Friday, July 31, 2015

Who's Who at the Center for Young Musicians- Chris Sforza

  We are delighted to announce a new member of our teaching faculty for the 2015-2016 school year, Mr. Christopher Sforza. Welcome, Chris!

Christopher A. Sforza is a musician and educator originally from Watertown, Connecticut.  Before he joined CYM, he spent the last seven years living in Ithaca NY, where he received his B.M. in Music Education and M.M. in Suzuki Pedagogy from Ithaca College.  Christopher’s educational philosophy focuses on bringing people together through music and the arts.  He is passionate about empowering students of all ages through his teaching and exposing students to a variety of music from a diverse cultural and stylistic background.

In addition to being a dedicated teacher, Christopher is also an active performer.  During his time at Ithaca College he regularly performed with the Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and numerous chamber music ensembles. His primary violin teachers at Ithaca included Nicholas DiEugenio and Susan Waterbury.  Christopher studied Suzuki Pedagogy with Carrie Reuning-Hummel and received training from Edward Kreitman and Kimberly Meier-Sims.

In his spare time, Christopher enjoys composing and arranging music.  He feels strongly about working with living composers and the importance of performing new music in addition to the standard classical repertoire.  He has had the opportunity to work with contemporary composers such as Michael Gandolfi, Melinda Wagner, Steven Stucky, and Steven Mackey.

When Christopher is not with violin in hand, he loves going to the farmer’s market and buying vegetables for a new recipe.

We enjoy a Q+A session with Mr. Chris...

CYM: What is your favorite composer or piece to play, and why?

Mr. Chris: How can anyone pick his or her favourite composer/piece?  It's impossible.  I will say that J.S. Bach will always remain my musical foundation.  As a lover of all things Baroque, I find the beauty, energy, and invention in Bach to deeply resonate within me.  Bach can one minute make me smile and laugh; the next moment I am brought to tears.  Mozart has a similar affect on me.  Try listening to the "Great c minor mass" without a box of tissues on hand.

CYM: If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be (and what would you eat?)

Mr. Chris: I think that I would have lunch with Meryl Streep at a Thai restaurant.  That seems like a great combination of flavour and fame.

CYM: What has music given you?

Mr. Chris: Music has given me the tools to communicate to people across cultures and backgrounds.  It has given me a way to express myself intellectually, emotionally, and artistically.  It has also given me an opportunity to give back to the community and the ability to inspire others.

CYM: What was your favorite childhood book?

Mr. Chris: There was this short little picture book called "The Ghost's Dinner" that I was obsessed with as a kid.  It was about a dinner party that a group of ghosts were throwing in which they changed colour according to each of the courses that they ate.  I even made a diorama for a book report on it in either 1st or 2nd grade.

CYM: What is your favorite treat to eat?

Mr. Chris: Does hummus or falafel count as a treat?

CYM: Haha, of course!

We hope that you'll be sure to say hello to Mr. Chris if you see him!

Woohoo! Year in Review 2014-2015...

What an exciting year it's been here at CYM. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, let's let our photo archive do the talking...

Ms. Ashley holds the fall Fiddling Workshop

Brett Williams visits for a brilliant workshop and masterclass

Marcus Miller with his band live in concert, part two of Brett Williams' masterclass- at the Manchester Craftsman's Guild
Dr. Sonia's student prepare to perform pre-concert at St. James Church

Dr. Sonia performs at her Mozart Apassionatta Community Concert
Students are recognized for their diligent practice!

Pianists gather to perform pre-concert at Heinz Hall for Gabrielle Montero and Symphony

Ava Heinricher performs in the Sewickley Studio
Sarah Pittel and Isaac McKinley are recognized as they graduate from CYM
Mr. Danny, Ms. Elisabeth, and Mr. Ryan dazzle a great crowd at Soergel Orchards

Our guitarists spice up the Saturday Light Brigade radio program

Violinists love the SLB too!

A very first performance.

Ms. Ashley accompanies Julia

All smiles at the Violins A Deux concert
Mr. Ryan is so proud of his student, Miss Annie

Claire performs vocals (and violin!) at the Solo Recital

Way to go, practice challenge winners!

Concerts at the Winchester Thurston school are a lovely time

Elliott Drake was an excited winner of the Chamber Music Pittsburgh practice challenge
We love music!
Thank you, all for a year of great memories!