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NGI Recipient: Nellie Smith

Session Attended: Country Dance and Song Society - Early Music Week (2016)


Dear Pinewoods Camp, Inc. and Country Dance and Song Society,

Thank you so much for granting me a New Generation Initiative Scholarship! Without your generous support, I would not have been able to attend the CDSS Early Music Week’s Accademia program.

I attended Early Music Week twice before in 2011 and 2012 when I was still in high school, and I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience, from the serene forest setting, the homemade food, the friends and colleagues made, the English Country dancing, to the excellent instruction from the faculty. Early Music Week at Pinewoods was the first early music festival I ever attended, and I consider it responsible for inspiring in me the love of that period and the desire to study it further! I received valuable knowledge on the history, technique, repertoire, and performance practice of early music from the faculty both times I attended, and this year was no different.

I came this year hoping to refine my consort playing technique and gain more knowledge about the repertoire and performance practice. I was not disappointed, and I was even assigned a new project: learning to play the great bass viol. This provided an extra intellectual (not to mention physical!) challenge, which made my week that much more rewarding.

One of my favorite parts from the week was the late-night viol consort sessions with faculty and other viol students. It was a lovely way to end the day after lots of rehearsals and coaching sessions, and I learned so much from playing with the staff members in that unique and intimate setting.

It was wonderful to be welcomed back into such a special community. Thanks to everyone who works tirelessly to make Early Music Week such a great experience!