State Theatre New Jersey


Forging New Educational Partnerships

State Theatre New Jersey is pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with the Center for Musical Excellence (CME), a nonprofit organization that nurtures and supports gifted young classical musicians. The partnership will give the State Theatre access to a wealth of young talent to enhance our nationally-recognized Education & Community Engagement programs, while providing employment opportunities for the artists. Their work with the State Theatre will see the musicians interacting with all kinds of groups in a variety of places, giving them invaluable experience by connecting with audiences in both traditional and nontraditional settings.

CME’s Founder and Director, pianist Min Kwon, serves on the music faculty at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts. She created the organization with the mission to provide high-caliber training and individually tailored assistance, financial support, and professional opportunities to young musicians who wish to pursue their advanced education and life in music in the United States. Community engagement is an important part of the musicians’ training.

The CME artists, graduates of America’s most prestigious conservatories, have graced the stages of venues including Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, performed before presidents and queens, and committed themselves to bringing classical music into the lives of young people—especially children in disadvantaged communities. They bring youth, talent, and enthusiasm to their work at the State Theatre. This season, four artists on the CMA roster are featured in two State Theatre programs: Symphony Scholars and our community artist residency.

CME pianists Patricio Molina and Enriqueta Somarriba are the teaching artists for this season’s Symphony Scholars program. They have been working with four middle-school music classes in the New Brunswick schools, who attended the State Theatre Classical Series concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In the pre-performance sessions, students learned about what to expect at the concert and how to listen to the music. (A special moment was getting to watch an archival video of three-year-old Patricio performing on Chilean television!) The follow-up classes gave students an opportunity for thoughtful discussion and reflection.

The State Theatre’s Artist-in-Residence program features two CME violinists: George Meyer and Suliman Tekalli. George, son of world-renowned bassist Edgar Meyer, is a versatile musician who performs everything from classical violin repertoire to fiddle tunes, as well as his own original compositions. Suliman, who also doubles as both performer and composer, makes time in his busy concert schedule to spread a love and appreciation for music in classrooms and community centers throughout the region.

Designed to make the arts accessible to everyone, the State Theatre’s free Artist-in-Residence program gives audiences an “up-close-and-personal” experience with a professional performer. As this season’s residency artists, George Meyer and Suliman Tekalli will teach and perform at schools, senior centers, residential treatment centers, hospitals, shelters, and other places throughout the community. Working separately, they will share their considerable charm and talent from late February through mid-May. The residency culminates with the two musicians coming together for a joint recital on Sunday, May 17.

The State Theatre is thrilled to be partnering with the Center for Musical Excellence. The collaboration offers both organizations new opportunities that will benefit emerging artists as well as the larger community.

Written by Lian Farrer

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