Members of Estamos Ensemble (Alexander Bruck, Carmina Escobar, Julián Martínez Vázquez and Milo Tamez) performed at the Community Music Center in San Francisco, California, with the Rova Saxophone Quartet. This was during the Estamos Ensemble residency in 2010 and was presented by Outsound Presents.
Founded in 1912, CMC now provides classes to nearly 2,420 students each year on 30 different instruments and in musical genres from Jazz and Blues to Western Classical to Flamenco and Middle Eastern music. Over 18,500 people enjoy musical performances at no or low cost each year in CMC’s concert hall and out in the community. Community Music School (now Community Music Center) was founded as a department of the Dolores Street Girl’s Club settlement house in 1912. Gertrude Field came from the Mannes School of Music in New York to coordinate the new music program. Field was a former nurse, violin teacher and settlement house worker. She promptly made Community Music School an independent organization and moved it to the present Victorian home at 544 Capp Street where it continues to provide low or no cost music lessons and concerts.
Miss Field, who directed Community Music School until 1946, had a very straightforward educational philosophy: “We are not primarily concerned about the evolution of concert artists, though we give special attention to and encourage those who show exceptional talent. Our aim is to create a musical atmosphere in the home by giving children the means of expression. Hence, ‘how beautiful’, rather than how well played or sung, is the comment one hears oftenest in our classes.
Gertrude Field’s vision of Community Music School was to be a provider of music that was not art for art’s sake, but art for life’s sake. She wanted to create a music atmosphere in the home by giving children the means of expression. As part of its social vision, Community Music School became a founding agency of the Community Chest in 1922. In 1926, Mrs. Fleishhacker donated funds to add a recital hall where free or low cost concerts are still held many days of the year. Field and her Board led CMC through strong growth in the 20′s and 30′s, from 270 students in 1925 to 500 by 1938. Instruction focused on individual lessons and group classes in theory, appreciation, chamber ensemble and orchestra.
In addition to lessons, Community Music Center has had the honor of hosting a wide range of notable entertainers to Capp Street over the years. These have included Jennifer Koh, Joe Pass, Marcus Roberts, Regina Carter, Frederica von Stade, Jascha Heifetz, Dawn Upshaw, Andre Watts, Max Roach, Dr. Billy Taylor, Ruth Laredo, Pepe Romero, Richard Goode, the Kronos Quartet, Chanticleer and Jack Benny, who entertained students during his visit to Community Music Center.
Christopher J. Borg, Executive Director of Community Music Center, says “At Community Music Center, joining an ensemble or taking music lessons opens the door to a student’s sanctuary, a place where joy of learning, confidence, and achievement are nurtured and grow side by side. As CMC enters its tenth decade, the dedication to its founding mission of equity in opportunity continues to provide students of all ages and backgrounds with the chance to develop musically and personally through high-quality instruction and a broad range of programs.”
The mission of Outsound Presents is to encourage experimental musical composition, improvisational performance, and the invention and use of new musical instruments. Genres include jazz, the avant-garde, found sound, noise art, musique concrète, minimalism, and the unnamable.
Outsound events are often created as collaborations between musicians and film, dance, theatrical, literary and multimedia artists. Our aim always is to widen the parameters of the human perception of sound and its meanings.
This video is part of Picoas Project.
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