Monique Mead is Musician in Residence May 15-19, 2017

Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival brings Carnegie Mellon University music professor Monique Mead to Orcas Island as Musician-in-Residence May 15th through 19th. She will work with string players of all ages in the public school music program and at an Advanced Master Class for community members.

Monique Mead and her graduate assistant, Abbey Roemer, have been virtual instructors in the Orcas Island public school music classes this winter and spring, coaching Pamela Wright’s strings classes every month via Skype. Ms. Mead has enjoyed the distance-learning process, and says, “I love connecting with the students through Skype. It allows us to collaborate over an entire semester and builds excitement for the Musician-in-Residence week. The most frustrating thing is that I can’t reach out and lift those sagging elbows, but just you wait!”

Mrs. Wright is pleased with the progress her students have made with this novel mode of learning and remarked, “The Skype sessions that we have had so far with Monique and Abbey have been very instructive!  We have been helped to reevaluate our bowing, which changed the emotion of one of our pieces.”

The week of intensive instruction culminates in the school music program’s Spring Concert, “Waltzing Through the Ages,” on May 18th at 7:00 p.m. in the High School gym. The students will play waltzes and courtly dances along with other dance forms. Many familiar tunes will include selections from “The Sound of Music” and waltzes for dukes, skaters, sailors, and even a river or two. Monique and Abbey will add to the evening’s entertainment, performing “Navarra,” a collection of flashy Spanish dances by Pablo de Sarasate, accompanied by Monique’s 12-year-old son Tino.

Community musicians have an opportunity to work with Monique Mead at an Advanced Strings Masterclass on Tuesday, May 16th, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. in the high school band room. The class is for advanced string players and string ensembles who would like coaching on pieces they are working on. Members of the community are also invited to come and observe the masterclass. This is a great opportunity to watch and learn from a very engaging master instructor. For more information about the masterclass and to sign up, contact Laura Gibbons at the Orcas Island Chamber Music office, 360-376-6636 or

This week of music instruction and performance is presented by Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival with the generous support of Rick Gould and Mimi and Slim Sommerville. OICMF has offered its Musician-in-Residence program to Orcas Island students and community members for over ten years, bringing musicians and music educators into the community to teach, coach, and inspire musicians of all ages.