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Musicians Tune Up for Lincoln Center

Ten years ago, Ken Kuo went from house to house giving private music lessons. He taught one student at a time. Today, his music school, Connecticut School of Music, headquartered in Westport, teaches 400-500 children across Fairfield County.  On June 20, CSM will celebrate its 10-year anniversary with a Celebration Concert at Lincoln Center in New York City.  “We wanted to have a grand celebration that marks the achievement of the school,” says Kuo.  He calls the concert a “great collaboration”.  Over 100 elementary and middle school students from Westport, Easton, Redding, Ridgefield, Greenwich, Stamford and New York city will  perform on the famous stage for the first time. Among them are 20 students who are part of CSM’s scholarship program.  Through foundations, CSM raises money for kids who can’t afford private lessons.  In addition, 20 kids who participate in a Jazz at Lincoln Center program that offers music lessons for inner city kids will join the Kuo's orchestra.

“We wanted to mark our anniversary by working with an organization that shares our philosophy of giving,” says Kuo. “I want to teach our kids the love of sharing music and meeting different musicians from different backgrounds.”

For the Parisot family, of Redding, the upcoming concert carries on a family tradition.  Aldo, 13, and Lance, 11, will perform on the same stage as has their grandfather, Aldo Parisot, a noted cellist. In fact, while a student at Yale University, Kuo studied under Aldo Parisot. “It makes perfect sense that Ken should now teach the grandchildren of his mentor and former teacher,” says Bob Parisot, the boys’ father. “We're very thrilled that they get to experience what it's like playing to an audience in a prominent concert hall.”

Kuo believe CSM stands out among other music programs because it is a somewhat untraditional. “We are not afraid to try different things.  I really want to expose my kids to a variety of experiences and understand the real world of music.”  The repertoire includes the theme of Star Wars, excerpts from the Pirates of the Caribbean and a Puccini opera.

Since opening the Westport school in 2000, Kuo has added locations in Greenwich and New York City’s Lincoln Center area.  “We have been around for ten years, but I think we are just at the start of creating a great music school,” says Kuo.

For information on the concert or Connecticut School of Music classes and programs, call (203) 226-0805 or email: info@ctschoolofmusic.com.

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