Celeste Chau, Community Outreach Director
A native New Yorker, Celeste began her musical studies as a child studying piano with Esther Lin and was greatly influenced by the devoted music lovers of her Chinese Peruvian family. She took a break from music during her high school years to study college at Pratt Institute's School of Architecture. During her time there, she caught her community service bug while studying low income housing and at their Community Development Program. She also started volunteering for the NYC branch of Habitat for Humanity during that time. After college she began taking voice lessons with Nicole Neiman who developed a unique pedagogy shaped by Neiman’s background as a social worker using music as a therapy tool. Celeste later formed an informal chamber group with fellow adult amateur musicians playing everything from Brubeck to Bach. The group participated in the music therapy program at Mt Sinai's Stroke Rehabilitation Clinic where she got her first taste of the rewards of musical outreach. An active member of the Chamber Music Network and enjoys playing with fellow ACMP members all over the world in her travels. A young violist with the Queens Borough Wide Youth Orchestra, she returned to the viola as an adult and studied with Paula Cho at Turtle Bay Music School and later joined the New York Late Starter's String Orchestra. She dipped her foot into musical theater when she joined the cast of “The King and I” for the Way-Off Broadway Theater after college. More recently she formed a collaborative partnership with singer Randall Trombley with whom she subsequently joined the Turtle Bay Community Chorus. She now performs as one their soloist and is a member of the repertoire committee, section leader and helped produce their first “pocket musical” of “Les Miserables”. The chorus regularly performs at area nursing homes, senior centers, community events and Turtle Bay's “Hear it Now” concert series. She currently studies voice with Martha Arnold, pending faculty member at Turtle Bay Music School. She immersed herself into the New York amateur classical scene by joining Amateur Classical Musician's Association (ACMA) in early 2009. She served as their Executive Board member and helped to coordinate and produce ACMA's first concert at Carnegie Hall in 2009 where she also performed and will do again this year. In 2010, she became The September Concert Foundation's inaugural Community Music Coordinator, and is producing concerts at 8 different area senior centers/hospitals/nursing homes during the 3 day music festival. Already a member, Celeste proudly joins The Art Song Preservation Society of NY (ASPS) as their inaugural Community Outreach Director where she plans to introduce a series of mini-recitals and concerts throughout New York's senior centers, retirement communities, and hospices (as music therapy). These programs are designed to make art song interesting and accessible to audiences that may otherwise not have the chance to attend a performance but who in many ways stand to benefit the most.