In case you thought your South Orange-Maplewood School District staffers were just taking it easy, kicking back and having a few brews over the summer months, we bring you this story.
SOMSD's Supervisor of Fine Arts K-12 Tony Mazzocchi has been in Vermont (we know, it sounds painful) at the Kinhaven Music School, running a festival.
And he took a few Columbia High School and Clinton Elementary School talents with him, including Chris Banka (CHS pianist), Ysa Borstel (Columbia High School violist), Christine Tischio (Clinton School art teacher), Glenda Lopez (a percussionist and Clinton School grad who now lives in Florida) and Francois Sissoko (CHS violist).
Mazzocchi hired Tischio to be a counselor/art teacher for the summer, and awarded the students between half and full scholarships (tuition is $7,000). A total of $19,000 in scholarships was awarded between all of the SOMSD students. Patty O'Neill (Clinton School principal) and Ann Bodnar (Clinton School Assistant Principal) came to visit Tischio and their former Clinton students.
"It warms my heart to be able to bring up SOMSD students and introduce them to the world of intense music making!" said Mazzocchi.
Founded in 1952, Kinhaven Music School now has four summer sessions: the four-day Chamber Music Workshop and five-day Piano Workshop for adults, the 6-week Senior Session for young musicians aged 13-18, and the 2-week Junior Session for young musicians aged 10-13. Summers at Kinhaven focus on a high-quality musical experience in a non-competitive atmosphere of support, mentoring and friendship.
Presenting opportunities for high-level music making, personal growth, and life-long friendships, Kinhaven's Senior Session is comprised of 90 young musicians engaged in chamber music, orchestra and spontaneous music-making. The experience is one of community, shared learning and mutual support in which friendship and encouragement are always present, according to Mazzocchi.
High-school age young adults are challenged by a variety of chamber and orchestra repertoire. Executive Directors Mazzocchi and Deborah Buck lead a faculty of professional musicians who specialize in working with talented and dedicated young people. Conductors from major symphony orchestras around the world visit each week to work with the orchestras.