NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Summer Music Festival

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The harmonious sounds of the 5th Annual Summer Music Festival, directed by Christina Dietrick, permeated TC103 in the Hartleb Technology Center on August 14. Dulcet melodies drifted into the hallways as parents proudly watched their children demonstrate their musical talents.

The festival this year was held from Aug. 9 to Aug. 15. The artists presented their hard work after a grueling but enlightening week of musical camp. What started as just a fun program for aspiring musicians to hone their talents has turned into an annual music festival event.

Director Christina Dietrick became a part of NECC through Michael Kramer, a previous faculty member of NECC who performed as a guest pianist for the festival. He brought Dietrick to NECC after a change of direction in his path, by becoming a mathematics teacher. Leaving his piano class expertise, he chose Dietrick as his replacement.

“I wanted my class piano course to go to somebody who I knew was very competent, and I graduated with Christine from Boston University,” he said.

We both did our master’s and doctorate’s there at the same time,” said Dietrick.

The rest is history. Dietrick has been the piano teacher at NECC since 1994, as well as the music faculty at Mount Wachusett Community College, Indian Hill Music, and is the founder/director of the Chopin Conservatory of Music on the North Shore. Her other notable accomplishments include her performances both in the United States and Europe as a soloist in concert, as well as with orchestras performing on a plethora of stages including Jordan Hall, Alice Tulley Hall at Lincoln Center. She regularly performs at the New York Public Library and Chopin Society of New England.

The Annual Summer Music Festival began 5 years ago when Dietrick received the opportunity to organize a music festival from chairman Kenneth Langer. “First it started with just being a piano camp, but then I said, why don’t I make it chamber music? So therefore I brought in two colleagues. First it was Alice Holstrom, then it was Caroline Reiner-Williams, and then her husband Angel Hernandez-Dominguez joined us 3 years ago,” Dietrick said.

Both Reiner-Williams and Hernandez-Dominguez performed alongside the students at the festival, adding even more life to the pieces. Both artists are of the highest caliber in their musical talents. Reiner-Williams, who plays the violoncello, received her undergraduate degree in cello performance at age 19, and has gone one to complete her master’s degree in cello performance at the Longy School of Music. Having toured Canada, England, France, Russia, Spain, and Portugal and being a member of the Boston Youth Symphony, she now spends her time as a faculty member at Brooks School in North Andover, Fay School, Indian Hill Music Center, and Joy of the Music Program. Reiner-Williams also founded the Nashaway Trio with her husband Hernandez-Dominguez and pianist Roy Imperio.

Her husband Hernandez-Dominguez graced the stage with his exceptional talents on the violin and viola. His accomplishments include his studies of violin at Manuel Saumell Conservatory in Havana. From there, he has been a part of the Aguascalientes Symphony Orchestra, the Queretaro Philharmonic, and performed as a soloist on many occasions. He currently teaches violin and viola at Brooks School in North Andover, Cushings Academy, and the Shrewsbury MA Public schools. He also builds and repairs violins.

From Brahms to Mozart, the artists’ renditions of classical music transformed TC103 into a music hall. The performers varied from all ages, from 4 to 14.

“I put on (Disney’s) ‘Fantasia’ . . . one of the days we had camp, and all the kids ran to the practice room because they were so eager to practice their skills,” said Dietrick.