Ann Arata and Rome Pozgay are retired professionals with a passion for listening to, supporting, performing, and casually playing Classical Chamber and Orchestral Music. They are cofounders of the North shore Chamber Music Society, a group of amateur and professional musicians who gather for casual chamber music and performance of prepared works, and the Camp Cotuit Chamber Music Club which meets annually on Cape Cod for casual chamber music and orchestral music reading. Both play with the North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra and are supporters of the Department of Music and Dance at Salem State University. Their other interests include writing, woodworking, ship modelling, reading, and cooking.
Rome retired from a 45-year career as engineer and researcher in the field of microwave technology, advanced electrodynamics and systems engineering for military and commercial radars. He has been awarded 21 patents as inventor or coinventor.
Rome has been playing violin for 70 years and playing orchestral and chamber music for 63 years. His first private teacher, the late Henrik Essers, encouraged casual playing with others and the discovery of lesser-known composers of classical music. In addition to playing chamber music, Rome presents a seven lecture series on Chamber Music through the Salem State University Explorers Lifelong Learning Institute: the lecture series emphasizes the social nature of chamber music and includes illustrative examples from many lesser-known composers.
Ann's career included fifteen years as a housing professional creating and filling low-income housing in Cambridge. As Director of Leasing and Occupancy at the Cambridge Housing Authority she worked closely with homeless people and shelter administrators. She also served as President of Bread and Jams Shelter in Cambridge and helped facilitate the redevelopment of the Lynn Home for Women. Ann has played cello since the birth of her first-born and enjoys casual chamber music and performances with friends.
What drew you to the work of Shelter Music Boston?
Ann and Rome (aka Annandrome) were introduced to Shelter Music Boston when invited to attend a private fund raiser in Lexington. They were completely won over by SMB’s commitment to help the less fortunate of our society using music and have been supporters since.
You've been very supportive of SMB's 2021 Artistic Project, Voices From The Land, featuring compositions from Indiginous youth from the Native American Composer Apprentice Program, which is part of the Grand Canyon Music Festival. What did you find impactful about this collaboration?
We were first aware of the NACAP project of GCMF when we heard an SMB performance of Nuclear Crystal, by Xavier Ben. We were enthralled because the work itself was very interesting and because SMB gave these young people a professional voice – a voice that was very deserving. We wanted to add the sheet music for the quartet to our library. Julie Levin was intrigued by the idea of publishing the music and put us in contact with GCMF. We suggested that the young composers could earn some money by making their compositions available through the GCMF shop. We contributed to SMB to help start the project. To date, GCMF has published one volume of six string quartets by NACAP composers.
As musicians, you understand the power of connection through music. What piece/pieces would you like SMB to share with our audiences in homeless shelters and substance misuse recovery centers?
As to connections through music, we have personally discovered that chamber music such as Adagios by Mozart, Vivaldi and Barber have a profoundly calming effect on a child with extreme autism and produce a clear change in awareness for a wheelchair bound child with cerebral palsy. We think that music of this sort can soothe the minds and hearts of those who have experienced significant difficulties in life. More specifically, we recommend the Cavatina from Beethoven’s Op. 130, Barber’s Adagio for Strings from Op. 11, the Adagio from K. 516, the second movement of the Bach D minor double concerto (a nice version is available for two violins and cello), Vaughn Williams’s Lark Ascending (scored for string quartet and string sextet by Martin Gerigk), the second movement of Dvorak’s Op. 11 String Quartet in F Minor, any of the string quartets and Bagatelles by Alan Hovhaness, Gershwin’s Lullaby for String Quartet, Lauren Bernofsky’s Pas de Deux for violin and cello, the second movement of K. 423 (either violin and viola or violin and cello), Joachim Raff’s Cavatina, Puccini’s Cristantemi (S. 65), the slow movements of Vivaldi’s Le quattro stagioni, Offenbach’s Le larmes de Jacquline (originally scored for cello and string orchestra could be performed with a small string ensemble), the second and third movements of Tom Febonio’s Op. 18 string quartet in C Minor, the gentler violin and cello duets by Gliere, the slow movements of the violin and cello duets by Stamitz, the slow movements of the violin and cello duets by Fiorillo, the slow movements of the violin and cello duets by Giuliani, not to mention a few hundred more.