By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Marlborough/Westborough – Bonnie Cochran, of Marlborough, has performed extensively as a flutist with ensembles throughout New England and beyond. A desire to also perform geographically closer to home compelled her to found Chamber Music Metrowest (CMM).
“I realized that I's sharing my music with people all over New England, but not with people near where I live and interact with on a daily basis,” she said. “So one of the things I wanted to do was to take music into the community where I live, and to try to reach people who either don's have access to classical music or maybe think they don's like this kind of music.”
Among her missions is to reach an audience spanning a wide range of ages. The first installment of the CMM's Concerts for Kids Series was held March 2 at the David French Music Company Recital Hall in Westborough with a presentation of “The Story of the Woodwind Family.” Joining Cochran on flute were musicians playing clarinet, bassoon, French horn and oboe.
The story was conveyed by the unique personalities of the instruments. A roomful of children interacted with the musicians and enthusiastically ventured guesses as to which instrument was portraying each character.
“It's very rewarding to see the children's faces light up, and for them to see and hear something new,” Cochran said. “Something I most love about chamber music is the interaction between the performers and the audience.”
Before the concert, the children were given programs in which they colored musical instruments with crayons. Afterward, the musicians took the time to mingle with the young concert patrons, which Cochran said was her favorite memory.
“I loved the comments from the kids after the concert,” she said. “They were so excited, coming up to us and seeing the instruments. And some of them showed us the drawings they did. It's important that kids have activities like this and to be able to offer them low cost or free.”
The program was sponsored in part by a grant from the Westborough Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Another CMM children's concert is scheduled at the same location Saturday, Nov. 2, at 10:30 a.m.
CMM debuted in September 2012 with a concert sponsored by Sts. Anargyroi Enosis Philoptochos Ladies Society at the Hellenic Hall of the Sts. Anargyroi Orthodox Church in Marlborough. The admission was nonperishable goods or a monetary donation for the Marlborough Community Cupboard. With contributions from an audience of over 100 people, along with bake sale proceeds and a portion of CD sales, the collaborative effort delivered over 1,140 pounds of food.
“We had a fantastic audience, and the group at the church was very helpful in putting everything together,” Cochran said. “They had this phenomenal bake sale that contributed to donations of more food. It was the perfect place to have our first concert.”
CMM also received a grant from the Marlborough Cultural Council, which will sponsor in part “Music & Poetry,” to be presented Thursday, April 25, at 3 p.m., at the Marlborough Senior Center.
“We want to be able to take our music to senior citizens,” Cochran said. “I'se done some of that before, and they'se so touched and happy to have us there.”
In addition to concerts at senior centers, CMM hopes to create a series for hospitalized patients and children with special needs.
“We'se delighted by the response we received at our first two concerts,” Cochran said. “We hope to become a real asset to the community.”
For more information, visit chambermusicmetrowest.com.