Apple Hill to continue renovations, virtual recitals in 50th year | Local News |

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The internal construction of the rehearsal space is at the top by the Nelson Apple Hill Chamber Music Center. The Apple Hill String Quartet above was performed in a video conference. From left: Elise Kuder, violin; Jesse MacDonald, violin; Rupert Thompson, cello; Mike Kelley, viola.

The existing rehearsal space at the Apple Hill Chamber Music Center in Nelson is being expanded.

Last month, the external structure of Nielsen’s rehearsal space at the Apple Hill Chamber Music Center is shown in the picture.

On summer nights, Nelson’s Apple Hill Chamber Music Center.

During the pandemic, Apple Hill String Quartet held a video conference. From left: Elise Kuder, violin; Jesse MacDonald, violin; Rupert Thompson, cello; Mike Kelley, viola.

During the ongoing modernization project, the Hoffman Community Auditorium at the Apple Hill Chamber Music Center in Nelson includes a recording studio.

Nelson-After a public health emergency interrupted its usual programming and cut its income, Apple Hill Chamber Music Center entered Nelson's sixth year, and things became less normal.

But the organization is

According to director Leonard Matczynski, the company usually accommodates hundreds of students on its 100-acre campus each summer-it has transferred some of its products online and is working on several years to revitalize its facilities .

Matczynski joined Apple Hill as a lecturer in the 1980s. He said that construction has resumed after the site was temporarily suspended.

He said that the organization's facility modernization began in 2010, and it has been 40 years since the organization moved from Hinsdale to its current location on Apple Hill Road. In the past ten years, Apple Hill has built a 60-seat Hoffman Community Auditorium, which can be heated all year round, and has refurbished most of its 24 living cabins.

Matczynski said: "Every building we renovate or build is very necessary." "This makes everything at Apple Hill look new."

But last spring, when he realized that Apple Hill might have to cancel its construction, the construction stopped.

Due to the epidemic, approximately 300 students are attracted each year.

Matczynski predicts that if there is no tuition for the program, and it is also expected that the quartet and other Apple Hill performers’ solo performances will result in loss of ticket sales, Matczynski expects revenue for the year to fall by 45%. He suspended construction, hoping to transfer financial issues to the project instead of letting financial issues affect the organization's nine employees. (According to Matczynski, all nine people stayed in Apple Hill.)

He said: "To me, it seems unethical." "So when we figure out what we are going to do, we just put it on hold."

According to Matczynski, there was no significant programming expense last year, and Apple Hill cut its operating budget by about a third. He explained that it has made up for the remaining revenue losses in private fundraising and government programs, and has received nearly $20,000 from the federal CARES Act through the state government.


Matczynski said Apple Hill resumed construction in September.

He said that the current work is concentrated in the center of the campus, including expanding the kitchen and rehearsal room, adding three new practice rooms and installing new utility equipment. He expects these projects to be completed in June 2021, and the subsequent phases will last until at least 2025.

The violent quartet singer Mike Kelley (Mike Kelley) has been involved in Apple Mountain activities since he was a student in Apple Mountain in 1986. He said he hopes that larger facilities will help Apple Mountain resume in-person teaching later this year.

He said: "If we want to have a group that can rehearse (during rehearsal) next summer, then these large spaces will be very important."


, Apple Hill has adapted to remote programming. Last summer, Nielsen’s non-profit organization held three-week educational meetings through pre-recorded video conferences, each of which was planned by another member of the quartet, who also served as music director.

The quartet – Kelley, violinists Elise Kuder and Jesse MacDonald, and cellist Rupert Thompson – recorded eight recitals, which were released last year on the social media platform of the non-profit organization . According to Kelly, these activities give students in Apple Hill more opportunities to listen to the group's voices than in a typical summer.

He said: "We are really used to being intimate and personal with the audience." "...It is difficult not to be able to do this, but I think there is always a glimmer of hope."

The organization has also developed a plan to celebrate its 50th anniversary remotely.

, And other programming, including a photo review of its history.

Another ray of hope for the pandemic: Matczynski, who became a director in 2008,

In February last year, he will resign from his position in March 2021 and postpone his departure to help guide Apple Hill through the drastic changes. He plans to step down in March 2022, when he hoped to be "far and far away" like Scotland or Provence in France.

He said: "The way our organization handles this pandemic with so much love and so much care... shows the entire 50 years of experience." "I think 50 years is necessary for a non-profit organization. It's amazing."

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