Artist in Residence: Andres Vera

Dozens of island student musicians will enjoy the opportunity to meet and learn from Master Cellist Andres Vera, with strings students from around the island joining him on stage this Saturday at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown.

“We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to welcome Mr. Vera back to the island,” says Kim Baumhofer, MVCMS Board Member and Youth Programs Coordinator. “Our greatest wish is that our young music students are inspired to play for years to come.”

A solo performer, collaborator and teacher, Andres Vera is the cellist with the Grammy Award-winning Quartet San Francisco. He is a founding member of Cello Street Quartet in San Francisco. Vera visited the island previously, with Quartet San Francisco, as part of the 2016 MVCMS Summer Music Festival and was anxious to return to contribute to the island community.

The week long program has allowed Mr. Vera to work with individual students, as well as student ensembles. He has also provided presentations to local elementary schools students.

A free public concert will be held this Saturday afternoon at 4 PM, at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown. The concert will feature Vera, local strings instructors, and students.

Funded by a grant from MVYouth, MVCMS’s “Artist in Residency” program is part of a three-year campaign designed to encourage and support new and continuing student musicians.   Additional funds from the Local Massachusetts Cultural Councils will provide stipends for teachers, and concert support.

The MVYouth grant also enabled the MVCMS to purchase twenty new violins and violas in 2016, adding to its available inventory. About sixty violins and violas are leased to island string students every year, at no cost.   The Tower Foundation and Martha’s Vineyard Permanent Endowment has provided funds for instrument repair and maintenance.

The Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society is the island’s oldest classical music organization, and is committed to removing barriers for interested student players.   The non-profit organization supports local music students with free loans of stringed instruments and scholarships for private lessons.