Skip to main content

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 7, 2020.

On Friday, August 7, DePaul University opened Gannon Hall to four CMPI fellows, one pianist and one CMPI staff member—all masked and socially distanced—to play music together in the same room.  This momentous occasion was to record the August recital, which was released on CMPI’s YouTube channel the next week.  Throughout the pandemic-influenced summer, CMPI produced two recitals virtually, with the students and pianist recording from their respective homes. CMPI staff member Jennifer Woodrum played the role of producer, syncing the audio and video tracks on iMovie.  Hearing the students perform with CMPI Accompanist Beilin Han a mere eight feet away from one another was rejuvenating and transformative for all.


ABOVE: CSO Assistant Principal Bassoon William Buchman and CMPI Senior Bassoon Fellow Eric Bahena play together during a socially distanced private lesson. Captured here, for a Telemundo segment during Summer 2020.

“Studying with Bill this summer was extremely enlightening and beneficial for me, as a senior, preparing for college auditions.  Bill’s perspective being that he is a college professor himself and a symphony player, meant that I would get insight into what an audition committee would listen for, what I need to be aware of,  what I need to pay attention to, and how to be forgiving of myself when faced with rejection.  Bill’s friendship and mentorship is something that will stick with me for years to come.”

~Eric Bahena, CMPI Senior

Eric and CSO Assistant Principal Bassoon William (Bill) Buchman started out their lessons remotely and were able to transition to in-person lessons from Bill’s back porch toward the middle of the summer.  Their story was featured on a Telemundo segment in July.

“I had the opportunity to study with Connie Heard at the Online Strings Intensive; with Janet Sung, I-hao Lee and Anne Setzer at the DePaul University Violin Intensive; Kyle Lombard at Sphinx PA; and, finally, Teri Einfeldt at the Ithaca Advanced Suzuki Camp.  I got so much out of it!  The camps gave me something to do during quarantine; moreover, I have improved more than I even thought I could over this whole pandemic-filled summer.  I made some really cool friends and I especially enjoyed working with Mr. Lombard at Sphinx.  He gave me a lot of great advice about auditions.  Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much out of virtual camps, but it turned out to be so fun and I’m feeling a lot more excited about my future life as a musician!”

~Olivia Molina, CMPI Senior

From left to right: Olivia Molina attends DePaul University Online Violin Intensive; Kyle Lombard leads a Sphinx Performance Academy workshop; students at SPA enjoy a summer session hosted by the Cleveland Institute of Music. | Can you spot any other CMPI fellows?

For two weeks in June, I participated in the New England Virtual Trumpet Seminar. This included auditing sessions where university students participated in masterclasses on one week and then taking part in masterclasses with other high school students the following week. These two weeks were led by Boston Symphony Orchestra Assistant Principal Trumpet Thomas Siders, Boston Symphony Orchestra Second Trumpet Benjamin Wright, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Principal Trumpet David Krauss, and Rhode Island Philharmonic Principal Trumpet Joseph Foley. It was an excellent experience getting to know all the teachers as well as the other participants. I took many pages of notes during this time in order to remember all the great advice I was receiving — not only about trumpet playing, but on every aspect of musicality as well.

ABOVE: CMPI Fellow Nando Cordeiro performs at the pre-pandemic February 2020 CMPI Recital, at Nichols Hall in Evanston.

In the beginning of July, I took virtual trial lessons with teachers from four colleges that I’m interested in: Channing Philbrick from Roosevelt University, John Rommel from Indiana University, Steven Burns from DePaul University, and David Bilger from Northwestern University. These lessons were a great chance to get to know potential future teachers and for them also to critique my playing.

At the end of July, I participated in the DePaul University Summer Trumpet Intensive, this was a week of masterclasses led by DePaul professors Paul Lowry, Steven Burns, and David Cohen. We worked on many areas of trumpet playing this week and I really enjoyed all the input and help the teachers were able to offer.”

~Nando Cordeiro, CMPI Senior

“The Online Solo String Intensive was an oddly wonderful experience given the global pandemic.  It was certainly a creative feat to construct a virtual camp within the span of a few months, but nonetheless, I very much enjoyed my time at OSSI.  It was nice that I, and many other musicians, were still able to enjoy making music at a summer festival, despite our current circumstances.”

 ~Aidan Daniels, CMPI Junior

Image: CMPI Fellow Aidan Daniels performs at the December Recital, at Curtiss Hall in the Fine Arts Building.

“I was accepted into the National Youth Orchestra of the USA (NYO-USA) for the summer of 2020, where originally the orchestra was to travel across North America as part of its tour.  Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the program had to transition to an online platform, but I still chose to be a part of it virtually.  During my time in the online program, I not only got to work and learn about the repertoire we were putting together for the final projects, but I was able to participate in masterclasses and lessons with Matthew Vaughn, co-principal trombone of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Ava Ordman, professor of trombone at Michigan State University.  We also had special guest artists Wynton Marsalis and Jacob Collier join us and talk to us about their lives.  They answered any questions we had, and the whole thing was a marvelous experience.

I feel like this was a unique experience when it comes to being in an orchestra program because normally, in person, you would show up to rehearsal and get to play almost all the time.  We were supposed to play Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, but this time we got to learn a lot about its history and even learned some of the dance moves from the ballet itself, which was really fun.”

Rafael Noriega, CMPI Senior

Clockwise from top left: CMPI Trombone Fellow Rafael Noriega and other NYO-USA musicians learn – and perform! – some of Nijinsky’s original choreography from Stravinsky’s seminal orchestral work, The Rite of Spring. | No biggie – just a screen grab of Rafael chatting with jazz legend Wynton Marsalis and Musician/Influencer Jacob Collier during Zoom masterclasses at the NYO 2020 virtual summer season. | NYO-USA  performs virtually during its summer 2020 season.

To watch Rafael perform Bach’s Second Cello Suite on trombone, check out his recital video from May 2020, located here on CMPI’s YouTube page.

Are you interested in joining CMPI’s next cohort?

Apply Today!