Kithara Project's year round Boston program is run in partnership with Charlesview Inc. at Josephine A. Fiorentino Community Center in Allston, MA and at the Oak Square YMCA in Brighton, MA. Kithara Project enrolls students from both the neighborhood and the nearby Gardner Pilot Academy. It currently serves 42 students at Charlesview and 30 students at the Oak Square YMCA.
Kithara Project provides the guitars, materials, and programming at no cost, which makes it unique among similar organizations. This includes weekly group and individual instruction, music theory, bi-annual guest artist residencies, recitals, concert field trips, and opportunities for virtual exchanges with students at other Kithara Project satellite programs. Select students also get an opportunity to engage with likeminded Boston-based students at Young Guitarists' Workshop and Boston GuitarFest.
Estrella Sanchez is 10-years-old and lives at Charlesview Residences in Brighton, Massachusetts with her mother and younger sister. She attends Saint Columbkille Partnership School in Brighton and has had a passion for music since she was 6-years-old, when she began playing the violin. Estrella has been a participant in the Kithara Project’s “StartNow Boston: Experience the Guitar” weekly youth classical guitar workshops since the program began being facilitated at the Josephine A. Fiorentino Community Center in October 2015, at no-cost to her family and generously funded by the Kithara Project. Her participation in the Kithara Project has also awarded her the opportunity to participate in the 2016 Young Guitarists Workshop at Johnson String Instruments in Newton, MA, the opportunity being sponsored by the Kithara Project and Charlesview, Inc, and she was also invited and honored to perform for the Kithara Project’s first year celebration at the Guild of Boston Artists in April 2016. Estrella states she loves the guitar and was very excited that this program was being offered in her community. She states that her mother has been her biggest supporter in helping her to find music programs to grow her passion, and her goal is to learn as many instruments as possible. Other than violin and guitar, Estrella has also played piano and just began a summer program to learn to play the flute. She states she practices music every day for 30 – 60 minutes and loves reading and playing music. Her favorite style of music is classical, and her favorite composer is Ludwig Van Beethoven. She states her goal is to become a professional musician and admires professional violinist and performer, Lindsey Sterling. In the theme of “Music Makes Me,” Estrella stated: “music is something that I think about all day and dream about when I go to sleep, and when I wake up I am still thinking about it. Music makes me happy. It makes me feel calm. Music makes me want to play all day.