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  • Writer's pictureAlaina Chester

Phipps Botanical Gardens (PA)


I am a teaching artist in the chamber group Ears Engaged. We met at Carnegie Mellon University and were inspired by our professor, Monique Mead, to connect more with our audiences and community through music. As individuals and collectively we are dedicated to educational, interactive, and accessible performances curated for our community.

We performed a two hour long concert of solos, duets, trios and quartets for the Sunday Music Series at Phipps Conservatory. We set up a chalkboard that asked the guests, "What plants here at Phipps remind you of our instruments?" This prompt inspired several guests to respond by writing their thoughts on a sticky note and placing it in one of the four instrument quadrants on the board.

Theresa Abalos, flute

CJ Corbett, clarinet

Casey Stamm, bassoon

I absolutely love when kids dance! So much joy in expressing themselves, not self conscious in public. I'm glad they were able to get really close too.

We were surprised with how many guests participated in our chalkboard question. One guest shared their thoughts about every instrument. It was fun to read all the creative responses!

Clip of a piece that reminds me of a Pixar movie :)

Casey and I explain how double reed instruments work.

We did not expect so many active listeners! It turned out to be one of my favorite performances, such beautiful scenery and people.


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