Community, History and the Natural World - seemingly different topics,
especially when it comes to the arts. How different are they really? Lenny
Matczynski, Executive and Artistic Director of Apple Hill Center for Chamber
Music, is passionate about all three and then some.
The Monadnock Region has a feel of small town infrastructure, especially
when it comes to the arts. There is civic mindedness in that any solution is a
phone call away."The Apple Hill community is so strong, you feel a part of this
community and are affected by anything anyone does," confides Matczynski when
asked about Arts in the Community.
Matczynski is excited for the upcoming 10 Concerts in Alternative Spaces
performed around the Monadnock Region. Cedar Crest, Harrisville Children's
Center, and a number of local schools are locations where the String Quartet plan
to perform this summer.
Speaking of the Apple Hill String Quartet, if you haven't seen them perform, now
is as good a time as ever to attend one of their concerts. They were in residency
when Matczynski arrived at Apple Hill and the five of them worked hard for a
number of years to become the amazing ensemble they are today. Their
repertoire is such that they can develop and reflect on the music that moves them
and their audiences, often focusing on neglected pieces or works by neglected
composers and bring them to life to the joy of their audience.
A main staple in what Apple Hill is and does is demonstrated in their Playing for
Peace Program - a focus on social change and conflict resolution through music.
Through the program, Apple Hill travels to countries with cultural, racial and
religious conflict where they preform and lead workshops. Musicians perform next
to piers from conflicting countries, the idea being to bring them together through
The summer program at Apple Hill which includes 300 students and 45 faculty
only proves that arts continue as a relevant, cultural necessity in this community.
However, the cabins that house students over the summer need some updating.
Matczynski also plans to expand with more of them. Improving this beautiful
campus seems to be an important focus in the near future.
If you need a break from the bustle that is your busy life, there's no sweeter
place to hear the sounds of music combined with nature than at Apple Hill. Drive
up on a warm summer day and you will hear music from every structure - strings in
the rehearsal space, piano from the 'shed' by the mess hall, woodwinds from a
structure through the trees. The buildings themselves are renovated from the
1700s farm that once occupied the property. Matczynski's office is located in an
old barn and he can "feel the age of the music in the bones of this old farm house."
You can see and feel the passion and respect that he portrays when speaking of
that which he loves. Which brings us to his idea of music influencing every
individual in a different way - everyone has a completely different experience and
relates to music in a solitary way. "It makes you feel alive," exclaims
Matczynski, that there is no same reaction to any one particular piece, note or
Whether you are a music aficionado or if you can't tell a violin from a viola, a trip
to Apple Hill is well worth your time.Even for an afternoon or evening, you can
be submerged in a fantastic musical cultural, see the history that is their buildings
and feel the influence of nature all around.
To learn more, visit their website at: http://applehill.org/.