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9 Responses to Testimonials

  1. Esra Celikten says:

    Dear Marian Anderson String Quartet:

    As being in a Doctorate program majoring in Cello Performance in College of Music at University of North of Texas, Denton, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your generosity having me in 4th Annual Marian Anderson String Quartet Chamber Music Institute 2009. I am very honored to be the participant of this magnificent organization was provided me. It was a tremendous pleasure to meet with Marian Anderson String Quartet and their artistic approach to chamber music institution. As my current position in Graduate String Quartet at UNT, I have had a great experience to perform with variety of ensembles in MASQCMI, and as a Teaching Assistant I also have acknowledged how to cooperate with young talents by observing their collaboration to work with adult, advanced and beginning level musicians with more than 20 ensembles and classes, as well as indoor and outdoor performances. With their remarkable efforts, the students were also provided with opportunities to study with a variety of excellent visiting artists, and obtained the benefits of interests in areas such as jazz improvisation, Alexander Technique, and stage manner.

    Marian Anderson String Quartet Chamber Music Institution is not only a summer camp for the young musicians to improve, and share their musical ideas, but also grow their friendship relations with variety of joyful events. It is a marvelous music home to be a part of.
    During my education in Texas, it is going to be my pleasure to recommend this organization to all musicians to witness their growing success, and become a part of their any occasion to be achieved in the future.

    Esra Celikten Cello, CMI 2009
    Doctor of Musical Arts Candidate
    Cello Performance/Professor Eugene Osadchy
    University of North Texas/ College of Music

  2. Fred & Judi Chester says:

    Dear Marian Anderson String Quartet,

    We are writing to express our appreciation for the excellent experience that you provided our daughter and many other students through your Chamber Music Institute during the summer of 2009. Our daughter, Rebecca, has attended a number of summer music camps in the past, but the experience in your program was by far the best. She truly enjoyed the instruction, performances and social events. The interaction with multiple artists and participation in a quartet were new experiences for Rebecca. These experiences strengthened her appreciation for playing music and performing music with others.

    The Institute was well structured and successfully provided a variety of stimulating activities. The ability to interact with daily guest artists, share their expertise, and experience their joy were unique aspects of your Institute. As parents, we enjoyed the opportunity to attend these portions of the program and share the experience with our daughter.

    Another wonderful aspect of the Institute was the opportunity for the students to work with each member of the Quartet, both individually and together as a group. The feedback from different members of the Quartet and the opportunity to learn with their peers was invaluable.

    Finally, we were impressed with the outreach activities that the Chamber Music Institute offered. Giving children the chance to learn to play an instrument and then perform to an audience, when they wouldn’t have the opportunity otherwise, is truly special. The effort of the Quartet in sharing music with the community is an excellent example of outreach that we hope our daughter and fellow students will emulate in the future.

    Our family looks forward to the opportunity to participate in the Chamber Music Institute again next year. We want to thank you for reaching out to our daughter.

    With sincere appreciation,
    Fred & Judi Chester
    Parents of
    Rebecca, violin, CMI 2009
    College Station, Texas

  3. David Moreno says:

    To whom it may concern:
    I am a student at Texas A&M University, and I am writing to express my full support and appreciation for the Marian Anderson String Quartet Chamber Music Institute.
    I came to TAMU in the Fall of 2006 as a Genetics and Biochemistry double major thinking that I had no opportunities to continue my musical education. Having played the cello for 7 years prior to attending TAMU, I was heartbroken that I would have to give up my passion for playing. It wasn’t until my second semester that I took a music course from Professor Diedra Lawrence, the violist for the Marian Anderson String Quartet. Late in the semester she invited the rest of the MASQ to perform a few pieces for our class. At once all of my passionate feelings for music came rushing back. It was then that I discovered that these talented women could give me the opportunity I longed for.
    I have since transferred into the Department of Performance Studies as a Music major and have been studying in the studio of Prudence McDaniel, the cellist for the MASQ, for two years. I have attended three MASQ Chamber Music Institute summer sessions which has afforded me an invaluable amount of knowledge. Not only have these summer sessions helped me grow as a chamber musician, they have given me the chance to develop as an educator of music. These skills are crucial to my success as both a cellist and a future collegiate educator.
    This past summer the MASQ awarded me the opportunity to perform the fourth movement of Schubert’s Quintet in C Major with them. Very rarely is a student as young as myself given the pleasure to work and collaborate with such talented and world renowned musicians as the Marian Anderson String Quartet. Instead of spending numerous months touring around the world, these women decided to stay in the Bryan/College Station community to provide for the children who live in, what some call, a musical wasteland. Such organizations as the Boys and Girls Club are welcomed into the Chamber Music Institute and given free music lessons. This is just one of numerous ways the MASQ has given back to the community.
    I am one of many that cannot afford the full costs of attending the MASQ Chamber Music Institute. Fortunately, I was awarded with a full scholarship to all summer sessions that I have attended. This was only possible because of the funds and grants that the MASQ has received. Without this financial help my career goals would be significantly altered towards a less prestigious path and my musical wellbeing would be stunted.
    I urge you to consider helping the Marian Anderson String Quartet and their efforts with the Chamber Music Institute as they continue to develop and inspire musicians of all ages in the Bryan/College Station community.
    David Moreno
    19 years old
    Cello, CMI 2008, 2009
    Bryan, Texas

  4. Helen Treat says:

    To whom it may concern,
    The Marian Anderson String Quartet is a very talented and supportive group who knows of the hidden talent in our community and with their guidance the children can learn of the arts and unlock the beautiful music of the soul every talented child possesses.

    Helen Treat
    Mother of
    Marianne, 18, CMI intern 2008, 2009

  5. Jürg M. Blumenthal, Ph.D. says:

    To whom it may concern:

    I am writing this letter in support of the Marian Anderson String Quartet CMI program.

    My son Patrick participated in the CMI in the summer of 2009. He is nine years old and has been playing the piano for just under one year. His piano teacher recognized that he has considerable musical talents and recommended to us the Marian Anderson String Quartet CMI program as an excellent venue to further his musical studies.

    For the program Patrick was teamed up with a nine and a eight year old girl, forming a trio consisting of piano, violin, and cello. Performing music as a part of a team was new to all of them. They learned to play with each other and to listen and feel the music, bringing their music together not as individual players but as a new synergistic entity. It was amazing for me as a parent and music lover to observe the excellent instruction of the music teachers that helped these third graders in a very child focused way to explore music as a team. I was impressed by the discipline and the joy the children expressed, that was fostered in a singular learning environment.

    The Marian Anderson String Quartet CMI program is an outstanding and unique opportunity for our community and I hope wholeheartedly that you will support this excellent program.


    Jürg M. Blumenthal, Ph.D.
    Father of
    Patrick, 9, piano, CMI 2009
    College Station, Texas

  6. Robert Bretzlaff says:

    During the fall and spring semesters, my violinist son participates in orchestras at the University of California at Berkeley. This past summer, he was able to advance greatly in his level of musical listening and interpretation by participating in a quartet with some very talented TAMU students under the instruction of the members of the Marian Anderson String Quartet during their Summer Music Institute. My son very much wants to come back next summer to repeat the experience, which he could not readily obtain anywhere else. Thanks to The Gilbert and Thyra Plass Arts Foundation for helping to make the Summer Music Institute possible.

    Robert Bretzlaff
    Father of
    William, 20 violin, CMI 2008, 2009
    Berkeley, California

  7. Elizabeth Amdor says:

    To whom it may concern at MASQ or local sponsors,

    This is the second year my daughter has participated in the MASQ summer workshop. She continues to enjoy the opportunity to play in a smaller setting, an ensemble, as she normal plays in a large high school orchestra. She is seriously considering teaching music in the public school setting, especially high school orchestra. After participating in this summer’s MASQ’s workshop, she has a deeper knowledge of how teaching various students from all economic, social, and ethnic backgrounds can be rewarding.
    The enthusiasm, smiles, and warmth generated by the beautiful ladies of the MASQ, as well as the camp nurse, positively affected all of the participants, especially those younger ones from the Boys and Girls Club who had their first experience with a stringed instrument!
    I am a school nurse at a local public high school, and have many encounters with students from all backgrounds. I can truly say that any confidence gained through learning a stringed instrument…which is portable, easily cared for, and lovely to look at establishes a desire in the education of oneself, and an incentive to hang on, push through, and perfect the end product….success in life.
    These are truly giving, talented ladies, and I cannot tell you how blessed Bryan/College Station area is to have them located here.

    Most sincerely,

    Mrs. Elizabeth Amdor,
    Mother of
    Jackie, 15, violin, CMI 2008,2009
    College Station, Texas

  8. Eric Rosenquist says:

    To whom it may concern,

    I want to express my appreciation for your generous support that enabled me and many others to attend the fourth annual Marian Anderson String Quartet Chamber Music Institute on scholarship. This was my second year at the institute. This year, as the camp continued to grow, there were two sessions and I participated in both, playing piano for the Schumann piano quintet in the first session and violin for the Beethoven first piano trio in the second session. I was one of the students in the advanced division. It is difficult to assemble a group that can study and perform at a high level, even in a larger city, and it would be impossible to find world class coaching in this community otherwise. We were able to do both thanks to the efforts of the Marian Anderson String Quartet. The CMI presents one of only a few such opportunities in this region of Texas, and also a unique opportunity.

    The members of MASQ are expert teachers and can switch readily between beginners and doctoral music students. I believe the camp is structured in a way that maximizes the benefit to all types of student. In particular there are many beginning children for whom this is their only exposure to chamber music. Over the course of the camp, they receive training and make significant technical and musical progress. At the end of the camp session we all participate in a well-received concert in which all groups are called to perform at their very best. This was underscored by one experience we had in the second session, where several advanced players including myself had assembled a side group that MASQ determined was not sufficiently prepared for the recital. In another camp we might have argued that because of our years of experience, our group might still give a better performance than young children who had spent more time, but the spirit of the camp was that every player must give his or her best effort, and a halfhearted effort would be discouraging to those who put in a real effort. I admire this approach, and I believe it shows up in the final performance.

    I believe that attracting advanced players is critical for the success of the camp. Because MASQ makes every effort to open the camp to advanced players, many of the advanced players in the area and also a number who travel from around the country are given training for their own benefit, but equally importantly, the advanced players serve as an inspiration and model for the younger players. Providing financial support for advanced players is critical to the camp. It is important to attract advanced players because parents who might be considering sending their children to the camp would prefer a prestigious environment, which MASQ has been able to create. Many older students are supporting themselves and would be more readily get involved if they did not have to weigh the tuition against other factors in their life, especially when other summer institutes provide scholarships.

    MASQ has an ongoing commitment to share their artistic talent and experience with the community. This year thanks to donations they were able to extend their teaching to introduce children at the Boys and Girls Club to violin playing. These children were featured playing several songs in the final recital alongside MASQ. MASQ is different from other professionals in that they are willing to trust children with their delicate instruments when introducing them to them and also to share the stage with them. I have also been given both these honors (more importantly the second), as are several camp participants each year from different levels of experience. In contrast, elsewhere I have seen a university boast that its students are so good that some of them can play in a chamber concert featuring faculty artists. The MASQ philosophy on the other hand is that once one has acquired a high level of skill, it is something to be shared with students from all skill levels and backgrounds. They also seek to spread the spirit of outreach to the camp participants, arranging for us to conduct a free performance and lecture demonstration in the community, as they have done themselves many times.

    I think it is very important to help MASQ continue to expand its outreach and teaching to bring world class music to Bryan/College Station in years to come. In a time when the influence of the fine arts is dwindling, it is more important than ever to raise the awareness of the next generation of artists and fans. I think our area arts scene is in unexpectedly good shape for the size of the town, thanks to the efforts of MASQ, the Brazos Valley Symphony, and numerous special programs, all of which rely on private financial support for their survival.

    Thank you very much again for your support!

    Eric Rosenquist
    28 years old
    Violin, Piano, CMI 2008,2009
    Computer Scientist
    College Station, Texas

  9. Robert Bretzlaff says:

    To Whom It May Concern –

    As a parent of a participant in the Marian Anderson String Quartet Classical Music Institute (MASQ-CMI) I am able to enjoy seeing the younger generation enjoy great music. I hope that you will support MASQ-CMI because that program provides great motivation for students to develop their sense of proportion, harmony, and beauty, thereby increasing their interest in other liberal and fine arts and enhancing their lives generally. The MASQ-CMI provides an element of balance to the everyday emphasis on sports. Please support the fine arts, a premier example of which is the MASQ-CMI. Thank you. – –

    Robert Bretzlaff
    Arts Supporter and Father Bryan, Texas

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