Chamber Music Connection (CMC) is dedicated to the study and performance of chamber music and continues to provide students an intimate learning experience with distinguished musicians inspiring personal and musical growth. The organization began as the Delaware Chamber Music Festival (DCMF) in 1992 as a two-week summer program on the campus of Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU).
The first annual Spring Weekend Festival with members of the Cavani String Quartet was held in 1993 at OWU. The festival was held at OWU on the weekend after Mother’s Day until 2012, when it was moved to The Ohio State University and held in the first weekend in May. DCMF was incorporated in 1995. In 1998, Jane Cataldi, an arts administrator and mother of a DCMF student, was hired as the first administrative director and was instrumental in advancing the organization. The name was changed to reflect the program’s growth from a festival to a year-long program. Jane secured a home for CMC at St. John's Episcopal Church in Worthington, and St. John’s has hosted our general programs and special events since the fall of 1998.
CMC’s inaugural trip to the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition followed in the spring of 1999, when one of our quartets was accepted into the competition as a quarterfinalist. Since that time, CMC ensembles have participated in the Fischoff, Midwest Young Artists Discover, the St. Paul String Quartet, and the Ohio String Teachers’ Association competitions. When our opus quartet won the Fischoff Junior Division Silver Medal, they became the first CMC group to be featured on National Public Radio’s From the Top. Several of our featured students and alumni have received Jack Kent Cooke scholarships.
CMC experienced gradual growth over its 20-year history from a starting size of a dozen students to the present-day dynamo of 26 ensembles, seven chamber orchestras, an adult program, gig program, fellowship program, iSTEM, and jazz/improvisation workshop.
Marking 25 years of chamber music education, promotion, and performance gives us the opportunity to reflect on the myriad ways that CMC has contributed to our community and culture, in addition to the ways that our community have impacted us. We have watched hundreds of our students mature into successful musicians, lawyers, doctors, engineers, business leaders, teachers, parents, and community members. We have received local and national recognition on NPR's From the Top shows, participated and placed in national chamber music competitions, performed in national music association conferences, and attended nationally acclaimed conservatories and universities.