I've been so inspired by cellist Lauren Latessa's efforts to build a long-term chamber music residency in a retirement community in Rockville, Maryland. She started out as a single musician-in-residence with a full-time salary and benefits, and soon discovered that there was not enough room in her job description for fulfilling her needs as a musician. So she invited several colleagues to join her in Rockville for a week-long chamber music "festival" that she designed, drafted a proposal to change the terms of her residency, acquired the support of her supervisor, and sent it off to senior management.
The result? Management approved a three-month piano trio residency pilot, providing enough funding for Lauren to hire two colleagues to join her in trying out the West Campus Music Project. Here is an excerpt from her proposal:
"The West Campus Music Project, a program of Charles E. Smith Life Communities (CESLC) aims to create meaningful relationships between professional classical musicians, residents and staff. It is the long term residency of a piano trio on the CESLC’s West Campus... A pianist, violinist and cellist will rehearse, lead classes and perform in independent living, assisted living, and memory care buildings on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout 2017. This program will serve 80 to 90 elderly residents through nine hours/week of open group classes and six hours/week of open rehearsals. 27 residents will work individually with musicians. Regularly scheduled recitals will attract 75 to 125 audience members consisting of residents, residents’ families and staff."
The pilot program will run for 12 weeks starting in January and ending in April. At that time, both the musicians and CESLC will reevaluate it with the intention of designing a full season.
Lauren is now looking to hire a violinist (applications due November 7) and a pianist (applications due November 21) to participate in her ground-breaking pilot project. If you are interested in the details, please contact Lauren here.
Sharing project documentation and examples of student thinking, and my own.