There is so much to being a musician. You have to practice every day, you have to go to rehearsals and lessons, you have to finesse nuanced skills like the five skills of chamber music that we teach at Apple Hill. Most of all, you need boundless passion for music and a drive for perfection to keep yourself motivated every day, year after year.
When I read applications for the Summer Chamber Music Workshop (SCMW), I meet musicians who have those qualities in spades. It is awe-inspiring how much they love music and how hard they are willing to work to develop their talents. Aside from love and talent however, there is one other crucial thing: money.
Everyone who applies to the SCMW has to buy their instrument, new strings or reeds, and sheet music, as well as pay for one-on-one instruction. It all adds up! Time and again, I meet musicians whose love for music is hindered only by the great expense of paying for it.
Take John, 13, a cellist from one of our partner organizations. Along with a beautiful placement recording and an application packed with musical experiences, he told us this:
Well, my Mom is single. We sold our house so we could continue to live alright. She already told me Christmas might be little for us this year. It’s okay as long as we are together. I know she would sell anything for me to go to Apple Hill but she already sold the house. I don’t want her to sell anymore. Either way, choose me and I’ll be there. She’ll make sure of it.
In a way, John already has everything he needs to be a musician—he takes lessons, practices hard, loves music, and has a mother devoted to supporting him and his music. What’s missing? Financial support for John to fulfill his musical dreams.
I got a little emotional reading John’s application—and the dozens of others like it—because it reminds me of when I first applied to Apple Hill’s Summer Chamber Music Workshop at age 17. No matter how much I practiced (every day) or how devoted my mom was to providing for my education (immeasurably), the price tag to attend Apple Hill was a real hurdle. Fortunately, my mom didn’t have to sell anything for me to attend Apple Hill, because generous donors made it possible for me to get a scholarship. I attended, and 15 years later, I can still attest to how much my life was enriched by it—I went on to get a music degree, live abroad, play violin professionally, and of course best of all, to work at Apple Hill, helping other musicians, like John, have the same incredible experience I had.
John is one of over 200 students who will apply for a scholarship this year. Some come from dire economic situations, some from countries currently at war, and some simply can’t afford the many expenses of being a musician.
You can enrich John’s life in the same way my life was enriched by Apple Hill. You don’t even have to play in tune, or go to rehearsal, or practice every day, all you have to do is donate to Apple Hill’s spring appeal.
Summer Workshop Administrative Director
“All of these people, from many different places, with different personalities come together for one reason: to make music. It’s the most universal and most powerful language.”
-Jorge Girón Vives, scholarship student from Dallas Young Strings.