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Staples Chamber Orchestra

12/10/15

The Staples Chamber Orchestra is conducted by Adele Cutrali-Valovich, who started her teaching career in Atlanta, Georgia.  From there she went to Rochester, NY and finally found her way to Westport where she originally taught music in a middle school before coming to Staples.  The orchestra is comprised of ninth through twelve graders who have to audition to get a spot.  Ms Adele Cutrali-Valovich feels strongly that the analytical aspects of music along with its emotional content make for important building blocks in developing human beings.

The orchestra played a series of selections for the Y’s Men and their guests.  The first was one of the Mannheim symphonies.  This was followed by a piece originally started by Sir Hubert Parry and finished by one of his students at Oxford University.  The orchestra’s final selection was one of the Lieber Tango style pieces.

Q&A

Q.  What is the grade level mix in the orchestra?

A.  It is almost an even mix from 9-12

Q.  When did most of the orchestra members start and how much do they practice?

A.  Most started in fourth grade. They practice about 45 minutes to an hour each day depending on their school work load and we practice as a group for two hours each Wednesday.

Q.  How is the group financed?

A.  Because this is an extra-curricular activity, I receive a special stipend for the orchestra, but their instruments are privately purchased and owned by them.  Some are quite valuable.

Q.  How much discipline do they have to have?

A.  These are elite students with tremendous discipline.  There is a huge connection between academic success and music.

Q.  Will any of these students pursue music as a career?

A.  I know two of them are planning on it.  But almost all will keep music in their lives by playing in some local group or in some other way.  A career in music  is extraordinarily difficult today because of the competition and state of demand.