturally that…
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November 24, 2020 in News

Go Fund Them: Help finance new instruments for CMPI fellows

Four CMPI fellows, Sameer Agrawal (violin, grade 9), Abby Lopez (bassoon, grade 12), Jonathan Miller (cello, grade 9) and Oliver Talukder (oboe, grade 12), were featured on WFMT’s Introductions on Saturday, December…
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November 24, 2020 in News

Zoomed In: CMPI offers elite masterclasses in 20-21

The fall semester has been packed with incredible masterclass performance opportunities for CMPI fellows.  The busy calendar of activities launched on October 5, with a masterclass led by Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist…
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November 19, 2020 in News

This #GivingTuesday, give the gift of music, opportunity, and access.

Dear Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative community, The holiday season is upon us! I hope everyone had a meaningful and safe Thanksgiving and/or Native American Heritage Days. I will not lament…
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October 14, 2020 in News

CMPI Announces Inaugural Class

Seven Music Education Organizations Come Together to Support Young Musicians From Traditionally Underrepresented Communities in the Greater Chicago Area.
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October 13, 2020 in News

Fall Kickoff: Welcome 2020/2021 CMPI Fellows

Four CMPI fellows, Sameer Agrawal (violin, grade 9), Abby Lopez (bassoon, grade 12), Jonathan Miller (cello, grade 9) and Oliver Talukder (oboe, grade 12), were featured on WFMT’s Introductions on Saturday, December…
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October 13, 2020 in News

Know a Fellow: Ella Saputra

Sixteen-year-old violinist Ella Saputra is already well on her way toward a professional career. She has performed solo with orchestras several times, including twice with Midwest Young Artists Conservatory ensembles,…
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October 13, 2020 in News

Alumni Spotlight: Oliver Talukder

CMPI inaugural fellow Oliver Talukder is one of only 12 musicians chosen to join the incoming undergraduate class of the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music this school year. Now a…
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October 13, 2020 in News

Know a Fellow: Anika Veda

CMPI flute fellow Anika Veda already has amassed several musical honors, including a performance at Carnegie Hall as the winner of the 2019 American Protégé Music Talent Competition. This Halloween–October…
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October 13, 2020 in News

CMPI Faculty Member Dr. Tanya Lesinksy Carey

Building Bridges: CMPI Faculty Member Dr. Tanya Lesinksy Carey Acclaimed cello instructor Tanya Lesinsky Carey has been helping students reach their full musical potential for decades. Her students have won…
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October 13, 2020 in News

Virtually Proficient: CMPI Fellows offer insights on upcoming virtual recital

Recitals and gatherings at CMPI will be virtual through January, and possibly through the end of the school year. A year ago, the suggestion of a virtual recital would have…
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September 2, 2020 in News

Read all about it! CMPI in the news, Summer 2020

CMPI received a lot of attention from the media this summer! In case you missed any of it, here are some quick links to get you all caught up… CMPI…
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September 2, 2020 in News

Program Overview

What is CMPI?  Made possible by a $3.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the mission of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative (CMPI) is to identify and develop…
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September 2, 2020 in News

Solo with ensemble: Fellows recall concerto experiences

For many musicians, the pinnacle of accomplishment is performing as a soloist with an orchestra. Several CMPI students have already achieved this tremendous milestone and were kind enough to share…
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September 2, 2020 in News

Summer Reflections: CMPI Summer 2020

Summer Reflections: A look back at CMPI’s end-of-season activities Above: CMPI Fellow Julia Soto performs a socially distanced concerto with accompanist Beilin Han for the CMPI virtual recital on August…
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September 2, 2020 in News

Alumni Spotlight: Abigail Lopez

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…
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September 2, 2020 in News

Know a Fellow: Brandon Harper

One day Brandon Harper just might compose music at the intersection of classical and jazz. The second-year CMPI percussion fellow is an elite youth musician in both genres. A recent…
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September 2, 2020 in News

Alumni Spotlight: Amanda Perez

ABOVE: CMPI alumna Amanda Perez poses with her viola after a Fall 2019 recital. Six years ago, Amanda Perez picked up a viola for the first time. It was during…
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September 2, 2020 in News

Welcome! A new school year, a new newsletter.

Welcome! A new school year, a new newsletter. Dear Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative Community, Greetings, and welcome to the second year of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative! As CMPI Project…
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March 31, 2020 in News

[VIDEO] Chicago Musical Pathways Is…

In this video, Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative (CMPI) fellows, parents, and mentors breakdown the components of the program and share what the pathway means to them.
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December 22, 2019 in News

Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative fellows featured on WFMT’s “Introductions”

Four CMPI fellows, Sameer Agrawal (violin, grade 9), Abby Lopez (bassoon, grade 12), Jonathan Miller (cello, grade 9) and Oliver Talukder (oboe, grade 12), were featured on WFMT’s Introductions on Saturday, December…
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December 12, 2019 in News

[VIDEO] CMPI featured on NBC 5/Telemundo

Two CMPI fellows, Abby Lopez (bassoon, grade 12) and Rafael Noriega (bass trombone, grade 11), speak to the impact and importance of this new initiative. Watch the video below to…
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January 22, 2019 in News

Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative Trumpets New Leader

Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative (CMPI), the newly-established training program for talented student musicians from traditionally underrepresented communities, is proud to announce that music education veteran Adrienne Thompson will lead the…
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October 2, 2018 in News

Seven Music Education Organizations Join Forces

Seven Music Education Organizations Join Forces to Secure a $3.5 Million Grant From the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Establishing the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative.
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