Thank you to almost two hundred Opportunity Music Project Supporters! Together we raised more than $10,000.00 to help accept twenty new students from our wait-list of over one hundred applicants. Follow the link below to learn more: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/opportunity-music-project
Free Lessons for Kids?
How It Works
To succeed, every musician needs three elements: passion, hard work, and opportunity. Due to difficult circumstances, countless families are unable to afford the high cost of private music lessons which are essential for any aspiring classical musician. This project locates dedicated families with a child interested in music and offers them the opportunity to take private music lessons.
A pillar of the project is the element of service that students in turn provide to their community. By giving back in the form of recitals to social groups such as the elderly and homeless, students and their families become active owners of the project.
OMP offers students full tuition scholarships. High quality instruments are provided if needed.
Opportunity means to be offered the financial means to pursue a goal. It also means having the support of a student’s surrounding individuals. These individuals include teachers, mentors and friends, and especially the family. No amount of resources can replace a supportive family environment. This is the reason for the project’s emphasis on parental involvement when selecting participants. Practicing with the child, attending lessons and concerts, motivating, and simply sharing the joy of music, can create a strong family bond that will help the child succeed in music and countless other aspects of their lives.
- Students receive weekly private lessons on violin, viola or cello, chamber music and orchestral training.
- Students are selected based on an interview with the parents and a trial lesson/ informal interview with the student.
- Age limit is flexible but the traditional beginning age group is usually between 5-8 year olds
- Regular “service concert” opportunities for students
- Students and their families are given access to free concerts around New York City.
- Parents have access to an education series led by professional musicians, and other invited guests.
- The program is most beneficial when parents practice with their child, and attend all lessons and concerts.
- Students must practice regularly and exhibit a strong desire to learn music to maintain their place in the program.
- Meetings will be held with participants to ascertain if the program is a positive experience.
- The project is generously supported by the Robert Sherman McGraw-Hill Award for Music Education and Community Outreach, The Juilliard School Jonathan Mandrigano Entrepreneurship Grant, the D’Addario Foundation, the Virtu Foundation, the UCNYC, Rent my Instrument, and MACROBLU.
Chamber music is a process of conversation, disagreement, and resolution. A natural way to hone these skills is through direct experience in a chamber ensemble. Emerging professionals work with OMP students as peers, filling them in on rehearsal routine, queuing, harmony, and many other concepts in a fun and natural way. Each OMP student leads the creation of a chamber music program and presents it for their school classroom.
Above: At Public School 165 Aiyanna (center) leads a musical presentation on dynamics, phrasing, and what it’s like to perform in a quintet. Below: Isabel demonstrates the loudest possible dynamic.
Below: Aiyanna instructs her classmates on how to hold a violin. Bottom: Two students try a viola for the first time.
|Please check here for our latest events this spring.||Note our application deadline for incoming students is April 30th, 2014 at 11:59 pm.|
|Unless otherwise listed, all events are free and open to the public.||Stay tuned for OMP in the Community! A free series of student-led concerts across New York City!|
January, 2014: Start of Spring Semester!
December 15, 2013 6:00 pm OMP HOLIDAY CONCERT & Reception @ Ballroom, 4 West 43rd Street, New York, NY, 10036 (FREE)
December 8, 2013 5:30 pm Parent Workshops @ OMP with special guest Dr. Lawrence Farmer (Fordham University), Room 415: 4 West 43rd Street, NY, NY
November 17, 2013 5:30 pm Studio Class @ Ballroom, 4 West 43rd Street, NY, NY
November 10, 2013 5:30 pm Parent Workshops @ OMP with special guest Stanford Thompson (CEO, Play On Philly!) Room 415: 4 West 43rd Street, NY, NY
November 3, 2013 5:30 pm Parent Workshops @ OMP with special guest Kiana Walbrook (Big Brother Big Sisters, NYC) Room 415: 4 West 43rd Street, NY, NY
October 16, 2013 8:30 pm McGraw-Hill Robert Sherman Award for Community Outreach and Music Education @ Paul Hall, The Juilliard School
September 29, 2013 5:30 pm Studio Class No. 1 @ 4 West 43rd Street (Room TBD)
September 15, 2013 4:00 pm Orientation for all OMP students
June 14, 2013, 7:30 pm OMP BENEFIT GALA @ 4 West 43rd Street (Ballroom)
May 18, 2013, 3:00 pm OMP Community Concert Series @ Atria Forest Hills Senior Living Facility (Queens)
May 14, 2013, 7:30 P.M. An Evening of Tuneful Trends @ DiCappo Opera Theatre
May 8th, 2013 12:00 pm OMP Community Concert Series @ Public School 191
May 3rd, 2013 9:00 am OMP Community Concert Series @ John Bowne High School (Queens)
April 23rd, 2013 4:00 pm OMP Community Concert Series @ Association to Benefit Children
March 29th, 2013 6:30 pm Studio Class @ Green Room (4 West 43rd Street)
February 22nd, 2013 6:30 pm Studio Class @ Green Room (4 West 43rd Street)
January 12th, 2013 Winter Semester Begins
December 16th, 2012 6:00 pm OMP Community Concert Series @ Atria Forest Hills Senior Living Facility (Queens)
December 20th, 2012 OMP Community Concert Series @ New York College of Podiatric Medicine
December 14th, 2012 Studio Class Room 415
November 17th, 2012 OMP Field Trip to William Monical’s Violin Shop @ Staten Island
November 16, 2012 1:30 pm OMP Community Concert Series @ Public School 108
November 10, 2012 6:30 pm Studio Class Room 415
October 19, 2012 6:30 pm Studio Class Room 415
September 19, 2012 Opportunity Music Project welcomes five new teaching artist mentors as faculty this term.
September 15, 2012 Fall Semester begins.
May 27, 2012 Violin and Viola studios perform for Sunrise Senior Living in Brooklyn.
May 11, 2012 Ensemble in Residence performs an interactive chamber music concert at Public School 108. Artists include Aiyanna Ramos; violin, Han Chen; toy piano, Justyna Jara; violin, Jessica Garand; viola, and Isabel Gehweiler, cello.
December 17, 2012 Violinist Aiyanna Ramos gives a solo recital at Atria Forest Hills in Queens. Program includes works by Bach and Suzuki.
December 4, 2012 Violist Johanna Tenorio gives a solo recital at a senior living facility in New York City. Program includes works by Bach and Suzuki.
Congratulations to Aiyanna, Johana, and Vincent for completing your practice challenges!
Jessica Chang, Viola
Taiwanese-American violist Jessica T. Chang is dedicated to sharing her love for music through expanding educational opportunities in the arts, and by presenting chamber music in accessible ways. As the founder and director of Chamber Music by the Bay, Jessica brings educational chamber music programs to public schools, libraries, and hospitals throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Her commitment to sharing chamber music extends to audiences of all ages across the United States, from reaching 800 youth and community members in the San Francisco Bay Area in CMB’s 2012 season, to educational concerts with Project 440 in Savannah, Georgia, and serving as a teaching artist with Opportunity Music Project. Jessica is a founding member and violist of ensemble39, a Philadelphia-based chamber group specializing in performances of repertoire ranging from the classical to contemporary in non-traditional concert spaces.
Recent performance highlights include a European concert tour with Curtis on Tour alongside Roberto Díaz, Pamela Frank, and members of the Berlin Philharmonic; collaborations at Music from Angel Fire with Peter Wiley, Daniel Philips, and Toby Appel; and performances with Itzhak Perlman, Joseph Silverstein, Soovin Kim, and Anthony McGill. Her festival appearances include Music from Angel Fire; Tanglewood Music Center; the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove; the Perlman Chamber Music Workshop; and the festivals at Taos, Verbier, Aspen, and California.
Aside from her musical endeavors, Jessica has maintained commitments toward improving youth access to quality arts education through the School District of Philadelphia’s ArtsRising initiative. Also a writer and an artist, she has been published by art and literary magazines at the North Central Review, CRED Magazine, Yale, and the American Literacy Council. A native of northern California, Jessica is a graduate of Yale College, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree with honors and distinction, and was also the recipient of a Louis B. Sudler Fund Award and the Yale Friends of Music Chamber Music Award. She also holds an Artist Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she was the recipient of the William A. Loeb Fellowship. Jessica is currently pursuing graduate studies at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Heidi Castleman and Steven Tenenbom, with gracious support from the Satterthwaite Scholarship Fund and the Irene Diamond Graduate Fellowship. www.jessicatchang.com
Liam Burke, Artistic Director; OMP Orchestra
Liam enjoys a diverse musical career. He has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Orchestra of Saint Luke’s, American Symphony Orchestra and American Ballet Theatre Orchestra. An enthusiastic conductor, he has led performances at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts, the Usdan Center for Creative and Performing Arts, and he conducted a recital of two concertos at The Juilliard School. He also conducts the school instrumental ensembles at PS21 “Edward Hart” Elementary School in Queens and has conducted sectionals for the Juilliard Pre- College Symphony. He frequently performs chamber music with the acclaimed Ensemble ACJW and has appeared as soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra, Music for all National Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Colorado College Summer Music Festival and Senior Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. Liam teaches clarinet at the Usdan Center, the New York Music School, and he has also taught with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s education program since 2009
Karen Cueva, Violin
Violinist Karen Cueva is in her third year of training at The Juilliard School where she studies with Stephen Clapp and Lewis Kaplan. She is a graduate of the Walnut Hill School for the Arts where she attended on full scholarship. During her time at Walnut Hill, Ms. Cueva also studied at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School.
Ms. Cueva began her violin studies at the age of four and has won various competitions and awards, including a Certificate of Commendation from the US Marine Corps for her musical service to the veterans of the Armed Forces. She was the 2009 recipient of The Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award, one of the largest and most competitive scholarship programs in the nation. An advocate for arts education in public schools, Ms. Cueva was a founding performer of Boston Crew, an outreach program from NPR’s From The Top radio show, where she brought classical music to children in inner-city schools. She continues her outreach work by collaborating with Young Artists New Jersey. Ms. Cueva has taught in the Juilliard Pre-College Division program CLIMB (Combining Literacy Instruction with Musical Beginnings), as well as at the Harlem School of the Arts as a recipient of the 2010 Goldman Fellowship. She is currently on faculty at Opportunity Music Project. Ms. Cueva performs on a 2008 Douglas Cox violin.
Tegen Davidge, Viola
Tegen Davidge is a violist whose objective both on and off the stage is to exhibit passion and dedication. Most recently, she attended the Yellowbarn Festival, where she performed with renowned artists Maria Lambros, Michael Kannen, Seth Knopp, and Anthony Marwood.
Tegen has performed solo and chamber music around the United States, Canada, and China. As a winner of the concerto competition at the Cleveland Institute of Music, she has performed as soloist with the CIM Orchestra, in addition to performances with the Medicine Hat College Academy Orchestra, the Shanghai Opera Orchestra, and the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. She was recognized as the best viola performer both at the 2006 Kingsville and 2010 Corpus Christi Competitions, as well as the winner the String Category Prize at the 2008 Canadian National Music Festival. In 2007, Tegen was recorded for The Nature of Things with David Susuki, a television documentary on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) network.
A native of British Columbia, Tegen grew up in rural areas, resulting in a passion for bringing live classical music to those that would not experience it otherwise due to their location. She performs frequently in hospitals and long-term care facilities, as well as presenting interactive performances in schools and rural communities.
Tegen began studying the violin at the age of seven, before taking up the viola at age 14, and studied with Michael van der Sloot in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Having obtained her Bachelor of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying under Jeffrey Irvine, she is currently a first year graduate student with Heidi Castleman and Hsin-Yun Huang at the Juilliard School.
Chloe Fedor, Violin
Beginning her musical journey at age three with a macaroni box disguised as a violin, South Florida native Chloe Fedor has since acquired a more sophisticated instrument and gone on to perform throughout the Americas, Asia, and Europe. She received her Master of Music Degree from the Juilliard School and her Bachelor of Music Degree from the Eastman School of Music, where she won the 2008 concerto competition and served as a concertmaster for four years. She is a recipient of Juilliard’s Morse Teaching Fellowship, Instrumental Music Program Fellowship and the Gluck Community Service Fellowship, which reflect her special interest in reaching out to the community, both through teaching and interactive performances. An avid gut-string enthusiast, Chloe has come forward publicly admitting her support of the historical performance movement; this year she returns to Juilliard as a Baroque violinist in the Historical Performance Program.
Jessica Garand, Viola
A versatile performer and music advocate, Jessica Garand is passionate about engaging society through music. She is the founder and executive director of Opportunity Music Project.
Jessica Garand enjoys being an active volunteer in the Montreal and New York City scenes, performing at benefit galas, retirement residences, hospitals, and homeless shelters and has been featured in the Globe and Mail’s column “Action Figure” and has been awarded the McGraw-Hill Robert Sherman Award for Music Education and Community Outreach, the Juilliard School Jonathan Madrigano Entrepreneurship Grant, and the Canadian Millennium Scholarship in recognition of her ongoing passion to serve the community through music.
Jessica Garand has performed throughout both North and South America and Europe. Jessica began playing the viola at the Montreal Music Conservatory and has since completed her studies at the Juilliard School in New York City. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal under the tutelage of André Roy, and received a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School. She studied with Samuel Rhodes of the Juilliard String Quartet.
A prizewinner at the Montreal Classical Music Festival, Jessica Garand has been a finalist at the Canadian Music Competition, and won First Prize at the Lakeshore Chamber Music Competition.
In 2011, Jessica Garand had the opportunity to serve as principal violist of the New York String Orchestra Seminar with performances in Carnegie Hall under the direction of Jaime Laredo. Jessica Garand has also been a member of the New York City Symphony, and the New Juilliard Ensemble, performing in venues including the United Nations, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. She was a member of the Juilliard Symphony and in this capacity has worked with the distinguished conductors Alan Gilbert, Bernard Haitink, Kent Nagano, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Jessica Garand is dedicated to the promotion of new music, an interest that has brought her to Carnegie Hall’s Japan NYC Festival, the Focus! Festival, and Summergarden with the New Juilliard Ensemble.
Jessica Garand is grateful for the support she has received from many generous patrons and foundations including the C. & B. Cohen Scholarship, the A.H. Kuhn Memorial Scholarship, and the Irene Diamond Fellowship.
Danny Kim, Viola
Violist Danny Kim, a native of St. Paul, MN, recently earned his Master of Music degree in viola performance from The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Samuel Rhodes. He began his musical studies at a young age on the violin with his mother, Ellen Kim, and then transitioned to the viola in high school under Sabina Thatcher. Danny completed his undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he studied with Sally Chisholm, and received a BA in viola performance and a certificate in East Asian Studies.
A 2013 participant of the Marlboro Music Festival, Danny has spent past summers at the Pacific Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, the Aspen Music Festival where served as the principal violist of the festival orchestras, and Kneisel Hall.
As a chamber musician, Danny has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, members of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Pro Arte Quartet, and collaborated in performances with many distinguished artists including Joseph Silverstein, Peter Wiley, Marcy Rosen, Charles Neidich, Anthony McGill, Nathan Hughes and others. He also was a tenured member of Madison Symphony Orchestra and was awarded a position on the substitute list for the Minnesota Orchestra.
Currently residing in New York City, Danny has performed with several distinguished ensembles including the Camerata Virtuosi New Jersey, Metropolis Ensemble, and appeared on Sesame Street with Maestro Alan Gilbert of the New York Philharmonic.
Recent honors include advancing to the finals of the Juilliard concerto competition, being a prizewinner of the 2011 Neale-Silva Young Artist Competition, which was broadcast live on national radio. Additionally, Danny was the winner of the 2011 Tanglewood Music Center Maurice Schwartz Prize, the UW-Madison concerto competition, the Aspen Festival Orchestral String Fellowship, the UW School of Music Alumni Association scholarship and the Kato Perlman scholarship. He was also the recipient of the Juilliard Alumni Scholarship during his graduate studies.
An ardent supporter of teaching and working with young people, Danny took part in a residency in May of 2013 with El Sistema in Caracas, Venezuela coaching chamber groups and performing with his string quartet, Quartet Senza Misura. He has also served as an instructor at the Northern Lights Chamber Music Institute in Ely, MN and has led orchestra sectionals for The Juilliard Pre-College Division.
Upcoming plans include performing with Symphony in C, a European tour with the Arcos Chamber Orchestra, quartet performances in New York City, a solo appearance with the Middleton Community Orchestra (WI), and a return to the Marlboro Festival in June of 2014.
Sofia Nowik, Cello
Cellist Sofia Nowik joins the faculty at Opportunity Music Project this fall having recently completed her Master’s Degree at the Juilliard School of Music where she was a student of Darrett Adkins. She also received her Bachelor’s Degree from Juilliard having worked with teachers, David Soyer and Bonnie Hampton. A principal cellist of the Juilliard Orchestra from 2009 till 2013, Sofia had the opportunity of working with conductors such as Alan Gilbert, Bernard Haitink, Michael Tilson-Thomas, Kurt Masur, and Christoph Dohnanyi. She worked with chamber music coaches Sylvia Rosenberg, Michael Tree, Seymour Lipkin, Earl Carlyss, Curtis Macomber, and Lara Lev at the Juilliard School, and with Ian Swenson and Norman Fischer as a fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center. As an advocate for new music, Sofia frequently played with Juilliard’s two contemporary ensembles, Axiom and New Juilliard Ensemble, and has premiered numerous works by composers at Juilliard.
During her graduate studies Sofia worked for the Juilliard Pre-College Division as both a chamber music and orchestral mentor, and was a teaching fellow for the Liberal Arts department in the college division. This coming 2013 – 2014 season, Sofia continues her educational outreach this year as cello faculty at Opportunity Music Project and a substitute coach for the Juilliard Pre-College. She will perform with ensembles Symphony in C, Arcos Chamber Orchestra, New York Concerti Sinfonietta, and is a substitute cellist for the New World Symphony.
Charlotte Steiner, Viola
Violist Charlotte Steiner made her solo debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at age 16 as winner of their Young Soloist Competition. A Maryland Distinguished Scholar in the Arts, Charlotte has also performed as soloist with the Landon Symphonette (MD) and Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra. She has received honors in competitions held by the Music Teachers National Association, Asian American Music Society, and the U.S. Army Orchestra, and has attended Yellow Barn Young Artists Program, Greenwood Music Camp, and Aspen Music Festival and School, where she was a fellowship recipient. Charlotte has studied viola with Karin Brown, Steven Tenenbom, Victoria Chiang, and Jeffrey Irvine, and is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree as a student of Heidi Castleman at The Juilliard School.
Charlotte currently maintains a studio of violin and viola students at Musipire Professional Music Education in Queens, NY, and teaches viola lessons in a New York City Public School as a fellow of Juilliard’s Instrumental Music Program. Committed to outreach, she most recently performed with Hope for New York at Bailey-Holt House, New York’s oldest HIV/AIDS residence. In 2012, she was a team member of Juilliard ARTreach’s New Orleans Project, through which she taught disadvantaged youth at a YMCA and led master classes at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Charlotte is passionate about celebrating and connecting diverse cultures through music, and strives to help empower students in underserved urban communities.
The Juilliard School Jonathan Madrigano Entrepreneurship Grant
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