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Caeli Smith

Rayos de Canción -- and Spring Update

March 8, 2011 at 7:02 PM

I'm home for spring break from Juilliard, enjoying the bright, chilly spring weather and the company of my sisters! This semester, so far, is busy and exhausting, but also exciting. One highlight was playing a concert in Carnegie Hall under the baton of composer John Adams. His piece, "City Noir" was unlike any other orchestral piece I've played - it was jazzy and full of tension (based off the music from the old black-and-white noir films, Maestro Adams told us) - complete with drum kit and saxophone. 

When I get back to Juilliard next Monday, we'll be gearing up for a March 25 performance of Mahler 5 and the Berg Violin Concerto with soloist Itamar Zorman under the direction of James DePreist in Avery Fisher Hall. Then on April 15, the concert I've been most looking forward to all year: Mahler 9 in Avery Fisher, under the direction of Alan Gilbert. I feel so incredibly fortunate to be able to play under these fabulous music directors.

During my 2-week break, in addition to kicking back with my sisters and taking care of little chores like eye-doctor appointments and violin adjustments, I've been preparing a recital for this coming Sunday, March 13, on behalf of Rayos de Canción (Rays of Music), a group I've cofounded with five other Juilliard friends.

The six of us-- four musicians and two dancers--  will travel to Antigua City, Guatemala in May to work with children suffering from cerebral palsy at Las Obras Sociales del Santo Hermano Pedro (Social Works of Brother Pedro). We plan to create a documentary about the trip and to establish an ongoing connection between Juilliard students and the hospital in Antigua City. Juilliard is supplying a partial grant of $2500 to help cover transportation, room and board, safety measures and supplies. It's up to me and the other group co-founders to raise the rest, about $700 apiece. We are doing this by holding benefit recitals in our hometowns during break, and another recital at a church in Manhattan when we get back. We're also writing letters to friends and relatives, and even holding bake sales. A bake sale during Juilliard audition week has already raised over $200. Here is an article with more detail about our project

If you happen to live in or near Philadelphia, please come to the concert! It is free to the public (we are asking a freewill donation to support the cause, but foremost we want to raise awareness and have a great audience.) Kids are welcome to attend! I will be playing works by Bach, Barber, and Piazzolla with my longtime and fabulous accompanist, Tim Ribchester

The concert is at 3 PM in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia. For specifics, see this link in the local "Patch."

From Mendy Smith
Posted on March 9, 2011 at 6:30 AM

What a great way to apply the arts!  I wished I lived up north so I could listen to you perform. 

From Yeou-Cheng Ma
Posted on March 13, 2011 at 4:47 AM

 Way to go, Caeli! As a developmental pediatrician and violinist, I applaud your work and invite you to submit it to the compendium of Music as a Natural Resource:

You are my hero!

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