A note from YAG 2015 winner Lauren Latessa
Photo: Jori Ketten
“As the Musician-in-Residence at Charles E. Smith Life Communities (CESLC) in Rockville, Maryland, I spend my days exploring and implementing the many ways that music makes our community a more vibrant and inspiring place to live. I am a professional cellist dedicated to the belief that music can transform communities. This work often involves exchanging ideas with the people around me. I learn the beautiful Jewish folk songs of CESLC residents’ childhoods and in turn they learn more about my passion, classical music. These exchanges create noticeable changes in our community. Attendance and participation in all of our music programming is increasing and residents have become active and invested participants.
The 2015 Tarisio Young Artist Award allows me to expand this work as I am planning and performing in a two-part Chamber Music Festival. The first part of this festival will take place December 14th-18th, 2015. I am thrilled to bring my string quartet to our campus for week of music. The festival includes recitals, lectures, open rehearsals, and meals with the CESLC residents. Additionally, we are hosting a masterclass featuring young music students and presenting our concert on Thursday, December 17th free to the general public. These events are designed with our residents in mind and as an opportunity to invite community members of all ages to share the musical experiences with us.
“You know, most of us just sit around feeling like we are no longer needed. But, you’ve helped me to see that there are beautiful things to do in the world.”
One of the most exciting parts of organizing the festival is seeing the residents take ownership over the project. Residents are scheduling events, designing the informational brochure and organizing a tour of Washington, DC for our festival artists. As the festival draws closer, the level of excitement is growing. At the end of our last planning meeting, one resident said, “You know, most of us just sit around feeling like we are no longer needed. But, you’ve helped me to see that there are beautiful things to do in the world.”
Thank you Tarisio Trust for inspiring these beautiful moments! Your support has empowered us here at CESLC to imagine how a string quartet will change our community! If you are in the Rockville area, please join us December 17th for our concert of Mozart and Dvorak in the Ring House Social Hall, 1801 East Jefferson Street. Call (301)-816-5086 to reserve your seat.”