Monday, November 29, 2010

CMI completes a successful first season – watch out, 2011, here we come!

The Community Music Initiative is a new NEAT program that builds North End community through participation in music. CMI has been running Saturday music events in the neighborhood every other week since September. Though the program is finished for this year, we’ll be back every other Saturday starting January 29th, 2011!

The first five CMI events have shown how fortunate we are to have an incredibly enthusiastic, creative, and musical neighborhood! Saturday events demonstrate increasing and committed attendance, from 25 participants at our first event to 53 at our fifth. CMI participants have been jumping into music-making with open minds and lots of energy, from young volunteers leading sections of the singing circle to older participants demonstrating drum beats for everyone to jam on. And best of all, people are making friends and making connections. One young CMI student now affectionately refers to another volunteer as her “adopted sister.” Performing together, singing together, and drumming together – we are getting to know each other.

Ana and Paige performing.

Jon and Aaron singing.

Our most recent workshop was especially musical and meaningful. Andrew Fogliano led us in Nyabinghi drumming which is a kind of group music where you drum and sing about life. And what did we sing about? Middletown, of course! We split up into small groups and made up short verses about the place we all live. Sometimes people disagreed (I like ____ restaurant better than ____) and sometimes they found common ground (I love going to the library, too). While making music together, CMI participants also learned about Middletown and each other.

Drumming and singing about life in Middletown.

A huge thanks to everyone who has supported the Community Music Initiative this fall. Thank you to workshop leaders, students, volunteers, and participants at our events. And a special shout-out to Roger Dufour, James Bendzinski, Betsy Gabriel, and Trisha Boirie for their consistent help making CMI Saturdays run smoothly.

Group photo, November 20th! Thanks Bruce Morin and Izzi Greenberg for all the fabulous photos along the way!

Stay tuned! CMI will post soon about a plan to go CAROLING. We’ll sing fun group songs with no particular religious-affiliation, travel around the neighborhood, and share some hot chocolate and snacks. If you’d like to be involved or help out, please email or call NEAT and ask for Emily (860 346 4845).

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