For more than 30 years, the National Association for Music Education has designated March as Music in Our Schools Month.
The positive impact music education has on the lives of children and youth lasts a lifetime. Music education changes lives for the better by creating an environment where children find their identity and purpose in the midst of a complex world. Therefore, our Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival music education programs, and the ensuing cultivation of music in the lives of our youngest members of society, are not only powerfully beneficial: they're essential.
Every day in classrooms, in rehearsal rooms, and online, music educators dedicate themselves to reaching all students with life-changing musical experiences. Parents, administrators, and the wider community often only see educators' wonderful results in the form of music performances. What we don't see are the months of practicing and rehearsing and, more importantly, the learning process that takes place and makes everything happen.
I send the Festival's most humble thanks to our music educators for Strings in Our Schools, Guitar in Our Schools, the Dream Big Private Lesson Program, and our chamber-music education program, Music in Our Schools, for their unwavering presence in the lives of their students.
Let us acknowledge, celebrate, and advocate for music education as an essential part of every student’s educational journey.
The theme of 2022's Music in Our Schools Month is "music changes lives." Indeed, it does!
Director of Education & Outreach
Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
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Katie Wiederholt's pre-K class, with musicians, at E. J. Martinez Elementary following a school concert on Tuesday, March 1. Back row (left to right): Katie Wiederholt, Felix Fan, Megan Holland, Margaret Dyer Harris, David Felberg, Roberto Capocchi, and Anita Sandoval.
During the month of March, as part of its Music in Our Schools program, the Festival presented chamber music concerts in 14 Santa Fe, Los Alamos, and Pecos schools, reaching 5,000 students in pre-K and grades K–6. The concerts featured Vivaldi's Guitar Concerto in D Major, Haydn's String Quartet in E-flat Major (known as The Joke Quartet), and Borodin's String Quartet No. 2 in D Major.
Thank you to the artists, curriculum writers, school educators, and donors who made these concerts possible!
Dream Big Student Spotlight: Cindy Caraveo
We’re thrilled to introduce you to Cindy Caraveo, a 10th-grade violin student at Capital High School who successfully auditioned for the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association’s Youth Philharmonic!
Cindy learned to play the violin in fifth grade, at the Nina Otero Community School. In sixth grade, at Ortiz Middle School, her ensemble director, Zachary McGee, introduced her to the Dream Big Private Lesson Program. Cindy recently re-enrolled in Dream Big and has been working diligently with her private instructor, Haley Lovelace. “Ms. Haley helps me learn new techniques and better ways to get out of my comfort zone to play more confidently,” Cindy says.
Cindy attends weekly rehearsals with the Youth Philharmonic, where she’s inspired by her peers, who are also dedicated to music. She enjoys her orchestra class at Capital High, where she gains knowledge and skills and creates bonds of friendship with her classmates. Her career dream is to attend medical school and become a surgeon.
When asked what she likes about studying music, Cindy says: “Playing the violin is really important to me because it’s a way for me to escape and just focus on music. I am able to play not just in school-related performances but also at my church, as a way for me to glorify God.”
Cindy’s path with music demonstrates the importance of having access to music education at an early age, combined with a supportive network of teachers, mentors, and peers and opportunities to perform. “I would recommend the Dream Big program to everyone because it really helps you grow and learn new things,” Cindy says.
All of us at the Festival are so proud of Cindy and fully support her love of music!
Introducing Hilary Schacht,
Instructor for Strings in Our Schools and the Dream Big Private Lesson Program
Hilary Schacht was born in the Chicago area and began studying and performing music around the world at the age of six. She graduated from the pre-professional Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and continued her music education at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania and the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico. Her passion for learning, teaching, and performing has led her to explore a wide variety of musical genres and embrace a diversity of cultures. She’s been a dedicated teacher for the Festival’s Strings in Our Schools program for the past 25 years, and in the 2021–22 school year, she joined the teaching staff of the Dream Big Private Lesson Program as well.For Strings in Our Schools, Hilary teaches small-group violin classes—which culminate in yearly recitals and group concerts—to students in grades 3–6 in four elementary schools in Santa Fe and Pecos. For Dream Big, she gives private violin lessons to students at Ortiz Middle School. And because Hilary practices what she preaches, she frequently performs in ensembles around Santa Fe, including Swing Soleil, the Bohemiacs with composer Ron Romanovsky, Zero Hour Tango, and the Santa Fe Zozobra Orchestra.We’re so grateful for Hilary’s tremendous talent and dedication as both a performer and a teacher, and we look forward to working with her for more decades to come!
Dream Big Accomplishments
Ortiz Middle School and Capital High School performing ensembles—which feature many of the Festival's Dream Big students in key musical roles—recently played for the New Mexico Music Educators Association's Music Performance Assessment, an annual evaluation of musical skill. Ensemble performances are judged by the finest band, choral, and orchestral directors in the state and are rated per a nationally calibrated rubric in the areas of melodic accuracy, rhythmic precision, phrasing, technique, intonation and tone quality, musicality, and stage presence.
Capital High School Band – Superior
Ricardo Hernandez, Director
Capital High School Choral Program – Excellent
Alicia Dickinson, Director
Capital High School Orchestra – Superior
Zachary McGee, Director
Ortiz Middle School Orchestra – Excellent
Zachary McGee, Director
Congratulations to these ensembles' musicians and directors and also a sincere thank-you to Dream Big private instructors Marilyn Barnes (voice), Jackie Ehlers (French horn), Cal Haines (percussion), Elaine Heltman (oboe), Haley Lovelace (violin/viola), Zachary McGee (cello), Stefanie Przybylska (bassoon), Liz Ramirez (clarinet), Hilary Schacht (violin), and Vicki Schaevitz (flute) for their invaluable role in these ensembles' success.
Thank You to the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival's Sponsors and Partners
Leanne DeVane, Director of Education & Outreach
Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
208 Griffin St, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Phone: 505-983-2075, ext. 113