Submitted by Patricia Schmidt
In September 2012, Cathedral Academy at Pompei (CAP), an international school in the Roman Catholic tradition on the north side of Syracuse, was informed that the nonprofit group Imagine Syracuse was unable to continue funding the Young Musicians Project, a free after-school music program begun at the school in 2011.
Several generous musicians, however, stepped in to help. With the leadership of Victoria King, operations manager for Central New York’s symphony Symphoria, Alina Plourde, Beth Scott, Jenni Foutch and Blagomira Lipari created the Cathedral Academy at Pompei Symphonic Music Program.
With the help of free instruments from retailer Music & Arts, financial grants from Syracuse Sounds of Music Association, Inc. and Society for New Music, and generous individual donors, the new music program is flourishing.
Currently, 35 children in grades 2 through 6 participate for two hours twice per week. Also, this winter parents, teachers and students sold 2,500 chocolate bars to support the orchestra. In the fall of 2013, the plan is to enlarge the program and welcome new CAP music students in grades 2 through 6.
Recently, Symphoria has enriched the CAP Symphonic Music Program by contributing time, finances and teachers. To encourage CAP’s present and future young musicians, Symphoria paid the total cost for students grades 2 through 6 to attend a Colors of the Orchestra Concert. Additionally, Symphoria musicians Fred Klemperer, Susan Jacobs, Walden Bass and Eric Gustafson visited CAP and rehearsed with the CAP orchestra, along with Syracuse University graduate music education students. The Northside Urban Partnership also recently invited the CAP Symphonic Music Program to perform African Dances for Dryden High School students, and more neighborhood concerts are being planned.
For more information about CAP and the Symphonic Music Program, visit www.capsyracuse.org.