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NGI Recipient: Stuart Martin

Session Attended: Country Dance and Song Society - Early Music Week (2018)

I am writing to express my deepest gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the CDSS Early Music Week at Pinewoods Camp this past August.

I am a recorder player, and I participated in the Accademia program. I learned quite a bit from experienced professionals about playing Renaissance Consort instruments. It was very fun each morning to be playing a melody that was right in the middle of the harmony. Even more satisfying was the feeling of noticeably getting better at playing with other people, and playing in tune on Renaissance recorders. This is the main skill I take home from Pinewoods. I play recorder at New England Conservatory, and in the Boston Recorder Orchestra, and now I have a bunch more experience playing in tune and operating easily with Renaissance fingerings. These skills are easily useful in my everyday life as a musician.

Each evening was English country dancing in a large pavilion, which was made very accessible for all. As a non-dancer, I particularly appreciated this fact.

The highlight of my week, more fundamentally than learning to become a more adept musician, was the friends that I made at camp. Spending a week in close proximity to a handful of new friends, being able to go to bed saying “see you tomorrow”, and having just as much fun the next day as the last (by playing music, swimming in lakes, walking through woods, playing cards, etc.), was a wonderful experience.

I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in Early Music Week, especially at a time when I do not have very much money, and would not otherwise have been able to participate. I hope this scholarship opportunity helps to get a younger crowd to know about CDSS & Pinewoods, and to have as great a time as I had.