Opus | July 2020


July 2020 Opus


News at CCM

CCM Welcomes Violinist Eric Mrugala to Our Faculty

Your Stranded Instructor?


2020 Online CCM Student Recitals

Exceptional June 2020 Recital Performances

Performing at home didn’t get our students down. With resiliency, a strong commitment to practice, and the desire to share their music with their family and peers, our students impressed all who attended their online recital watch party.

Spring Online Recitals

Recitals this year required teamwork—and thankfully, everyone rose to the occasion. A heartfelt thank you to all the parents and instructors who provided guidance, encouragement, and especially for their patience and honing their video taping skills. A huge thanks to Nicole Parks, CCM instructor, for editing our videos for the virtual recitals.


Distance Learning at CCM

COVID-19 Response & Recommendations

We’re keeping the music going! The health and safety of both our school community and the greater community are of the utmost importance to us. CCM continues to provide Distance Learning for our private lesson students as well as some group classes and will do so until further notice. We expect to announce our plans for providing lessons and group classes for the fall semester by the end of July – early August.


Online Summer Music Camps

For kids and adults, there’s still time to register for a great summer experience!

Turn to music this summer to boost your creativity, improve your cognitive skills, and soothe your nerves.

Summer online music camps are designed specifically for virtual music learning.

Receive high-quality instruction with the excitement of making music with other students who love music!  Each program includes Zoom sessions, and other resources to supplement the learning. 

Learn a new instrument in the summer the right way, sign-up for private lessons.

Are you a CCM friend yet? Join us on Instagram and Facebook to be the first to learn CCM news! See what music videos we like, photos we post, practice tips and articles we suggest, and what's new in the music world.


Eric Mrugala


We’re pleased to welcome accomplished violinist Eric Mrugala to the CCM faculty. He brings a wealth of teaching and performance experience to our school and is dedicated to making the arts more accessible to everyone. Eric’s goal is to ensure that each student feels accomplished and successful after every lesson. He hopes to inspire students and share his joy for music in his lessons. 

His teachings extend outside the classroom; he’s the creator and host of the Everyday Musician Podcast and shares stories of local musicians doing fantastic work in their communities. As the creator and host of the Violin Podcast, Eric invites violinists from around the world to discuss practice tips, music career advice, and how the violin has shaped their life.


Your Stranded Instructor


Just for giggles, you’re stranded on a deserted island, and if you could only listen to one song, what would that be? We asked this question of our faculty, and, as you can imagine, they generated an eclectic list of songs and explained their choices. 

Kitty Cheung-Evans and Tsuyoshi Honjo

Both chose the song: What a Wonderful World, by Louis Armstrong 


Kitty's reason: It popped into my head!

Tsuyoshi's reason: If I'm about to face a hardship on an island alone, I would like to focus on the good things about being in that situation, and hopefully enjoy it.  This song is perfect for reminding myself to appreciate nature and see the bright side of life.

Mike Connors

Song: Cold Sweat by James Brown 

Why? Because staying Funky is the most important part of survival, no matter where you are.

Greta Feeney

Song: Jeaux D’eau by Ravel 

Why? Because the piano imitates the sound of cool, flowing water perfectly.

Note: The title is often translated as "Fountains," "Playing Water" or literally "Water Games" (Wikipedia.org)

Susan Gottschalk

Song: The Bach Cello Suites (also for Viola!) 

Why? Because Bach is so interesting and there's always new ways of playing and listening to his sometimes intricate, sometimes simple counterpoint and melodies. They also convey such a range of emotions. (However, hope this never happens!!)

Yoko Hagino

Song: The Last Movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Ode to Joy)

Why? Because this is the most joyful song for me!!!

Lorna Henderson

Song: If I were stranded on a desert island, a piano on the beach and a book of Bach fugues.

Why? It would keep me sane for a little while.

Hyunjung Kim

Song: Estrellita (little star) by Manuel Ponce

Why?  It reminds me of childhood memories and the warmth of parents.

Keith Kirchoff

Song: Cage's 4'33 

No, your computer is not on mute. This might explain the piece. 

Why? The piece will help to center me and allow me to hear the natural beauty around me as music instead of terror and panic! (Plus, I do my best thinking in silence, and I'm going to have to do a lot of thinking to get me off that island!)

Chieko Loy

Song? Well, the song I want to sing, (not to hear), would be Furusato 

Why? It’s a popular and beautiful Japanese folk song which means home.

Fabrizio Mazetta

Song: A lush sounding orchestral and jazz instrumental ballad by pianist Danilo Perez: Across the Crystal Sea

Why? The bright light and soothing harmonic and rhythmical effects at play in this tune both create a landscape for the string orchestra and the solo piano to wonder and improvise melodic melismas. A postcard from heaven without a sense of isolation.

Aaron Myers

Song: Aaron said that it's not a "song" but a piece: Clocks and Clouds by György Ligeti

Why? Because there are so many interesting sounds and textures that I love, and I hear something new every time I listen.

Melissa Tucker

Song: The Brahms Horn Trio, finale performed at the beautiful Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, MA.   

Why? It is one of my favorite classical pieces.

Rich Stillman

Song: Whatever song I'm learning at the time! (I hope I'm not marooned for long.)

Angel Valchinov

Song: Song to the Moon, From the Opera Rusalka by Dvorak 

Why? It is about longing, missing a loved one!

Bjorn Wennas

Song: My Funny Valentine played by Jim Hall and Bill Evans. 

Why? I can listen to them play together forever... and I might just have to :)

Masako Jasmine Yotsugi 

Song: Here’s to life by Shirley Horn

Why? Because I think it fits to the situation...and it’s an absolute master piece. Johnny Mandel’s beautiful orchestra arrangement, the lyrics, and the way Shirley sings makes me cry. (on a side note, Shirley Horn handed Masako her diploma at her Berklee graduation ceremony!)