Musical Merit Page Banner
Close Encounters

Close Encounters in Music

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS IN MUSIC, Musical Merit’s outreach program, continues to provide a rich cultural experience for schoolchildren in greater San Diego County. In Spring, 2013, Soprano Kerrie Caldwell delighted children in several schools with her coloratura bravura, her engaging repertoire, and the sharing of her own professional goals (see Gallery, Kerrie Caldwell for more information).

In our artistically-disenfranchised schools it is refreshing to see the wide-eyed delight of the children who have experienced the performances of our young artists via CLOSE ENCOUNTERS. In each instance, the performing artist has brought focus, commitment, and brilliant artistry to schoolchildren of all ages, sharing heartfelt and personal stories of his or her own process of becoming a musician, answering questions from absolute naïveté to acquired musical sophistication with the utmost respect, humor and seriousness. In the past few years, harpist Sarah Davis performed Lady Gaga tunes at the end of a program of romantic and impressionist harp selections; pianist Vincent Yang played on out-of-tune upright pianos rolled into the classroom as well as exquisite concert grands with verve and excitement; Violinist Lisa Kim and pianist Dana Burnett thrilled middle school and high school string students with selections by Mozart and Brahms, plus an entertaining showpiece “Yankee Doodle Dandy” by Henri Vieuxtemps for solo violin. Flutist James Romeo played everything from Irish dance tunes to gorgeous classical flute selections and even used the last remaining music stand (taped together for his performance) in one middle school. Baritone Gregorio Gonzalez sang an appealing program of songs from Zarzuela and American musical theatre.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS IN MUSIC is funded entirely by Musical Merit Foundation with no cost to the participating schools. If you are interested in the participation of one our young artists in your school or for further information, please contact:

Ann Chase, Chair

(These events are not open to the public - They are invitation only.)

schedule coming soon



A Close Encounter with Soprano Kerrie Caldwell 2011 MMF winner

A Close Encounter with Violinist Lisa Kim 2011 MMF winner

A Close Encounter with Pianist Vincent Yang 2009 MMF winner

A Close Encounter with Baritone Gregorio Gonzalez 2000 MMF winner

A Close Encounter with Baritone Lorant Najbauer MMF winner 2009 and 2010