This spring, Princeton University students found common ground with Princeton-area middle school students over a shared love of music. The two groups, from Princeton University Sinfonia and Community House After School Academy (CHASA), met once a week to play their instruments and learn from one another. Sinfonia is an orchestra comprised of about 60 Princeton undergraduates as well as graduate students. CHASA, a program of the Pace Center for Civic Engagement, offers daily workshops and homework support in arts, math, writing and science to students in grades six through eight. Ruth Ochs, a graduate student in music who serves as the Sinfonia conductor, described how the sessions started.
"Allie Lichterman — she's a violinist — she came to me and mentioned this after-school tutoring program that she volunteers for and how many of these middle school students come with instruments after school," Ochs said. "She had the very clever idea of finding a way to collaborate with them." "We play and talk about music. Sometimes we talk about why we started playing and what we like about it," said Lichterman, a history major from the Class of 2016.