Dear Friend of Apple Hill,
When I was in my mid-teens and going through a very dark time in my life, I had a vivid dream. I dreamt I was part of a group of musicians, young and old, who lived and played chamber music together, and the guiding principle was—love. This dream became a beacon, a glimmer of hope that helped me survive the bleak landscape that was my life at the time.
A little over a decade later I first came to Apple Hill in the summer of 1971. I was 27 years old and filled with excitement but also some apprehension about what this place would be like. Apple Hill was the new permanent home for the music camp that Gene Rosov, a young cellist and Harvard student, had started two years earlier in Kingfield, Maine. For me it was love at first sight. It was so clear that this was a magical place and that my life would never be the same. For several summers, teen-aged music students came to Apple Hill to study chamber music for three or four or more weeks. And we the teachers enjoyed putting together informal concerts for the students. This was how Apple Hill was born. In 1973 several of us who taught at Apple Hill decided to make it our year-round home, and the same year the performing wing of Apple Hill, the Apple Hill Chamber Players, was formed. We were very fortunate that donors in the Monadnock area responded to our presence by contributing generously to Apple Hill, and so did past and present participants as our summer session alumni base grew. I so keenly remember the excitement and joy of those early years—I could hardly believe that my sustaining dream from over a decade earlier had come true. And I firmly believe that art saves lives—it saved mine.
Apple Hill evolved and changed over the years, becoming more inclusive and more diverse when participants of all ages were welcomed and we began the Playing for Peace program to bring music students together across international barriers. Many of the students we coached from around the world received scholarships to participate in Apple Hill sessions during the summer.
I left Apple Hill in 1995, but now when I come back as a visitor, I feel so proud to see the fruition of what we started decades earlier. On the foundation of what we built, Apple Hill has grown and developed in ways we never dreamed of. The student concerts are more full of verve and musicality than many professional concerts I’ve been to, the Apple Hill String Quartet sounds fantastic, the students and the music that is performed are more diverse than ever, with outreach all across the globe, and the buildings and gardens look beautiful and well-cared for. But the ethos of Apple Hill that was always understood hasn’t changed: every student is equal in worth, and the inexperienced beginner deserves the same loving attention as the most advanced student. Each chamber music group is a smaller version of the entire community that we are all a part of.
Apple Hill is unique in the world, and I have such a deep sense of satisfaction knowing that I had a hand in it. But none of this would have been possible without the generosity of our donors. You are the kingpin that holds all of this together. And this is why I’m personally asking each of you to give as generously as you can by visiting applehill.org/give to keep this beacon of hope and light alive.
Apple Hill Violist 1971–1995
P.S. For maximum impact, please consider a monthly donation to become a Sostenuto Society member. These recurring gifts provide critical sustaining support to Apple Hill.Donate